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PlayStation Network revival stumbles

(AFP) Though Sony’s PlayStation Network had just recently been revived last May 15, the discovery of a flaw in resetting passwords or a security hole in the system which hackers could utilize quickly put the Sony staff into a state of unrest.

The vulnerability in the system, found in the PlayStation Network and Qriocity music streaming password reset pages, is currently being fixed with the two pages currently taken down from the net.

“We temporarily took down the PSN and Qriocity password reset page,” Patrick Seybold, Sony spokesman said in an update at the PlayStation official blog.

“Contrary to some reports, there was no hack involved,” he explained. “In the process of resetting of passwords there was a URL exploit that we have subsequently fixed.”

Apparently, if left unfixed hackers could easily change a user’s password if given the data on their e-mail address and birth date associated with the PSN account.

“Consumers who haven’t reset their passwords for PSN are still encouraged to do so directly on their PS3,” said Seybold. “Otherwise, they can continue to do so via the website as soon as we bring that site back up.”

The PSN is a popular service of the PlayStation consoles and handhelds that connects its users to various services online such as games, music, films and more. The service was shutdown last April 20 following a hacking of their San Diego data centre and was revealed only on April 26. Hackers had apparently stolen data on credit cards, names, passwords and addresses from more than a hundred million user accounts in the PSN and Sony Entertainment Online. Sony has said they cannot rule out the possibility of credit card numbers being compromised.

Sony had begun a phased restoration of the PSN on Sunday, ensuring users that the defenses of the service against hackers have been hardened. Estimates say that this cyber attack cost the company at least $1 billion.

Howard Stringer, chief of Sony said that protecting private information was a “never-ending process” and he did not know if anyone could be “100 percent secure.”

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