PlayStation network potentially Hacked

Tag: Sony

According to a Sony spokesmen, some PlayStation Network users could have had their passwords changed and personal information exposed after unauthorized users may have gained access to their accounts.

The vulnerability may have occurred via the PlayStation Store, allowing unauthorised users to change passwords, making is possible to view users’ personal details and potentially use their Wallet for the PlayStation Store. Despite this it is unlikely that credit card numbers were compromised. PlayStation should be contacting those affected but, if your existing password still works it is unlikely your details have been compromised.

This kind of security failure highlights some interesting features of modern online gaming. Firstly that as gaming, especially online gaming, becomes more sophisticated so it becomes more entwined with our personal details including credit or debit card numbers. Someone stealing or accessing your Xbox or PS3 could have access to not only your personal financial details but also your entire Microsoft Live account. As Microsoft endeavours to pull us all together for our PC, gaming and Mobile services it makes it all the more dangerous if one is compromised.

The second revealing aspect of a compromise like this is that, imagine if someone hacked into and took control of your Second Life account, Animal Crossing or World of Warcraft account. The collected experience and items in these RPGs, especially Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games could be worth a fortune. In fact these collected experience and virtual goods can be valued at $10 billion in 2007. These virtual possessions, only "real" when sat at your computer and logged onto the game, have become real tradeable assets. It reveals an entire new perspective on the security and value of online gaming. As far as I know no one has ever been charged with "stealing 6 months of experience and collectibles from an RPG" and lets face it most people would laugh it out of court. But with MMORPG like Second Life being a massive part of peoples err, lives, to some it could be a very big deal.

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