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PSN Return Delayed, Sony Removes Exposed Personal Details

PSN Return Delayed, Sony Removes Exposed Personal Details

May 7, 2011 | By Kris Graft

Sony on Friday said it would have to further delay the return of PlayStation Network following a massive security breach, just as reports stated hackers posted personal details from a Sony database.

According to Reuters report out of Tokyo, Sony was able to remove those published details from a website, although the report didn't say exactly what website hosted the stolen information.

Personal details of some 2,500 people were posted, including names and "some addresses" that were in a 2001 database. The security breach has affected 77 million PSN and Qriocity accounts, and 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment accounts.

The news of the publishing of the details comes just as Sony confirmed that PSN would not be relaunching some network services as soon as planned. Previously, the company said it hoped to start a relaunch within a week of a PSN press conference that occurred April 30.

And on Thursday, Sony Computer Entertainment America said that it was in the final stages of testing its new security system. But a Sony spokeswoman confirmed with Reuters that relaunching within the original expected time frame would not be possible, and there is no firm date for the return of online services.

The latest note from SCEA senior director of corporate communications Patrick Seybold on Friday night said, "When we held the press conference in Japan last week, based on what we knew, we expected to have the services online within a week."

"We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system," he added. "...Additional comprehensive system checks and testing are still required, and we must complete that process before bringing the systems online."

Sony is also reportedly considering offering a reward for help in catching the perpetrators of the cyber attack, according to Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital blog, which cited "people familiar with the matter."

The reward may or may not be implemented, the report said, as Sony executives are weighing the pros and cons of such a move, which would be made in coordination with law enforcement.

[UPDATE: An update to the Reuters report and a separate report on The Wall Street Journal said the personal information was on a Sony-affiliated website, which the company was unaware was accessible to people outside of Sony.

The information was made public by cyber intruders and was from a 2001 product sweepstakes contest. No credit cards, social security numbers or passwords were revealed. The company took down the website on Thursday.

"The website was out of date and inactive when discovered as part of the continued attacks on Sony," the company said.]

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