Sat, May 21, 2011 | 16:43 BST
Sony’s So-Net in Japan finds evidence of intrusion, $1,225 points stolen
So-Net, a service provider for Sony users in Japan, was broken into and someone stole $1,225 worth of total virtual points from 128 account holders.
Another 73 accounts were accessed without points being redeemed, and 90 email accounts on the So-Net network were compromised.
It said there is no evidence that any personal data such as names, addresses, birth dates or phone numbers were viewed.
Due to the virtual theft, So-Net alerted its customers and have stopped So-Net points exchanges and have asked customers to change their passwords. So-net said the hacker tried 10,000 times to access the firm’s point service, which doles out customer reward points that can be traded for Sony products and online currency.
“Although we can’t completely rule out the possibility that there is a connection with the PSN issue, the likelihood is low,” said Keisuke Watabe, a spokesman at So-net Entertainment, who feels it is unlikely because the intrusion used was much different than previous attacks on Sony.
“At this point in our investigations, we have not confirmed any data leakage,” said Watabe. “We have not found any sign of a possibility that a third party has obtained members’ names, address, birth dates and phone numbers.”
Around 100,000 yen ($1,225) was stolen from attacked accounts, and there was no evidence to support the possibility of other accounts in the online system being hacked.
“Sony is going through a pretty rigorous process and finding the holes to fill,” said Josh Shaul, chief technology officer for computer security firm Application Security. “The hackers are going through the same process and they’re putting their fingers in the holes faster than Sony can fill them.”
Shaul said all the attention Sony has been getting over its hacking troubles, have made the firm’s systems a beacon to hackers.
“I think it’s now, ‘I’m a hacker and I’m bored,’ let’s go after Sony,” he said.
So-Net discovered the breach on May 18 customers called in to complain about their missing points, with the firm finding that the intrusion took place on May 16 and 17.
Sony and Sony’s financial unit owns around 58 percent of So-Net.