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-   -   *ren* PSN Down, Customer Info Compromised (http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?t=60017)

mrcorbo 29-Apr-2011 13:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by TrungGap (Post 1547343)
I'm no Sony fanboy, but I think Sony is doing a good job at this. Yes, there are security lapses, but that's will happen when you're rushing to play catchup. Giving their current situation, I don't think you can expect anyone (even MS or Google) to do better. It takes time for engineering to figure out what's going on. It takes time have all these information flow to the appropriate key individual. What they have done is pretty agile for a company of their size. Have you ever move a data center? Trust me, it's not something you can do easily. It takes a lot of key individuals to align themselves and guts to make it happen.

So +1 for Sony. I'm not happy that this security breach happens, but I'm happy have with the way they reacted/responded.

The damning fact for me is that they deemed this intrusion serious enough to shut down the network right away. At this point, issuing a notice to their customers that the network had been breached by an unknown party and that they were investigating the extent of the intrusion would have been appropriate. Instead they said nothing. I won't accept this as an appropriate reaction. You may disagree, but I expect better and hopefully most agree with me. Customer backlash is the only way that not only Sony, but all other companies will be forced to handle these situations in a more customer-focused way.

mrcorbo 29-Apr-2011 14:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by archie4oz (Post 1547312)
Yes, and reading a PR FAQ isn't necessary for me to know how the PSN works. I'm fairly confident of my knowledge of the workings of the PSN (marketing name) vs. the information of a generalized PR release.

You should contact them and let them know that you are fairly confident the official Q&A that they are directing customers to on this issue is wrong. After all, it wouldn't be the first time that a 3rd party taught them something about their network they didn't know.

Cheezdoodles 29-Apr-2011 14:29

Quote:

I'm no Sony fanboy, but I think Sony is doing a good job at this. Yes, there are security lapses, but that's will happen when you're rushing to play catchup. Giving their current situation, I don't think you can expect anyone (even MS or Google) to do better. It takes time for engineering to figure out what's going on
Good Job? AGAIN a bare minimum , if your security is breached and you have sensitive customer information, you should immediately alert your customers.

While it takes some engineering to figure out what has been taken, that is irrelevant. If you know there is a risk customer info is out, and this can later be used for fraud, that is a big deal!

While you loose some face on this, the other outcome is much worse. By the looks of it, they have not obtained cc info. What if they had? In a week, you could scam a significant amount of people, and people wouldn't have been able to do anythinng.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arwin (Post 1547323)
What do you guys think of this, taken frim the latest Eurogamer.net article on the subject:

Heh i would be slamming them for not issuing the information immediately. Just like the senator.

Cheezdoodles 29-Apr-2011 14:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyan (Post 1547377)
Don't make the mistake of believing that these big companies, be it either Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo, have a soul or a heart. I've seen too much and know quite a few things to begin comprehending all the nasty things these companies do, not only to customers but also to their employees. .

You do not need a soul or heart. All you need is to understand that your customers is by far the most vital part of your success:

Assume that CC info actually was stolen from all of us.

And that Sony did not inform us until a week after the fact, and lots of people got scammed in the meanwhile.

What do you think would happend to their customer base, and global perception?

Nesh 29-Apr-2011 14:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheezdoodles (Post 1547384)
You do not need a soul or heart. All you need is to understand that your customers is by far the most vital part of your success:

Assume that CC info actually was stolen from all of us.

And that Sony did not inform us until a week after the fact, and lots of people got scammed in the meanwhile.

What do you think would happend to their customer base, and global perception?

Even as such that doesnt mean they wouldnt/dont go against morals when they have interests and know they wont suffer any consequences.

Now regarding why they informed the customers late, there is a possible logical explanation. When you want to communicate to the customer an issue you want to communicate it clearly and once. And to do that you have to assess the real magnitude of the problem and its nature as much as possible. Its bad practice to inform the customer about an issue, then come back to him and tell him things were actually different or worse.

If I were in their shoes I would have faced a huge dilemma

AlNets 29-Apr-2011 15:08

http://ca.kotaku.com/5796902/there-a...ls-up-for-sale

That should read "2.2 Million" in the URL, not 22 million. :p

Quote:

According to Kevin Stevens, an online security expert with TrendMicro, "low-level cybercriminals" are currently shopping around lists supposedly containing the credit card details of 2.2 million PlayStation Network members.
hm... :s

mrcorbo 29-Apr-2011 15:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nesh (Post 1547385)
Even as such that doesnt mean they wouldnt/dont go against morals when they have interests and know they wont suffer any consequences.

Now regarding why they informed the customers late, there is a possible logical explanation. When you want to communicate to the customer an issue you want to communicate it clearly and once. And to do that you have to assess the real magnitude of the problem and its nature as much as possible. Its bad practice to inform the customer about an issue, then come back to him and tell him things were actually different or worse.

If I were in their shoes I would have faced a huge dilemma

I would hope that going forward that all companies will have a contingency plan in place for this scenario that includes a pre-approved list of customer communications during the incident. Sony's response from a technical perspective seems to have been pre-planned and smoothly executed but I suspect there was a lot of back and forth between their legal and PR departments as to what information they were going to release publicly.

digitalwanderer 29-Apr-2011 15:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlStrong (Post 1547388)
http://ca.kotaku.com/5796902/there-a...ls-up-for-sale

That should read "2.2 Million" in the URL, not 22 million. :p



hm... :s

http://www.moonbattery.com/mushroom-cloud.jpg

AlNets 29-Apr-2011 15:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by digitalwanderer (Post 1547390)


pf... well, maybe if it is true. :p

Carl B 29-Apr-2011 16:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by archie4oz (Post 1547312)
Yes, and reading a PR FAQ isn't necessary for me to know how the PSN works. I'm fairly confident of my knowledge of the workings of the PSN (marketing name) vs. the information of a generalized PR release.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if their formal FAQ response contained errors; such would be the irony and reinforcement of their poor communications handling through this though.

Phil 29-Apr-2011 16:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheezdoodles (Post 1547383)
Good Job? AGAIN a bare minimum , if your security is breached and you have sensitive customer information, you should immediately alert your customers.

I hate to sound like I'm defending, but it's hard to imagine what exactly happened. We're probably dealing with a very complex network with a lot of servers involved. I could imagine that at some point, some technician probably noticed things being off, parts of data that is corrupt or changed in some way alluding to perhaps a malfunction. Then a cup of coffee later, at some point after a little bit of digging, something seems terribly wrong. Now how fast do you think this kind of information passes up the ranks? How fast do you think you know of the true extend of that your system has been intruded and how much is at stake? Then after you know, you start to evaluate. Maybe the person in charge at the time isn't present, so it takes another few hours to get the message through "housten we have a problem". This isn't the type of company where you have a couple of technicians and a boss who is readily available to react to everything immediately.

You just don't shut things down, not when you're network has millions of customers accessing data at all times. And sending out 77 million email again is no small feat. I don't believe for a second that the true extend of the breach was something that was known quickly.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone will ever know the true extend of how the system was breached and how long it took Sony to figure that out. Of course it's somewhat disappointing for the network to go offline and for it to take them so long to make some notice about what happened. Then again, I'm not really sure I even trust the official statement that they turned off PSN or that when they did, they knew exactly what they were dealing with. That might explain their "back-foot" reaction since they've been offline and why we are hearing about what has happend so late.

Scott_Arm 29-Apr-2011 16:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by archie4oz (Post 1547317)
Why use a PS3? The PSP does the same shit and is a lot less secure and well known... Shit, why bother with clients at all?

Different clients may access PSN differently. If the PS3 was intended to be a closed system, with some level of trusted access, then it could be that hacking the PS3 opened a door into PSN that they never thought would be opened. I'm not saying he's right, but he does have some experience with the actual firmware and might understand a little bit more about how it interfaces with PSN, since he was looking at a way to have it operate on a completely different network.

Scott_Arm 29-Apr-2011 16:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil (Post 1547409)
I hate to sound like I'm defending, but it's hard to imagine what exactly happened. We're probably dealing with a very complex network with a lot of servers involved. I could imagine that at some point, some technician probably noticed things being off, parts of data that is corrupt or changed in some way alluding to perhaps a malfunction. Then a cup of coffee later, at some point after a little bit of digging, something seems terribly wrong. Now how fast do you think this kind of information passes up the ranks? How fast do you think you know of the true extend of that your system has been intruded and how much is at stake? Then after you know, you start to evaluate. Maybe the person in charge at the time isn't present, so it takes another few hours to get the message through "housten we have a problem". This isn't the type of company where you have a couple of technicians and a boss who is readily available to react to everything immediately.

You just don't shut things down, not when you're network has millions of customers accessing data at all times. And sending out 77 million email again is no small feat. I don't believe for a second that the true extend of the breach was something that was known quickly.

Unfortunately, I don't think anyone will ever know the true extend of how the system was breached and how long it took Sony to figure that out. Of course it's somewhat disappointing for the network to go offline and for it to take them so long to make some notice about what happened. Then again, I'm not really sure I even trust the official statement that they turned off PSN or that when they did, they knew exactly what they were dealing with. That might explain their "back-foot" reaction since they've been offline and why we are hearing about what has happend so late.

I think the problem with this reasoning is that they shut down PSN well before the admission of the data leak came out. When they shut PSN down entirely, they must have known that the breach was serious. If they did not know someone had attempted to steal data, then why did they shut it down?

Like I said earlier, at some point between shutting it down, and the release, they got the suspicion the hacker was trying to steal customer data. If they had that suspicion early on, they should have said something to their customers immediately, to help protect them, and they could have followed up later if it turned out that the data was not taken. If they had the suspicion later, why did it take so long?! You'd think the first thing they'd look at would be the integrity of their customer data. In one case you have incompetence, and in the other case you have customers as an afterthought.

JB9861 29-Apr-2011 16:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlStrong (Post 1547388)
http://ca.kotaku.com/5796902/there-a...ls-up-for-sale

That should read "2.2 Million" in the URL, not 22 million. :p



hm... :s

I've only seen one list so far so unsure if that's part of the *lists* that are being shopped around...but anyway its a fictional list. Would be unfortunate if CC info was ultimately comprised so I hope users are taking the proper precautionary measures to protect themselves.

archie4oz 29-Apr-2011 16:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carl B
I wouldn't be surprised at all if their formal FAQ response contained errors; such would be the irony and reinforcement of their poor communications handling through this though.

It's not necessarily wrong, it's just being interpreted by many incorrectly leading to false assumptions. Unencrypted database/tables != plain text passwords. You can still write encrypted data into unencrypted tables, you're just not encrypted database objects at a higher level. It's like the difference between having an encrypted files on an unencrypted HDD and encrypted the whole HDD.


In any case the whole *late* aspect is somewhat unrealistic too. How long did the State of Texas take to notify of it's breach? A year. How long did Gawker go exploited before notifying users? More than a Month. The latest breach at DoE OakRidge National Laboratory? A week. Epsilon? About 5 days from breach to when I started getting emails from their clients. By the standards of recent well known security breaches I'd say the response was fairly quick and reasonably measured. Also considering the significant signal to noise ratio coming off a massive DDOS, and subsequent focussed DDOS and probes, along with CFW/MFW users trying spoof access and/or accessing and downloading content from staging envs, along with the normal routine of maintenance and platform updates; the total shutdown was understandable (albeit still surprising even to me) just to reduce the noise floor of activity to ascertain damages.

Jedi2016 29-Apr-2011 17:09

The only thing that cracks me up about this mess are the people that are only complaining about the service being down. I appreciate the level of conversation in this thread, but read around some of the blogs and forums around the 'net, and you'll see a bunch of people whining that they can't play Black Ops online or whatever. Never mind my credit card and passwords, I want my frikkin' Black Ops. Those jackasses will be the first in line to get their bank accounts emptied, I'm sure.

As for the stuff that was taken, I'm not particularly worried about most of it. My name, handle, email, etc.. that's all public record. Probably wouldn't take too long on Google to pull up most of it.

The big question I have, the one that's come up in this thread several times, is how the password file was stored. Everyone assumes that it must have been encrypted, because of how stupid Sony would have to be to leave it as plaintext. But then there's that pesky press release of theirs that simply stated that the personal data files were not encrypted. I think we're in a gray area here, and I'd really like Sony to come out and say in plain English how the passwords were stored.

Frankly, I don't feel like going around and changing the email, name, and passwords of every site that I visit. Yeah, I can make it much safer by using randomly generated passwords on everything, but there's a fair number of sites I visit on my phone, which doesn't store passwords the way Firefox does. And I can just imagine trying to remember "kD(s&IN3%1sViK" every time I want to check my latest Amazon order. And then trying to type it into the iPhone's wonderful keyboard.

My point is that Sony needs to be abundantly clear on exactly what was taken, and what form it was taken in (encrypted, hashed, plaintext, etc). Then I can make an informed decision on exactly what I need to go change around the rest of the internet.

Carl B 29-Apr-2011 17:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by archie4oz (Post 1547424)
It's not necessarily wrong, it's just being interpreted by many incorrectly leading to false assumptions. Unencrypted database/tables != plain text passwords. You can still write encrypted data into unencrypted tables, you're just not encrypted database objects at a higher level. It's like the difference between having an encrypted files on an unencrypted HDD and encrypted the whole HDD.


In any case the whole *late* aspect is somewhat unrealistic too. How long did the State of Texas take to notify of it's breach? A year. How long did Gawker go exploited before notifying users? More than a Month. The latest breach at DoE OakRidge National Laboratory? A week. Epsilon? About 5 days from breach to when I started getting emails from their clients. By the standards of recent well known security breaches I'd say the response was fairly quick and reasonably measured. Also considering the significant signal to noise ratio coming off a massive DDOS, and subsequent focussed DDOS and probes, along with CFW/MFW users trying spoof access and/or accessing and downloading content from staging envs, along with the normal routine of maintenance and platform updates; the total shutdown was understandable (albeit still surprising even to me) just to reduce the noise floor of activity to ascertain damages.

Sony could definitely benefit by putting someone with a technical background in charge of the PR effort, even if only for a day, to at least spell out and clarify the nature of some of things you are alluding to, because I think it's understandable why people might reach the plain text conclusion. And in so doing, it doesn't help Sony's cause at the moment.

You're right about the length and severity of those other lapses you mentioned, but I'm not sure that does any assuaging in this particular case. It's different also in that Sony has actually shut down the related breached service in question indefinitely, with a not insignificant gap between the shutting down and the explanation commencing.

I'm not angry or anything with this turn of events; as others have mentioned, if the attackers were determined, the odds would be stacked against Sony regardless. But I can't give strong marks on the communications response on it even as such, and of course, I remain understandably aggravated that I'm at an unknown... or poorly communicated/understood... level of risk.

dobwal 29-Apr-2011 17:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nesh (Post 1547385)
Even as such that doesnt mean they wouldnt/dont go against morals when they have interests and know they wont suffer any consequences.

Now regarding why they informed the customers late, there is a possible logical explanation. When you want to communicate to the customer an issue you want to communicate it clearly and once. And to do that you have to assess the real magnitude of the problem and its nature as much as possible. Its bad practice to inform the customer about an issue, then come back to him and tell him things were actually different or worse.

If I were in their shoes I would have faced a huge dilemma

The best possible explanation is that Sony wanted to minimize the potential backlash. If the customers" best interest were the upmost priority the response would of been...

"PSN's security has been breached and we don't know how much of your info has been exposed. There is a possibility that all PSN user data including CC numbers has been compromised."

Sony weighed the risk of giving PSN user the worst case scenario up front over waiting and hoping an investigation would provide a scenario less scary. They chose to wait and they lost. They took the worst case scenario and made it worse by lumping a week of silence into the mix.

Sony understood the possible ramification of the breach because they shut down PSN as a response. The other immediate response should have been to inform the PSN userbase.

-tkf- 29-Apr-2011 18:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scott_Arm (Post 1547414)
I think the problem with this reasoning is that they shut down PSN well before the admission of the data leak came out. When they shut PSN down entirely, they must have known that the breach was serious. If they did not know someone had attempted to steal data, then why did they shut it down?

Like I said earlier, at some point between shutting it down, and the release, they got the suspicion the hacker was trying to steal customer data. If they had that suspicion early on, they should have said something to their customers immediately, to help protect them, and they could have followed up later if it turned out that the data was not taken. If they had the suspicion later, why did it take so long?! You'd think the first thing they'd look at would be the integrity of their customer data. In one case you have incompetence, and in the other case you have customers as an afterthought.

Itīs not clear cut, you have 77 million accounts. Do you ask 77 million "people" to change passwords unless you are somewhat sure? "they switched it off so they knew something was wrong!" yes, but not to what extent and they made a "big decision" when they switched it off. That costs money, so the critism on the security is valid, but imho it at least can be discussed just how bad Sony performed in regards to information.

Fun fact, if Geohot hadnīt cracked the PS3 in the name of "freedom" those 77 million users wouldnīt have been exposed. And his way in was OtherOS. Without OtherOS this might not have happend.

I am gonna get flamed for this, but the amount of arrogance and shortsighted views he presents competes with Sonyīs arrogance. But hey, the day Hackers actually take their responsibility serious is the day hacking stops?

archie4oz 29-Apr-2011 18:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jedi2016
The only thing that cracks me up about this mess are the people that are only complaining about the service being down. I appreciate the level of conversation in this thread, but read around some of the blogs and forums around the 'net, and you'll see a bunch of people whining that they can't play Black Ops online or whatever. Never mind my credit card and passwords, I want my frikkin' Black Ops. Those jackasses will be the first in line to get their bank accounts emptied, I'm sure.

As for the stuff that was taken, I'm not particularly worried about most of it. My name, handle, email, etc.. that's all public record. Probably wouldn't take too long on Google to pull up most of it.

The big question I have, the one that's come up in this thread several times, is how the password file was stored.


Well folks like that are probably also the type that probably have simple, commonly known passwords that even strong encryption isn't going to protect...

I'm not terribly worried about credit cards. Credit card companies generally have decent fraud detection services (I know mine does as I've been annoyingly inconvenienced by my card getting locked due to my shopping activities tripping red flags), and are able to resolve false charges fairly well. Passwords are annoying but if you're reasonably sensible and use different passwords for all your online accounts, then it's a minor issue. The data that bothers me is the security question and more specifically, the answer. Even if your password and credit card is secure, the relative invariance of security questions generally used makes exploitation a lot easier. After all, that's how Paris Hilton's T-Mobile account was hacked (and that even need any security breach to occur).

Jedi2016 29-Apr-2011 18:46

The problem with the security questions/answers is that, with the network down, I have no idea which questions and answers were used. I haven't so much as looked at that stuff since I created the account years ago.

macabre 29-Apr-2011 18:55

Some sites tell you the safety level of your password when you sign up, hope they include something like this in the new firmware/PSN version.

AlphaWolf 29-Apr-2011 19:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by -tkf- (Post 1547437)
Fun fact, if Geohot hadnīt cracked the PS3 in the name of "freedom" those 77 million users wouldnīt have been exposed. And his way in was OtherOS. Without OtherOS this might not have happend.

Actually, you don't know at all that it's true. Possibly, maybe even probably... but fact? No.

Quote:

I am gonna get flamed for this, but the amount of arrogance and shortsighted views he presents competes with Sonyīs arrogance. But hey, the day Hackers actually take their responsibility serious is the day hacking stops?
He can be arrogant if he wants, he's not running a consumer oriented business.

Rotmm 29-Apr-2011 19:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by -tkf- (Post 1547437)
Fun fact

Fact? Really?

'Supposition dressed as fact' would be, pun intended, a factually accurate description.

-tkf- 29-Apr-2011 19:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlphaWolf (Post 1547444)
Actually, you don't know at all that it's true. Possibly, maybe even probably... but fact? No.

He can be arrogant if he wants, he's not running a consumer oriented business.

Nobody got facts on any of this, those that have it wont say a word. But there is plenty of pointers that back it up.

Math that reverse engineered the Jig hack clearly stated that without Geohots original "glitch hack" the Jig wouldn't have come to be. Without the OtherOS option Geohot wouldnīt have had an easy way to snoop around with. So itīs not fact but it does seem plausible.


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