Everything You Need To Know About The PlayStation Network Hack

Illustration for article titled Everything You Need To Know About The PlayStation Network Hack

It has been almost a week since Playstation Network went offline because of an external intrusion.


Now that Sony has confirmed that it's going to be another week or so and that personal information has been stolen from their databases, I bet you have a bunch of questions. Well, we have some answers.

Drop more in here and we'll see what we can do to get to the bottom of them for you.

The BIG PSN Outage FAQ

I can't remember, did I need to use a credit card to create a Playstation Network account?
No, that's only required if you added funds to your wallet to purchase content on your PS3 like a game, add-on or movie.

What if I can't remember if I used a credit card?
Try searching through your emails for anything from DoNotReply@ac.playstation.net.

What if I did use a credit card on the Playstation Network?
While Sony says they have no evidence credit card numbers were stolen, they also say they're not sure they weren't. Now might be a good time to cancel your current card and get a replacement.


What if I didn't use a credit card on my account. Am I safe?
Yes and no. Your credit card info is safe, but your personal information may be out there in the wrong hands. It might be a good idea to keep an eye out for phishing scams, watch your credit report and make sure you change your passwords if you re-used them in multiple places.

What information was taken from Sony?
Sony has confirmed that account information has been compromised, including name, address, and login information for the PlayStation Network and the Qriocity music service.


So how do I check my credit?
U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228. You can also check the three bureaus individually:

Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790


When will the Playstation Network be back up?
As of April 26, Sony is expecting the PlayStation Network to be back up "within a week."

How long has PSN been down?
The system went down last Wednesday, April 20th. (That's seven days if you're keeping score.)


Can I play games without going online, either by myself or with a friend locally?
Absolutely. Almost every PS3 game, whether it's played via disc or download, will work so long as you're using a mode that doesn't require PSN access. (That's internet multiplayer, mostly.) There is a small exception to this, which I'll explain a little later.

What about using a LAN?
Sure, a setting up a little LAN party would be a great alternative. The only problem is that the selection of LAN-capable PS3 games is pretty limited.


Is Anonymous responsible?
Probably not. The group has publicly denied their involvement, and there has been no definitive proof to say otherwise.

So why are they being arrested?
They aren't. The rumor is based on an old press release from January.


Some games use digital rights management to prevent piracy. Will that affect my ability to play?
As of now, the only games that we know to be affected are a pair of Capcom downloadable games, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 and the Final Fight/Magic Sword game pack.


So I can't play any games online or use PSN. Can I still use non-game PSN apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc?
Netflix works on and off if you're persistent enough. The others not at all.


What about features like the browser, which use the internet, but aren't connected to PSN?
Users have reported via forums that the PS3 browser still works.

Can I still get system updates?
The system update feature is not connected to PSN and is therefore functional. (Ever notice that you have to sign out of PSN to download an update?) Users can still also download system updates via the Playstation website.


Is there a chance my trophies could get wiped?
Trophies will not update as long as PSN is down, but since most of them are not internet-based, it's likely (but not definite) that the trophies that you earn during the shutdown will be added to your account when it updates once PSN is back online. If you were to delete your account or if your console were to crash, however, you would definitely lose any trophies earned while PSN is down. Currently, it is not possible to check trophies via the Playstation website.

Will I lose my saved game data?
Not likely, your saved game data is stored on your hard drive, and therefore should not be affected by the outage.


Am I more likely to lose my data if I've been using the cloud storage feature of
Playstation Plus?
No. While you definitely aren't able to update any data you've saved in the cloud, the cloud data is technically a copy of whatever was saved from your machine, so even if the back-up data was lost your save would still be in tact on the machine where it was originally recorded.

Wait I have some questions you didn't or can't answer. Can I ask Sony directly?
Yes, Sony says you should contact them if you have any additional questions at: 1-800-345-7669.


See Also

Sony Comes Clean: PlayStation Network Hackers Have Stolen Personal Data

A security breach in the Playstation Network by still unidentified hackers resulted in stolen personal information, Sony confirmed today. Sony says while personal information was likely stolen they don't believe credit card numbers were and that they hope to have the Playstation Network service back ...More »


Despite Reports, No Arrest Yet in Playstation Network Outage

No arrests have been made connected to the Playstation outage, Kotaku has confirmed, despite a story making the rounds that claims FBI and others have issues warrants and made arrests.
Speaking to the FBI this morning, Kotaku confirmed there have been no arrests in the U.S.
The story, which seemed... More »



Sony Doesn't Know Yet If Your Credit Card Number Was Stolen

Sony has not yet determined if the personal information or credit card numbers of users on the still-offline Playstation Network have been stolen, according to a Sony spokesman.
Sony Computer Entertainment is conducting "thorough investigation" into the outage, Satoshi Fukuoka, a spokesman for Sony... More »



Sony Working Around the Clock To Restore Playstation Network and Online Gaming

Sony officials continue to work around the clock to bring the downed Playstation Network back online after an "external intrusion" forced the company to take the system down.
A Saturday night update said that the company is rebuilding their system to "further strengthen our network infrastructure",... More »




So the increasingly credible rumor that the network is down until they patch a use hole involving dev console spoofing, fake credit cards, and illegally downloading PSN content has made me realize something.

What is it about the PS3 that draws hackers out of the woodwork? There was the GeoHotz incident, constant accusations of hacking in games like Modern Warfare, and now this. I am not foolish enough to think Microsoft is immune to problems, but PSN seems to be in the news far more often for hack-related incidents.

Is it because Sony just flat out sucks as security? Is it because PS3 is seen as the more tech-saavy console? Was it the initial ability to install Linux? Is it because online is free?

I am just curious what other Kotaku(ites) think.