Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week

Tag Archives: Online password security

Sony’s PSN woes highlight a bigger security problem

Tags : 

The news that Sony’s Playstation Network went offline in late April due to hacker activity might be easy to brush off as just a problem for console gaming types and nobody else, if it weren’t for the wider implications of the particular attack.

Persons unknown gained access to Sony’s PSN network, and, as it later emerged, one of the company’s other businesses, Sony Online Entertainment. From that hack, user details and possibly credit card details were compromised. Sony’s being a bit coy about that latter detail, at first saying they had “no reason to believe” that credit cards had been compromised, to moving to pointing out that details were encrypted before it emerged that a number of card details were accessed from the SOE hack, including a couple of hundred Australian credit cards. They were, so Sony says, cards dating from 2007, most of which should be obsolete now in any case.

The credit card side of things doesn’t fuss me as much as it might, partly because I keep a very close eye on my accounts, but also because most Australian financial institutions will reverse fraudulent charges without penalty to the original card owner if it’s not their fault — and this certainly couldn’t be! A nuisance, to be sure, but a nuisance that shouldn’t haunt you for that long if it’s a spectre at all.

The loss of personal details, especially passwords, is more troublesome. You can’t do anything to change your date of birth or matters like that, but plenty of people use the same easily changed passwords over multiple sites. Needless to say, if you are a PSN or SOE user with passwords that match other services of yours, change those passwords immediately. But even if you’re not, and you’re using the same password over multiple sites, stop it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be as big a hack as the PSN one was, but if your password is the same in one place, it’s reasonable for criminal types to try other services you may use to see if they can gain access there. Moving from a non-critical service (like, say, Facebook, where you shouldn’t suffer any “real world” loss) to your bank account is as easy as waltzing in if you know the password, and having the same password across both is rather like using a simple latch to secure your front door. It looks to all the world like the door’s shut, but if you know that a simple push will pop the latch wide open, you realise that it’s not secure at all.


Recent News

A question as old as computing itself is should I get a Mac or a PC? Apple even turned that question into a successful series of “Get a Mac” advertisements for many years, comparing Macs versus PCs using actors John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac. There are many pros and cons for… More 

The launch of the Apple iPhone 11 was, not surprisingly, mostly about the iPhone 11. Well, to be strict, it was about the iPhone 11, which is the entry level model, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. However, iPhones weren’t the only topics of Apple’s heavy-handed hype at its recent launch… More 

At the IFA trade show in Berlin, I had the opportunity to go hands-on with Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold. Not for quite long enough to write a full review, given I had 45 minutes, but enough time to run through its major features, as well as to spot some of its less than stellar compromises…. More 

We’ve seen a steady increase in the capabilities of Wi-Fi over the past decade, along with a dizzying array of acronyms to go with it. If you’re au fait with the difference between, say, 802.11b and 802.11n, that’s fine — but very few folks actually are. That’s also coincided with an immense growth in the… More