Just four days after the PlayStation Network reopened, Sony has taken down login and password recovery pages for the service following reports they contained a serious flaw that was actively exploited to hijack user accounts.
The vulnerability, which was first reported by UK-based gaming news site Nyleveia.com, required only that an attacker know the date of birth and email address associated with a targeted user’s account… forcing Sony to disable the login pages in order to prevent attacks.
Following the publication of this hack, Sony issued the following statement:
“We temporarily took down the PSN and Qriocity password reset page. Contrary to some reports, there was no hack involved. In the process of resetting of passwords there was a URL exploit that we have subsequently fixed.”
But this blunder raises new doubts about Sony’s ability to secure the PlayStation Network just as the company is trying to regain the confidence of dubious government officials and its 77 million account holders. Sony took down the service on April 20, following the discovery that core parts of its network had suffered a criminal intrusion that stole names, user names, passwords, birth dates, addresses, and other sensitive details of all its users. Company executives have said they can’t rule out the possibility that credit card data was also taken.
The exploit involved the bypass of a digital token system that Sony used when users reset their PSN password. Attackers could carry out the attack by visiting https://store.playstation.com/accounts/reset/resetPassword.action?token and then, in a separate browser tab, opening a different page on us.playstation.com and following Sony’s reset procedure, which required only the date of birth and email address associated with the account.
The attacker would then return to the original tab and, armed with the browser cookie just issued by Sony’s servers, complete an image verification on the page. The attacker would then proceed to a scree allowing him to change the victim’s password.
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