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Sony Crisis Spreads

This time it’s Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), its role-playing game site

Sony has taken down another of its cloud services.

This time it's Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), its role-playing game site.

The message it sent out said, "We have had to take the SOE service down temporarily. 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. We will provide an update later today (Monday). We apologize for any inconvenience and greatly appreciate your patience."

Sony held a press conference Sunday in Japan to apologize and add a scant bit of color about the hack two weeks ago that captured the personal data associated with in its 77 million PlayStation accounts and an unknown number of its streaming Qriocity online entertainment accounts.

It confessed it thought that maybe 10 million reportedly encrypted credit cards might have been compromised but that there was no evidence the cards' data was actually stolen.

Unfortunately security experts were saying late last week that there was talk on hacker sites of millions of the credit card numbers being up for sale and scattered reports of their illegal use. Sony denied a report that it turned down an offer to ransom them for $100,000.

It admitted the hacker used a known but unfixed vulnerability. It also appears the vulnerability was generally known but not to Sony staff.

Otherwise vague on what exactly happened although it now appears it's been under attack for the last six weeks, Sony has hired itself multiple security firms and the FBI is now involved in a criminal investigation. The hacked data center was in San Diego.

It also said it's going to create the job of chief information security officer to protect customer data.

Sony's trying to get the rebuilt, relocated and presumably less penetrable services back up in a staggered process starting this week. It will be offering free content and services to entice users back to the fold.

The company claimed the hack won't deter its attempt to use such cloud-based content services with its upcoming Android-based tablets.

See http://maintenance.station.sony.com/.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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