Hacking group OurMine temporarily hacked PlayStation Twitter and Facebook accounts on Sunday. The hacking group, which claims to be a “white hat” organization, is known for revealing vulnerabilities in systems to make sure that networks are secure.
Tweets and Facebook messages posted by the hacking group were deleted shortly after, but NeoGAF was able to capture them. On Sunday, the message that first appeared after the group hacked PlayStation social accounts was, “PlayStation Network Databases leaked #OurMine.” Thereafter, the hackers stated that being an ethical group, they are not going to share it.
A logical deduction that arises is if the database was vulnerable to hacking, then user information may have also been compromised. However, there was no hint that the hacking group was looking to use the information it gathered in any way; rather, it looked like it was more interested in getting attention. The group stated that it would give up access to all the accounts again along with security tips for the uture.
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Did OurMine do the right thing?
OurMine is the same group which rose to fame after hacking the accounts of celebrities such as Niantic’s John Hanke and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The group also hacked various HBO Twitter accounts, like those for Game of Thrones and John Oliver’s show. However, that hack did not cause any significant damage to HBO’s computer network, which rolled over the stolen information and unaired episodes.
Despite their apparently good intentions, they are still hacking accounts and taking away users’ sensitive information. Linking various payment cards with PlayStation is a common thing, and any form of hacking is a big risk for such users. Many, however, believe that although the ways OurMine has been exposing vulnerabilities can be termed as illegal, they do help raise the bar for security.
Sony needs to do much more
After the 2011 hack, one of the largest data security breaches in history, many would be expecting better security features from Sony, but it appears the company has not learned much from that breach. At the time, the personal details of approximately 77 million accounts were compromised, and the service was interrupted for 23 days.
To regain the confidence of users, Sony will have to resolve the security issues with its platform and make sure all the passwords and other sensitive information are safe. A credible action from Sony becomes more important, as such attacks have occurred in the past, and users have long been demanding that the Japanese firm provide better security and the reassurance that their information is safe.
In related news, Sony recently released the PS4 5.0 system update. The new update is related to family controls, notifications and a few tweaks in the broadcast features, among others. The update mainly focuses on making the network more compatible for a family’s different account needs. Under the new family manager, parents will now be able to set up PSN accounts for their children, which gives them better control. Additionally, the Japanese firm has added a Custom list tab to the Friends screen, allowing users to create a customized friend list and segregate them into different groups.