Sony security says it thwarted a 'massive attack' on its networks

Hold onto your hats, Sony's Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment networks once again have been targeted by hackers, Sony's security chief Tuesday said telling users some 93,000 accounts had been compromised.

"We have detected attempts... to test a massive set of sign-in IDs and passwords against our network database," wrote Philip Reitinger, Sony's new SVP and chief information security officer. "These attempts appear to include a large amount of data obtained from one or more compromised lists from other companies, sites or other sources." The affected accounts were locked down.

Reitiner said that since the data tested in the brute-force attack consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs that mostly failed, "it is likely the data came from another source and not from our Networks."

About 0.1 percent of the PSN, SEN and SOE audience may have been affected, he said, including 60,000 PSN/SEN accounts and 33,000 SOE.

"Only a small fraction of these 93,000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked," he said. "We are currently reviewing those accounts for unauthorized access and will provide more updates as we have them."

He said credit card data was not compromised and promised Sony would "work with any users whom we confirm have had unauthorized purchases made to restore amounts in the PSN/SEN or SOE wallet."

PSN and SEN users who may have been affected will receive an email from Sony prompting a password reset. Affected SOE customers also should expect an email advising users of the necessary steps in order to validate their account credentials.

In April, Sony discovered a major security breech of its networks and said some 77 million users' data, including names, addresses, passwords and purchase histories, were exposed. The networks were shut down until May and resulted in a wave of negative publicity for the company. One crisis strategist even said Sony's handling of its string of network hacks was similar to the way BP oil execs mishandled the massive oil spill in Gulf of Mexico last year.

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