PSN intrusion brings down SOE games, websites

Sony's MMORPG arm discovers "issue that warrants enough concern" to shut down its PC service temporarily; update due later today.

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With the PlayStation Network in the midst of being rebuilt due to a security-compromising "external intrusion" nearly two weeks ago, Sony Online Entertainment has maintained that its PC offerings have remained locked down. Now, that security has been called into question, as can be ascertained by a visit to Sony's Station.com, the online portal for PC games such as EverQuest, EverQuest 2, and DC Universe Online.

DC Universe Online is just one of the many SOE PC games now offline.
DC Universe Online is just one of the many SOE PC games now offline.

"We have had to take the SOE service down temporarily," reads a message posted to Station.com. "In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately."

Along with bringing down the websites for all of its massively multiplayer online role-playing properties, it has taken down the login authentication servers for its games. Games affected by the outage include the aforementioned three, as well as Free Realms, Star Wars Galaxies, Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Station.com noted that Sony intends to offer an update on the situation later today. The publisher had not returned GameSpot's request for comment as of press time.

PlayStation 3 versions of SOE's games, including DC Universe Online and Free Realms, have been down since April 20 due to the aforementioned security breach, which occurred between April 17 and 19. SOE has previously said that while its US servers are located at the same San Diego, CA-based data center that houses the PSN machines, the two systems are separate, and it had no reason to believe an intrusion on one would equate to a breach of the other.

Over the weekend, Sony Corporation executive deputy president Kaz Hirai addressed the greater PSN situation as part of a press conference in Tokyo, saying service would be restored later this month. The publisher expects to offer a "welcome back" program for when the PSN is brought back online, one that includes a free monthlong subscription to PlayStation Plus as well as tokens for free "entertainment content."

Hirai also confirmed that the FBI was aiding its investigation into the source of the intrusion, which saw identifying information such as names, usernames, passwords, addresses, and e-mail addresses. He also said that some 10 million credit card numbers may have been exposed as a result of the breach. Of note, hacking organization Anonymous and PS3 jailbreaker George Hotz have both denied culpability.

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