PSN hacking fallout continues

On the downside, 2.2 million credit card numbers may (repeat may) be in the hands of hackers after the Sony PSN data breach. On the upside, everyone’s trophies are fine.

There have been several updates since our last report on the Sony breach. The company says that all credit card numbers stored on its servers were in encrypted form, meaning they will be of little use to hackers even if they are stolen, of which Sony says there is no evidence. (That does raise the question of whether other user data which is known to have been compromised was encrypted and, if not, why not.)

There are also several reports that the hackers claim to have 2.2 million credit card numbers, are looking for $100,000 for the lot, and have offered Sony first refusal on buying them back. Some reports even say the hackers claim to have the three-digit security codes from the back of each card, though that seems very unlikely and Sony has flatly denied that these codes were stored in any form.

Several sites are also reporting readers saying they have suffered credit card fraud since the attack and are blaming Sony. To be fair, with 77 million people involved, the chances are you’re going to be having fraud somewhere almost all the time, so it would take a huge number of cases before you could say with any confidence that these attacks are related to the Sony breach.

Back on the gaming side of things, Sony has confirmed that all PSN game settings and data will be restored in full once the network is back in action. As well as existing trophies being restored, Sony guarantees any trophies players have earned on offline games during the outage will be synced up safely when they go back online. Ridiculous as it may seem given the high stakes of the data breach, it has to be said that this news will save Sony from an even worse public relations disaster.

As for compensation, Sony has said: ” We are currently evaluating ways to show appreciation for your extraordinary patience as we work to get these services back online.” Naturally that’s going to be tricky for a free service, and a cash bonus looks out of the question. It might be a smart move to give everyone a short period of free access to PlayStation Plus (while extending the subscriptions of existing members appropriately): as well as being an effective goodwill gesture, it could serve as excellent “try before you buy” marketing.

Sony has also said it is working on a “make good plan” for players of DC Universe Online and Free Realms, which of course have been completely unplayable during the outage.