The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has joined the FBI, Federal Trade Commission and 22 state attorneys general in investigating last week's PlayStation Network breach. That "malicious intrusion" into Sony's online network and its Qriocity service forced PlayStation owners offline and threatened the security of some 77 million accounts.
Homeland Security says it is "aware of the recent cyber intrusion" to Sony's online infrastructure, according to a report from NextGov. DHS spokesman Chris Ortman tells the site that the department's "Computer Emergency Readiness Team is working with law enforcement, international partners and Sony to assess the situation."
CERT, established in 2003, is the operational arm of the National Cyber Security Division at the Department of Homeland Security. Its purpose is to coordinate response to security threats from the Internet.
Yesterday, the FBI confirmed to Kotaku it is "presently reviewing the available information in an effort to determine the facts and circumstances concerning this alleged criminal activity."
Personal data culled from the exposure of millions of PlayStation Network and Qriocity accounts may expose external accounts, including those of government, business and financial institutions. Sony warned its customers this week to be wary of telephone and e-mail scams that may exploit personal details stolen from PSN.
Sony said in a statement earlier this week that it believes user information including names, addresses, birth dates, email addresses, login names and passwords may have been exposed, as that data was not encrypted on the company's PlayStation Network. The PlayStation maker says stored credit card data was encrypted, stressing that "there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken," though it could not rule out the possibility.
For PlayStation 3 owners, the one bright light in this ordeal was that Friends Lists and PlayStation Trophies are expected to remain intact when the service returns, likely sometime next week.