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The 2011 PlayStation Network outage was the result of an ' on 's and services, in which personal details from approximately 77 million accounts were compromised and prevented users of and consoles from accessing the service. The attack occurred between April 17 and April 19, 2011, forcing Sony to turn off the PlayStation Network on April 20. On May 4 Sony confirmed that from each of the 77 million accounts had been exposed. The outage lasted 23 days. At the time of the outage, with a count of 77 million registered PlayStation Network accounts, it was one of the largest data security breaches in history. It surpassed the 2007 which affected 45 million customers. Government officials in over the theft and Sony's one-week delay before warning its users.

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Sony stated on April 26 that it was attempting to get online services running 'within a week.' On May 14, Sony released PlayStation 3 version 3.61 as a security patch. The firmware required users to change their password upon signing in.

At the time the firmware was released, the network was still offline. Regional restoration was announced by in a video from Sony. A map of regional restoration and the network within the United States was shared as the service was coming back online. Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Timeline of the outage [ ] On April 20, 2011, Sony acknowledged that on the official PlayStation Blog that it was 'aware certain functions of the PlayStation Network' were down. Upon attempting to sign in via the, users received a message indicating that the network was 'undergoing maintenance'.

The following day, Sony asked its customers for patience while the cause of outage was investigated and stated that it may take 'a full day or two' to get the service fully functional again. The company later announced an 'external intrusion' had affected the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. This intrusion occurred between April 17 and April 19. On April 20, Sony suspended all PlayStation Network and Qriocity services worldwide.

Sony expressed their regrets for the downtime and called the task of repairing the system 'time-consuming' but would lead to a stronger network infrastructure and additional security. On April 25, Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold reiterated on the PlayStation Blog that fixing and enhancing the network was a 'time intensive' process with no estimated time of completion. However, the next day Sony stated that there was a 'clear path to have PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems back online', with some services expected to be restored within a week. Furthermore, Sony acknowledged the 'compromise of personal information as a result of an illegal intrusion on our systems.' On May 1 Sony announced a 'Welcome Back' program for customers affected by the outage. The company also confirmed that some PSN and Qriocity services would be available during the first week of May. Original PlayStation 3 model On April 26 nearly a week after the outage, Sony confirmed that it 'cannot rule out the possibility' that such as PlayStation Network account username, password, home address, and email address had been compromised.

Sony also mentioned the possibility that credit card data was taken—after claiming that encryption had been placed on the databases, which would partially satisfy for storing credit card information on a server. Subsequent to the announcement on both the official blog and by e-mail, users were asked to safeguard credit card transactions by checking bank statements.

This warning came nearly a week after the initial ' and while the Network was turned off. Some disputed this explanation and queried that if Sony deemed the situation so severe that they had to turn off the network, Sony should have warned users of possible data theft sooner than on April 26. Concerns have been raised over violations of and the failure to immediately notify users. Wrote to Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO questioning the delay. Sony replied in a letter to the subcommittee: Your statement indicated you have no evidence at this time that credit card information was obtained, yet you cannot rule out this possibility.

Please explain why you do not believe credit card information was obtained and why you cannot determine if the data was in fact taken. As stated above, Sony Network Entertainment America has not been able to conclude with certainty through the forensic analysis done to date that credit card information was not transferred from the PlayStation Network system. We know that for other personal information contained in the account database, the hacker made queries to the database, and the external forensics teams have seen large amounts of data transferred in response to those queries. Our forensics teams have not seen the queries and corresponding data transfers of the credit card information. Unencrypted personal details [ ] Credit card data was encrypted, but Sony admitted that other user information was not encrypted at the time of the intrusion. Reported that 'If the provider stores passwords unencrypted, then it's very easy for somebody else – not just an external attacker, but members of staff or contractors working on Sony's site – to get access and discover those passwords, potentially using them for nefarious means.' On May 2, Sony clarified the 'unencrypted' status of users' passwords, stating that: While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a.

There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form. British Information Commissioners Office [ ] Following a formal investigation of Sony for breaches of the UK's, the Information Commissioners' Office issued a statement highly critical of the security Sony had in place: If you are responsible for so many payment card details and log-in details then keeping that personal data secure has to be your priority. In this case that just didn't happen, and when the database was targeted – albeit in a determined criminal attack – the security measures in place were simply not good enough. There's no disguising that this is a business that should have known better. It is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there's no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe.

Sony was fined £250,000 ($395k) for security measures so poor they did not comply with the British law. Sony Online Entertainment outage [ ] On May 3 Sony stated in a press release that there may be a correlation between the attack that had occurred on April 16 towards the PlayStation Network and one that compromised on May 2. This portion of the attack resulted in the theft of information on 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment account holders. The database contained 12,700 credit card numbers, particularly those of non-U.S.

Residents, and had not been in use since 2007 as much of the data applied to expired cards and deleted accounts. Sony updated this information the following day by stating that only 900 cards on the database were still valid. The attack resulted in the suspension of SOE servers and games. SOE granted 30 days of free time, plus one day for each day the server was down, to users of,,,,,,,,, and, as well as other forms of compensation for all other Sony Online games. Security experts Eugene Lapidous of AnchorFree, Chester Wisniewski of and Avner Levin of criticized Sony, questioning its methods of securing user data.

Lapidous called the breach 'difficult to excuse' and Wisniewski called it 'an act of hubris or simply gross incompetence'. Reaction [ ] Compensation to users [ ] Sony hosted special events after the PlayStation Network returned to service. Sony stated that they had plans for PS3 versions of DC Universe Online and Free Realms to help alleviate some of their losses.

In a press conference in Tokyo on May 1, Sony announced a 'Welcome Back' program. As well as 'selected PlayStation entertainment content' the program promised to include 30 days free membership of PlayStation Plus for all PSN members, while existing PlayStation Plus members received an additional 30 days on their subscription.

Qriocity subscribers received 30 days. Sony promised other content and services over the coming weeks. Sony offered one year free identity theft protection to all users with details forthcoming. Compensated PlayStation 3 users for the inability to use their service during the outage by offering one week of free service to Hulu Plus members. On May 16, 2011, Sony announced that two PlayStation 3 games and two PSP games would be offered for free from lists of five and four (respectively).

The games available varied by region and were only available in countries which had access to the PlayStation Store prior to the outage. On May 27, 2011, Sony announced the 'welcome back' package for Japan and the Asia region (Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia).

In the Asia region, a theme - Dokodemo Issyo Spring Theme - was offered for free in addition to the games available in the 'welcome back' package. 5 PSP games are offered in the Japanese market. PlayStation Network / PSN News. United Kingdom: Sony.

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