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Monday, May 02, 2011
Sony Suspends SOE Gaming System

Sony has suspended another of its online gaming systems, following the recent PlayStation Network hack.

The company took the Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) service offline as part of its wider investigation into security breaches. Sony Online Entertainment games are available on personal computers, Facebook and the PlayStation 3 console. Its most popular games include "EverQuest," "Free Realms" and "DC Universe Online."

With the current outage of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services and the ongoing investigation into the recent attacks, SOE had also undertaken an investigation into its system. During the investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) systems, Sony on May 2 found that that hackers may have stolen SOE user information on April 16th and 17th, 2011 (PDT). SOE is based in San Diego, California, U.S.A.

"Personal information from approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts may have been stolen, as well as certain information from an outdated database from 2007, "Sony said. "The information from the outdated database that may have been stolen includes approximately 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes), and about 10,700 direct debit records of certain customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain," the company added.

Upon discovery of this additional information, the company promptly shut down all servers related to SOE services.

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 will also send e-mails to all its consumers whose data may have been stolen.

The personal information of the approximately 24.6 million SOE accounts that was illegally obtained, to the extent it had been provided to SOE, is as follows: name, address, e-mail address, birthdate, gender, phone number,login name and hashed password.

In addition to the information above, the 10,700 direct debit records from accounts in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, include: bank account number, customer name, account name and customer address.

SOE will grant customers 30 days of additional time on their subscriptions, in addition to compensating them one day for each day the system is down. It is also in the process of outlining a "make good" plan for its PlayStation 3 MMOs (DC Universe Online and Free Realms).

Last week, Sony said that it did not believe SOE users had been affected by the PlayStation Network hack.

As Sony's investigation continued, the company promised that it would get the PlayStation network up-and-running again this week.

PlayStation Network has been unavailable since 20 April.

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