Sony Again Targeted by Hackers

Dennis Faas's picture

Less than a year after Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) was nailed by a widespread security breach, it appears the online video game service has yet again been exposed by another attack by hackers. According to reports, the Japanese firm was recently forced to lock nearly 100,000 users accounts to prevent the breach from spreading.

Back in the spring, Sony faced a massive security breach that paralyzed PSN for about a month. Hundreds of thousands of user accounts were exposed in that attack, forcing Sony to make apology after apology and even issue online credits for free games.

PCWorld suggests that Sony wasn't hacked because, technically, it was a brute-force attack which had limited access to user accounts, rather than an entire system.

" It may be tempting to call any illicit online behavior a 'hack,' ... but in actuality, this story circulating about Sony being hacked gets the most critical detail dead wrong ... Trying user names and passwords -- en masse or [not] -- isn't a hack ...  A hack involves gaining unauthorized access to data in a system. Unless Sony's not telling us something, it sounds like all these folks gained (fleeting) access to was the purchase power of a relatively small number of Sony online accounts. " (Source:

Memories of PSN Hack Come Flooding Back

Regardless of the technicalities, for Sony PlayStation 3 users, this most recent attack is going to bring back bad memories.

In a statement released last Wednesday, Sony admitted it was recently forced to lock down about 93,000 user accounts after it discovered a surge in unauthorized log-in attempts. Sony elaborated on the subject by adding that attempts to hack the system have been high all week long. (Source:

The 93,000 user accounts targeted have been shut down while Sony emails those people to request that they switch their passwords immediately.

It would appear Sony believes it made all the right moves here in maintaining the protection of user information. "We were able to move swiftly, and we believe very few accounts were actually accessed," said Sony representative, Satoshi Fukoka.

Not all PlayStation 3 users will see it that way, however. Since there have been comparably few reports of attacks against the online platforms of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii, Sony's system looks pretty vulnerable to those mulling over which console to choose.

Bad News Not Limited to Gaming

Bad news for Sony last week wasn't limited to PSN, either. The company also recently admitted it had discovered a defect in its Bravia televisions that, in some cases, could lead to overheating, smoking, and even the melting of internal components.

About 1.6 million Bravia flat screen TVs are said to be affected. (Source:

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