Unauthorized access hits Sony PlayStation accounts

TOKYO (AP) — Sony said Wednesday it has detected a large number of unauthorized attempts to access user accounts on its PlayStation Network and other online entertainment services.

The Tokyo-based company temporarily locked about 93,000 accounts whose IDs and passwords were successfully verified by the intruders. Sony has sent email notifications and password reset procedures to affected customers on the PlayStation Network, Sony Entertainment Network and Sony Online Entertainment services.

Sony said credit card numbers linked to the compromised accounts are not at risk. It has “taken steps to mitigate the activity” and is investigating any wrongful use of the accounts themselves.

Sony Playstation

Sony Playstation 3. Pic: AP.

The announcement follows an embarrassing data breach in April, which compromised personal data from more than 100 million online gaming and entertainment accounts and forced PlayStation Network to be shut for a month.

Sony confirmed the latest incidents after its security systems detected an unusually high number of log-in attempts that failed, said Sony spokesman Sean Yoneda. The company suspects that those responsible obtained large data sets from other companies or sources, which were then used to try to access Sony accounts.

“What happened in April was a breach on our servers as we said in our announcements,” Yoneda said. “But this time around, there was no intrusion on our servers. This was … taking someone else’s identity and trying to use that to access our services.”

The access attempts occurred between Oct. 7 and Oct. 10 and targeted accounts globally.

Sony’s customer service centers around the world have not seen a spike in user calls related to the incidents, Yoneda said.