Smedley: Sony network attack unrelated to April hack

By Brenna Hillier, Thursday, 13 October 2011 05:43 GMT

Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has reiterated that a recent attack on Sony’s networks did not utilise data harvested during the mid-April PSN hack.

“We’ve said publicly when we were compromised before that the information is out there and could have been used. That was obviously the first thing we looked at,” Smedley told Gamespot.

“Then we did the mathematical analysis and said, ‘Obviously that’s not what happened.’

“I’m not going to say it’s impossible [the info came from Sony]. We just think that’s not the most likely case.”

Smedley said the low success rate of the attack one of the reasons Sony’s fairly certain the login details used didn’t come from the PSN hack.

“It’s just simple math. There was such a small percentage of successes. They were attacking with a large number. Because of that, the math tells us it wasn’t [Sony’s information],” he said.

The SOE president said many of the accounts targeted by the attack were dormant.

“Those people in many cases had not yet done their password change. It takes some work to get them to focus on that,” he said, asking again for account holders to secure their passwords.

Sony revealed yesterday that its family of networks – the PSN, SEN and SOE – were hit by a huge attack. 93,000 accounts were compromised; a tiny percentage of all users and a very poor success rate for the attackers. The attack is suspected to have originated in a database of user names and passwords gathered from a hack on another company, and no financial details were exposed.

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John Smedley