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More Sony Problems Reported; Company Launches ID Theft Service

Debix gets the call to help thousands of PlayStation Network users affected by breach
Amid further reports of compromises, Sony said yesterday that it has launched an identity theft protection offering for users who might have been affected by the breach of its PlayStation Network earlier this month.

Sony has brought in Debix to offer the AllClear ID PLUS identity theft protection program, which will be offered to PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers who are concerned about the exposure of their personal data in the hack of the network earlier this month.

"AllClear ID PLUS is a premium identity protection service that uses advanced technology to deliver alerts to help protect you from identity theft," Sony told users in a blog. "The service also provides identity theft insurance coverage and hands-on help from expert fraud investigators." Users who have been on the PlayStation Network since April 20 will be eligible for a free year of the service.

Sony on Tuesday reported yet another security breach, saying 8,500 user accounts had been compromised.

The breach, which occurred through Sony Music Entertainment Greece, affected artist websites where fans can sign up for newsletters. The sites were taken down immediately, the company said. The compromised records contained email addresses, phone numbers, user names, and passwords.

The sites, which were hosted by a third party, will be relaunched after a security review, the company said.

The news of the hack in Greece follows the report of vulnerabilities found on the Sony website in Japan.

"The Hacker News sent us a tip this evening documenting a couple of vulnerable Web pages on SonyMusic.co.jp that allowed hackers to access their contents through SQL injection," Sophos' Chester Wisniewski with Sophos wrote in a blog.

The data does not include names, passwords, or other personally identifiable information, Wisniewski said. "It isn't clear whether the hackers are able to inject data into the database, or simply access the tables and records it contains. If they are able to alter the records, this could be used to insert malicious code that could be used to compromise people browsing the site," he wrote.

Wisniewski speculated that the attackers "appear to be the same crew who targeted Fox.com earlier this month." That group, which called itself Lutz Security, made the attack for fun, "not to steal credit cards and commit other types of fraud," he said.

Sony said Monday that the effects of the Japan earthquake and tax provisions will drag the company into a $3.18 billion loss for its 2011 fiscal year. Costs from the PlayStation Network hack are expected to total $171 million, the company said.

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Elizabeth Montalbano, Contributor, Dark Reading