The Most Useful Official FAQ Regarding PSN Blackout!

PlayStation America has finally written a very useful and info-filled FAQ about the whole PSN fiasco, rebutting many recent claims and call-outs by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal…along with many other fans and PSN owners who have been left in the dark by Sony’s previous vague statements. While there’s still no mention of when the network goes online, there are a lot of frank answers, including reaffirming the existence of Anonymous. They also hint at a possible financial compromise to PSN customers who have been affected. Could it be free downloadable games or an extension of your PSN+ subscription once the network goes back online?

For your convenience, I’m going to copy and paste the whole FAQ here. But you should check their page constantly for more updates on the matter.

Source: PlayStation America Support

1. When did the PSN/Qriocity become unavailable?
PSN/Qriocity services have not been available since April 20 (US time) in all regions.

 

2. Why did the PSN/Qriocity become unavailable?
An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

 

3. Why was Sony not prepared for a compromise of its network?
We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation. Since this is an overall security related issue, we cannot comment further at this time.

 

4. Is the attack by “Anonymous” or another party?
We are currently conducting a thorough investigation of the situation. Since this is an overall security related issue, we cannot comment further at this time.

 

5. Why is it taking so long to restore network services?
As soon as we learned of this issue, we temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services in order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services. Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure. Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security.

 

6. How serious is this compromise? How will Sony prevent this from happening again?
Because there is an on-going investigation we cannot comment further at this time, but we are working to restore and maintain and strengthen the services, including incorporating additional countermeasures to ward against future intrusions.

 

7. When will service be restored?
We have a clear path to have PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems back online, and expect to restore some services within a week.

We will keep the service down to allow us to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure smooth operation of our network services when they return; we are working hard to resume the services as soon as we can be reasonably assured our security concerns have been addressed.

 

8. Did SOE experience an attack due to the same reason?
SOE’s services are currently available, but they did experience a service interruption due to an external attack. An investigation is ongoing.

 

9. Have you had such a long PSN/Qriocity service termination like this one in the past?
No.

 

10. Does PSN/Qriocity get attacked very often?
We cannot make any comments regarding this matter at this time.

 

11. I want my money back (subscription fee, content) since the PSN/Qriocity was not available.
While we are still assessing the impact of this incident, we recognize that this may have had financial impact on our loyal customers. We are currently reviewing options and will update you when the service is restored.

 

12. There seems to be some games that cannot be played even offline?
Some games may require access to PSN for trophy sync, security checks or other network functionality and therefore cannot be played offline.

 

13. Why are Sony Online Entertainment services available while PSN and Qriocity are still down and you (SCE/Sony) are not able to even tell us when it will come back again?
As our investigation in this matter is ongoing, we cannot comment further on this matter.

 

14. What personally identifying information do you suspect has been compromised?
Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information provided by PlayStation Network/Qriocity account holders: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birth date, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password, login, and handle/PSN online ID. Other profile data may also have been obtained, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip). If an account holder has authorized a sub-account for a dependent, the same data with respect to that dependent may have been obtained. If an account holder provided credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, it is possible that the credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.

 

15. How will I know if my personal information has been compromised?
We have provided notices to consumers at the email addresses associated with their PlayStation Network/Qriocity accounts. You may also visit www.us.playstation.com/support and www.qriocity.com for notices regarding this issue. In addition, we have taken steps to disseminate information regarding this issue to media outlets so that consumers are informed. To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant to review your credit card account statements and to monitor your credit reports.

 

16. What steps have you taken to investigate this compromise?
We have engaged an outside, recognized security firm to investigate this incident and to assist us in our ongoing efforts to protect your personally identifiable information.

 

17. I got an email from you asking for my PSN/Qriocity sign-in ID and password. Is it really you asking for this information?
Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking.

 

18. What should I do to avoid having my personal information compromised?
For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, postal mail or other scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. Additionally, if you use the same user name or password for your PlayStation Network or Qriocity service account for other

 

19. Why did Sony wait until now to tell PSN users that their personal information may have been compromised?
The nature of the intrusion required that we undertake an extensive and thorough investigation of the matter, which took considerable effort and time. We needed to make sure that we knew and understood the facts before providing the appropriate notice to PlayStation Network users.

 

Click here for more information regarding the PSN/Qriocity outage.

8 thoughts on “The Most Useful Official FAQ Regarding PSN Blackout!”

  1. There’s no doubt this is going to damage Sony’s reputation for online services. Whatever they do, they better make sure this doesn’t happen again. They can even hire an external company to try and help.

    Like I said in the other posts, this is just aweful timing.

    1. That’s what they actually did, Jarrod. They’ve been working with an external company for investigating the cause and restructuring the network. That’s how they knew it was a security intrusion in the first place. The name of this mysterious company hasn’t been mentioned.

  2. Ok interesting. I haven’t been following the story too closely, but that’s good that they used a third party to help them out. I do hope we can get an update by Friday at the latest. I wonder how much this is actually costing Sony. Imagine, no one is downloading anything from the store, no one is doing anything right now. There’s also the longterm brand damage this is causing.

    1. Things have been developing so fast it’s just hard to keep up. My post today is technically outdated. The first class action lawsuit is already underway. Sony released yet another FAQ regarding credit card information and an estimate for services to start running again. They’re saying that some services will be operation a week from yesterday, but the full network will not be unless Sony’s 100% confident it’s secure.

      This is huge stuff, you know. Like you said, it must be damaging to Sony. It’s surprising that with the recent jailbreak of the system that they didn’t even consider strengthening their online security ASAP. Having a worldwide intrusion means that their infrastructure sucks.

      I’d really like to make a timeline post compiling the whole PSN fiasco accurately and just stick it on the top of our page for easy updating, but it’s hard to get all the info with accurate dates by now.

  3. Yeah it’s not easy but we do have quite a bit of the info Ahmed. We also now that the entire network has been reworked from the ground up, and that developers have been given new SDK tools that will incorporate new security measures right in their games and upcoming patches. I can also confirm a security update, a big one I hear, is going to be released before any features go live and that we will have to set up a new code for the network.

    As you said, stuff is happening so fast right now it’s insane and I commend Sony on taking this as seriously as they have. This should also show them that they can never rest on their laurels.

  4. From what I understand, the major point of contention for many users was that Sony did not encrypt personal data (credit card data/numbers were encrypted, however). This led many people to believe that Sony was being negligent with their private information. I think this issue is being a bit overblown though. In the United States at least, the right to privacy is pretty much a myth, especially in the online world. I mean, does anyone else find it a little ironic when people complain about the PSN security breach on their Facebook page? The information that was most likely compromised was name, address, e-mail, etc. That kind of information can be culled very easily from other sources at nearly any given time, especially if you use social media or a smart phone. Apple tracks where you go at all times.

    The fact that Sony took down the PSN right away in response to the hacking to conduct a major restructuring does show that they are approaching the situation seriously. After all, PSN is a free service, and shouldn’t users be glad that Sony is taking the resolve the issue? It was not their fault that they were targeted by hackers and Sony was required by law to divulge details of the intrusion. Just because it happened doesn’t make Sony negligent–does Microsoft get sued every time someone makes a virus that affects Windows?

    It sounds like a lot of people are “moving away” from Sony and going over to Microsoft because they feel that they no longer trust the brand. The damage has already been done I think.

    1. Free or not, Tim, Sony are forced to fix it either way because we’re talking over 70 million PS3 users worldwide. They’re forced to take is seriously because if they don’t, they’ll look even worse to the public eye. Their base network was flawed which is why it was eventually hacked…thus the reformation of the whole network. They should’ve made it more secure in the first place. I mean…I would understand a breach to specific amount of users or one region of PSN, but a worldwide problem? Wow. Luckily, Sony pulled PSN offline before the hackers figured out how to fully access the encrypted data, most specifically credit card information.

      While the issue is overblown and Sony aren’t the first or last people to have a security breach, it doesn’t deserve to be downplayed. Being overblown is good because it puts them in the spotlight so that they can take it even more serious than ever before. It forces them to do better. If the hackers can access basic information like Facebook, then they can in theory get to our stored credit card info if Sony was undermining the situation and didn’t take the network offline.

      Personally, I’m just pissed that PSN has been taken down in a very good time. No Portal 2 or MK online for me, as well as the potential PSN games I was about to buy (Fancy Pants Adventures).

  5. Sony did the right thing and acted immediately on this issue. There isn’t really anything else they could have done to be perfectly honest. Could they have done something to prevent this from happening, yes, they likely could have. Has the damage been done, sure I believe it has, but to think that millions of people are suddenly going to throw away their PS3s to buy 360s and join Live is a bit of stretch. People simply love to complain, we live for it.

    Like Ahmed, the biggest issue for me is the inconvenience of the network being down. I want to play some SOCOM 4 online for review purposes ;)

Leave a Reply