Although it was first reported that Sony's online game publishing division had not been affected by the recent PSN and Qriocity woes, Sony Online Entertainment have issued a statement confirming that the intrusion has indeed extended to them and that as many as 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been breeched and 12,700 stored customer credit card numbers may have been stolen.
SOE's systems include the user accounts for their many online games such as Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies and most recently DC Universe Online. More disappointingly, the press release
admits that the the data was allegedly stole on April 16th and 17th, the same time as the PlayStation Network intrusion, yet even with all the PSN furore they have seemingly only discovered this now.
Upon discovery of this additional information, the company promptly shut down all servers related to SOE services while continuing to review and upgrade all of its online security systems in the face of these unprecedented cyber-attacks.
On May 1, Sony apologized to its customers for the inconvenience caused by its network services outages. The company is working with the FBI and continuing its own full investigation while working to restore all services.
Sony is making this disclosure as quickly as possible after the discovery of the theft, and the company has posted information on its website and will send e-mails to all consumers whose data may have been stolen.
The release ambiguously refers to the breach as affecting "non-us" credit and debit card records and only specifically mentions out-dated 2007 records from several European countries. However given their slow response on this matter, we recommend that any Australian customers should also take the proper precautions. All SOE customers should be aware that unscrupulous entities responsible for the attack very likely have access to a large portion of data that could include their name, address, e-mail address, birthdate, gender, phone number, login name and hashed (not plain text, but potentially decryptable) password. All users should ensure that if they use the same account username and password on other services, that they change those as soon as possible.
In an attempt to save face, SOE will be offering 30 days free time on subscriptions and are also preparing what they're referring to as "make good" plan for PS3 players of Free Realms and DC Universe Online. See the complete press release for more details