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Sony's SOE Suffers Breach, 24 Million Affected

Sony has confirmed a Sony Online Entertainment hack that could affect as many as 25 million users. The attack occurred prior to the hack that saw the personal data of 77 million PSN users compromised and prompted Sony to switch off PSN pending investigation. However, though it’s said to have taken place on April 16 and 17, Sony isn’t treating this as a second attack. Given that it’s similar in nature to the PSN intrusion that occurred on April 17-19, Sony is treating the two incidents as related.

Sony says that the intrusion, discovered yesterday during investigations into the PSN breach, affects 24.6 million SOE accounts, and yes, the stolen information does include some credit and debit card details. However, Sony says the credit card database targeted was outdated and that the information stolen is from 2007. So, depending on the issuing bank, many cards in use in 2007 could be out of date by now.

The compromised credit and debit information includes 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. Additionally, the 10,700 direct debit records from accounts in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain include customers’ bank account number, name, account name, and address.

On top of that, Sony says hackers also gained access to a database containing other personal data. Sony advised SOE users in an email that their name, address, email, birth date, phone number and other information may have been stolen in the attack.

Reports of SOE being down started trickling in yesterday afternoon, and Sony intends to compensate users for the loss of service.

"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," the company said in a statement.

Similar to the PSN situation, Sony is also in the process of creating a "make good" plan for its PlayStation3 MMOs (DC Universe Online and Free Realms). More information is expected to be released this week.