Feeds

PlayStation Network credit cards protected by encryption

User passwords? Not so much

High performance access to file storage

All credit card information stored on Sony's PlayStation Network was encrypted, the company said one day after warning users their user names, passwords, birth dates and home addresses were stolen in a security breach.

“The entire credit card table was encrypted and we have no evidence that credit card data was taken,” Sony representatives wrote in the update, which was posted late on Wednesday. “The personal data table, which is a separate data set, was not encrypted, but was, of course, behind a very sophisticated security system that was breached in a malicious attack.”

The update clarifies statements Sony made on Tuesday that the stolen information may have included payment-card data, purchase history, billing addresses, and security answers used to change passwords. It didn't provide details about the encryption used to protect card data, but assuming it followed standard industry practices, it was likely enough to prevent the information from being used by the hackers behind the break in.

Wednesday's update follows multiple news reports that recounted PSN users who reported credit card fraud that seemed to coincide with the breach.

Noticeably absent from Sony's update was the status of passwords used to log in to the PlayStation Network. Industry practices dictate they should never be stored in clear text, but rather should be run through a one-way cryptographic hash algorithm, which converts each string in plaintext to a unique set of characters that can never be reversed.

As we've learned from last year's mammoth website hack at Gawker and numerous other security breaches, users frequently employ the same credentials for numerous accounts, making all of them vulnerable when a single one is compromised. Sony's update strongly urged PlayStation Network users who use the same account name and password for unrelated services to change them.

The update said that Sony has sent the majority of its 77 million users an email informing them of the breach and the steps they should take to protect themselves in its aftermath. The company also said it is working to track down the perpetrators.

“We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation and are working closely with a recognized technology security firm and law enforcement in order to find those responsible for this criminal act no matter where in the world they might be located,” Sony representatives wrote.

They said they expect some online PlayStation services to resume this Tuesday. The network has been inaccessible since April 20, when Sony took it offline. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.