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Five Years After Hack That Took Down PlayStation Network, PSN Is Getting Two-Factor Authentication

by Mike Futter on Apr 20, 2016 at 08:22 AM

It’s been five years since a PlayStation Network intrusion brought Sony’s online gaming service down for more than three week. The result left user data exposed and cost the company $170 million.

Sony is now ready to implement two-factor authentication, a process that helps safeguard user accounts from theft. When using that form of login, users need to provide a code separate from a password and generated on demand.

This can be delivered via text message or using a special smartphone or desktop application. Blizzard uses one for its games, as does EA for its PC Origin service and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Sony confirmed to Polygon that it will be implementing the practice after user images showed up online with evidence. The note about two-factor authentication appears as part of a firmware update distributed yesterday, but only when credentials are rejected.

Sony has not committed to specific timing for the rollout of its two-factor authentication feature. However, the firmware is now primed for when that happens.

[Source: Tuomas Tonteri, Polygon]


Our Take
After suffering a catastrophic hack, it’s a wonder this took as long as it did. Even if the PS3 couldn’t be updated to support two-factor, it should have been a no-brainer for the PlayStation 4 launch.

While two-factor would not have stopped the 2011 hack, it is a measure that Sony could have implemented as it worked to sure up all aspects of security. When this goes live, I’d recommend all users take advantage of it.