SOE: Personal Information May Have Been Stolen

As we previously reported, all Sony Online Entertainment services, games, forums and web sites went offline this morning as a result of the recent Playstation Network intrusion. SOE just issued an announcement, and it appears that the personal information of players may have been compromised. Here are the details straight from SOE:

"Our ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment systems has discovered that hackers may have obtained personal customer information from SOE systems.  We are today advising you that the personal information you provided us in connection with your SOE account may have been stolen in a cyber-attack. Stolen information includes, to the extent you provided it to us, the following: name, address (city, state, zip, country), email address, gender, birthdate, phone number, login name and hashed password."

SOE goes on to state that there is no evidence that their main credit card database was compromised.  However, SOE is warning customers outside of the United States that credit and debit card information from an outdated database from 2007 may have been obtained. Affected customers will be notified.

SOE warns players to "be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information." SOE isn't going to contact you asking for personally identifiable information like your credit card number, so keep that in mind.

So when will the SOE game services be back? "As soon as possible." You can read the full notice after the jump.

UPDATE: As for compensation, according to the separate press release, "SOE will grant customers 30 days of additional time on their subscriptions, in addition to compensating them one day for each day the system is down.  It is also in the process of outlining a 'make good' plan for its PlayStation 3 MMOs (DC Universe Online and Free Realms).  More information will be released this week."


Customer Service Notification

May 2, 2011

Dear Valued Sony Online Entertainment Customer:

Our ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment systems has discovered that hackers may have obtained personal customer information from SOE systems.  We are today advising you that the personal information you provided us in connection with your SOE account may have been stolen in a cyber-attack.   Stolen information includes, to the extent you provided it to us, the following: name, address (city, state, zip, country), email address, gender, birthdate, phone number, login name and hashed password.

Customers outside the United States should be advised that we further discovered evidence that information from an outdated database from 2007 containing approximately 12,700 non-US customer credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes) and about 10,700 direct debit records listing bank account numbers of certain customers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Spain may have also been obtained - we will be notifying each of those customers promptly.

There is no evidence that our main credit card database was compromised.   It is in a completely separate and secured environment.

We had previously believed that SOE customer data had not been obtained in the cyber-attacks on the company, but on May 1st we concluded that SOE account information may have been stolen and we are notifying you as soon as possible.  

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the attack and as a result, we have:

1)         Temporarily turned off all SOE game services;

2)         Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and

3)         Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking.   When SOE's services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your Station or SOE game account name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.

To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports.   We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it:

U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus.   To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.

We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S. credit bureaus below.   At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus place a "fraud alert" on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name.   This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name.   Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity.   As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file.   Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below.

Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

You may wish to visit the web site of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect yourself from identity theft.   Your state Attorney General may also have advice on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General, and the FTC.   For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone (877) 566-7226; or www.ncdoj.gov.   For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: (888) 743-0023; or www.oag.state.md.us.

We are committed to helping our customers protect their personal data and we will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in regions in which such programs are commonly utilized.

We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience.   Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please contact us at 1 (866) 436-6698 should you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,

Sony Online Entertainment LLC

Comments

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no way i'm coming back
# May 13 2011 at 2:28 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
I to also got an email stating that my personal info may be stolen. even though that i have not played EQOA in a very long time and was thinking of coming back but after this...........attack on SoE. that was pretty much the final nail in the coffin. Now theres no way in a snowballs chance in **** that i will ever return to EQOA or any of SoE's MMO's in general. I just don't like the idea of their security being compromised in any way, shape or form. so once they are back up and running, my account will be history. SoE can try to recover but in my eyes, the damage has already been done.
First signs?
# May 09 2011 at 2:04 AM Rating: Decent
2 posts
I was one of the unlucky people who received an email from Sony stating that my information was compromised but the email address was one I had used on a now-dead account. I rarely, if ever use that email address at all so it has very little exposure.

Today, I received an email to that email address from the following:

From: Linsey Tatiana [linseytatianael@dadebehring.com]
Subject: d73

The message was blank except for:

v


I am wondering if this is a phishing email sent to verify that my email address is at least still active; If so then it appears that the information stolen is already being sorted through.

Edited, May 9th 2011 4:08am by PhaseDragon
not happy about disrupting my CC
# May 06 2011 at 8:09 AM Rating: Decent
4 posts
hi all,
nearly a summer ago, i posted in eq2's forum, i wrote twice about the flaws on launcher, and saw how easy to get exploited, i just had funny feeling it will happen.

then just few week ago and just recently they decided to shut down all their games just after they gave us bonus xp and double SC so they can see anything look odd.

i just knew and not happy to hear this news, i went to my bank and had ordered new CC just in case, costing me few dollars for new card.
Not only that also effect my other online game accounts to "non-sony" online games by waiting for replacing card.
so i cant play Horizons or Asheron's Call either until i updated with my new CC.
Blame on Sony's lack of taking the motion to fix, after the attacks, it just push Sony to fix the security flaws and pushing for brand new Sony's Launcher and more secured.
so, that about time they are taking care of the problems. i just wish they would had taken seriously last summer.

since my CC were cut up few days ago, i am facing local difficulties for 10-15 days without my CC for food, pay bills on online services, and getting my cooking wares and cleaning supply since i just finally move, and need few hygiene supplies to restock, so i have to use old school checkbook until i get my CC, writing checks is hassle that required ID forms and time needed for processing for approvals to shopping.

think i am happy with disrupting my CC? no, of course not!
without my CC in 1-2 weeks, i cant even restart Star Trek while Eq2 is down and no card, only the left me to do is playing my "Total Wars" and work around with my Neverwinter Night 2 project.

right now, i am not worried about my eq2's subscription since it is paid for a year, which will due by sept/oct, but looking at Nov since Sony gave us free 30 days plus days lost due to shut downs.
i also played DCUO which it should expire very soon in may, now that bump to june, but i dont like that UI settings in DCUO. it is too restrictive and cant move mouse to outside of window mode.

finally, i hope FBI will find those guys responsible for massive griefs they caused or if the source are outside of USA, maybe put perma isolation ban on specific IP address where the criminal activity hit the most in 'said' counties that involved with crimes.
they may have bogus base of operations or using zombie host sites.

that all i have said, and hope for speedy recovery for Sony and online games more protected.
Gonna have to scrub deep
# May 03 2011 at 1:21 AM Rating: Decent
13 posts
I'm wondering why they are physically moving some of their datacenters, which means they probably were physically comprimised. With the recent layoffs, to me this sounds like a disgrunted former employee who was able to enter the building, and install software/plug a machine into the internal network or something...
everquest
# May 02 2011 at 6:31 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
it's over, SOE ain't gonna waste money on a defunct game like everquest, Go outside and excercise !
everquest
# May 02 2011 at 6:55 PM Rating: Decent
21 posts
This is not simply Everquest that is down. SOE uses the same login servers and account database servers for all of there online games. It is not Everquest that is down, it is the login/authentication servers and user databases that were compromised and had to be shutdown. Everquest, DC Universe, Everquest II, etc. all of those games are fine, it is the underlaying systems that were effected. This is however a good time for all of the game teams to do some of the much needed maintenance and updates that they have not been able to do during normal server maintenance windows.

This could actually turn into a good thing if SOE does things right. Hopefully the Devs will work overtime as well and fix some of the bigger problems and possibly even add some new content during this unexpected and unfortunate opportunity. We just have to hope that SOE has different teams taking care of the player side servers/databases (basically accounting and business information about us the customers) from the teams responsible for the different games servers like EQ.

Edited, May 2nd 2011 8:58pm by wdhaun
____________________________
Venerable Belair Stormwalker, Favored of the Gods
everquest
# May 02 2011 at 6:50 PM Rating: Decent
6 posts
I wonder how many people, like me, just bought station cash while it was on sale. :(
Alternative during down time
# May 02 2011 at 6:31 PM Rating: Decent
21 posts
You might try other free online games such as Lord of the Rings Online at http://www.lotronline.com/ It much better than trying to login to SOE every few minutes and is a better distraction than trying to be patient waiting for everything to get fixed.
Good job
# May 02 2011 at 6:15 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
Taking a break to check on situation. Good job, thank you very much Alla's & Sony for the much needed & detailed update. Now back to RL, no sense wasting hours at kb trying to psychically repair servers. Besides i got the impression from the update that it'll maybe be a couple of days.
We should be able to play
# May 02 2011 at 6:10 PM Rating: Decent
6 posts
I really do not understand the part of why we can play, this has to do with the CC end of it. Make so everyone has to change there passwords when they log in and then we could play. I am sure that can be done, I do not want 30 days at the end when i am ready to cancel my accout I want the 30 days for my next billing plus the day for each day down.
Days to go...
# May 02 2011 at 5:29 PM Rating: Decent
49 posts
I would say that it will be more than a couple days, but being as vague as they were, they have no clue. They arent going to release anything on timelines until they have concrete information to go on. Obviously it took them days to realize the extent of the intrusion, so it seems likely that it will take longer to learn how to prevent further intrusions.
____________________________
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Shaman of the 90th Season
http://eqplayers.station.sony.com/signature/652835276307.png

Days to go...
# May 02 2011 at 5:57 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
28 posts
I agree ... SOE has cut staff to the point they can't even respond to in-game petitions, much less have anything other than a computer generated response to player's concerns. What's that old saying? ... Penny - Wise, Pound Foolish?
Days to go...
# May 02 2011 at 5:44 PM Rating: Decent
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62 posts
TeittoJaqsun wrote:
I would say that it will be more than a couple days, but being as vague as they were, they have no clue. They arent going to release anything on timelines until they have concrete information to go on. Obviously it took them days to realize the extent of the intrusion, so it seems likely that it will take longer to learn how to prevent further intrusions.


the time line is in the hands of the 3rd party security firm, I doubt that the firm will rush it and will not release the authorization to restart until they are sure it is secure - it is their reputation on the security market that will be on the line now
crysis 2
# May 02 2011 at 5:27 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
24 posts
im going to play crysis 2 while i wait for the servers to get back up and running.
They still want their money
# May 02 2011 at 5:20 PM Rating: Decent
5 posts
So the servers are compromised and they shut them down, but they still managed to ensure that we were charged for our account today.

Scarry Enchanter~Povar
Being diligent on monitoring accounts
# May 02 2011 at 5:19 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
I was called on April 17 with fraud alerts from my CC company and charges were being made by the bucket fulls coming out of Canada. As little as .26 to hundreds. I called right away the fraud department and they shutdown the account and reissued new cards. I have not used the account in months and was one of the cards I used for years with Sony. Everyone just needs to monitor their accounts closely. Nothing is safe anymore but there are procedures to take to rectify it. We live in a vulnerable world now with electronic commerce and Must stay on our toes.
Server Downtime
# May 02 2011 at 5:09 PM Rating: Decent
21 posts
After working as a Network Administrator for over 3 years in the Middle East, I know how difficult it can be to reorient a ship (network full of servers) that is tilting this badly. Depending on how bad the security flaws are, weather there are fixes for the problems available, what effect the fixes will have on the existing software on the servers (games such as Everquest, etc) the testing time required to determine if the fixes for this security flaw creates any new problems or security holes, etc... this could be a very big problem for SOE to fix. I say what seemed like very small issues have very large consequences on DoD networks. This could be a very easy thing to fix or it could be very, very difficult. I have seen things as simple as a new printer driver have a catastrophic impact on a network. This really is one of those "Big picture" kind of things that is hard to understand unless you have a very intimate understanding of how everything works together. I am glad I am not there in there shoes. I have been there and done that, it is not fun to be there network/server folks right now.

Venerable Belair Stormwalker, Favored of the Gods

Edited, May 2nd 2011 6:14pm by wdhaun
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# May 02 2011 at 5:03 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
*
158 posts
They gave you what answer they could - whatever fix has to go in has to be made, the security firm has to sign off on it, etc. ASAP is about as good as you are going to get until they spec out a solution and come up with dev estimates for it. Hopefully they can get a estimate out in a couple days, but if I see one before the end of the week I will be surprised.
Another question
# May 02 2011 at 5:03 PM Rating: Decent
Not to be the material part of this debate, but downtime is one thing, completely turning off all servers is another. While it shouldnt cost SONY money, it definitely shouldnt cost ME money either. I dont want double EXP, I want the time I paid for.
____________________________
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Another question
# May 02 2011 at 5:10 PM Rating: Excellent
Former ZAM Editor-in-Chief
Avatar
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295 posts
mtcards, ****** Superhero wrote:
Not to be the material part of this debate, but downtime is one thing, completely turning off all servers is another. While it shouldnt cost SONY money, it definitely shouldnt cost ME money either. I dont want double EXP, I want the time I paid for.


According to the press release, "SOE will grant customers 30 days of additional time on their subscriptions, in addition to compensating them one day for each day the system is down. It is also in the process of outlining a 'make good' plan for its PlayStation 3 MMOs (DC Universe Online and Free Realms). More information will be released this week."
Patience is a virtue.....
# May 02 2011 at 5:01 PM Rating: Decent
*
95 posts
Hiring an outside firm to conduct an investigation...hire the SEALS team that got Osama to go after this group. Im gonna guess, and it is just a guess but id put it at the very minimum of a day.
____________________________
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Schuyler
70 Cleric
<Axiom>

Tunare:

Ktorsa
85 Beastlord
press release
# May 02 2011 at 5:00 PM Rating: Decent
40 posts
That was so much newspeak gibberish with basically no info concerning the games/websites affected.
whin
# May 02 2011 at 4:54 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
is the question of the day
No, they didn't
# May 02 2011 at 4:52 PM Rating: Decent
17 posts
That does nothing to put any timeline on their efforts to get the servers back up.
No, they didn't
# May 02 2011 at 5:27 PM Rating: Decent
*
62 posts
Tyghsd wrote:
That does nothing to put any timeline on their efforts to get the servers back up.


the time is when when SOE and the security firm are sure that they accounts are secure, one day, one week does not matter.

Have already canceld the card that I paid the subscirption with and do not intend on adding anything back until it is shown secure
epic fail
# May 02 2011 at 4:51 PM Rating: Decent
*
70 posts
All I want is a rough estimate of when it will be back up, so I can stop clicking to see if it is. I am cool with that,, just tell me, 1 week? 3 weeks? Just rough ballpark it so I can stop trying to log in every 30 minutes
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epic fail
# May 02 2011 at 5:15 PM Rating: Decent
*
62 posts
RoninWare wrote:
All I want is a rough estimate of when it will be back up, so I can stop clicking to see if it is. I am cool with that,, just tell me, 1 week? 3 weeks? Just rough ballpark it so I can stop trying to log in every 30 minutes


would suggest to try in a day or so...
epic fail
# May 02 2011 at 6:03 PM Rating: Decent
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62 posts
Playstation Network for PS3 has been down for over a week now for this very same problem and it's still down. I just looked at the Playstation Network website and they still don't have a date yet of when it will be back up and running so I would say we won't be playing EQ or EQ2 or any other SOE MMO's for at least another week or so unfortunately. I'll still check the eqplayers.com every day just in case, but it doesn't look good if you've been following the news reports online.
epic fail
# May 02 2011 at 5:06 PM Rating: Decent
10 posts
Omg I'm with you. I could just play another game, watch a movie, read a book, consider chatting to a family memeber...probably not but if I just knew when I could stop running over every half hour just to see. Am 1% away from 90, got all my new T4 gear and all my spells. *shakes tiny ineffectual fist*
epic fail
# May 02 2011 at 5:35 PM Rating: Decent
12 posts
Thanks for this one. Actually really did LOL. /raises another tiny ineffectual fist in support.
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# May 02 2011 at 4:51 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
*
158 posts
They answered that:

"We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable."

AKA

ASAP
Nope
# May 02 2011 at 4:55 PM Rating: Default
17 posts
How do you say they answered my question? They tapdanced around it.
When??
# May 02 2011 at 4:47 PM Rating: Decent
17 posts
Ok, thank you SoE for the update....only one problem. When do you anticipate the servers being returned to service???
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