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|PlayStation Network hacked. What should you do?
Posted by Kerr 04/28/2011 9:26 PM
As you may already know, the PlayStation Network (PSN) has been down since April 20, 2011. This was the result of a successful intrusion by hackers, in which your personal details may have been stolen
. Sony has been vague about how many of its 77 million PSN accounts have been compromised. Given their reticence to communicate anything material for almost a week, do not be surprised if this was a full 100% breach. I cannot overstate the gravity of this matter, as it could affect you in the form of identity theft or other fraudulent acts. Here are direct links to the relevant communications from Sony. I strongly urge you to read these in their entirety, and to take action
as recommended below.
The following information is available via the aforementioned links, though I wanted to take some time to highlight key points and recommended actions. The latest from Sony regarding what personal information was stolen states (verbiage slightly altered and itemized for clarity):
Q: What personally identifying information do you suspect has been compromised?
A: Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information provided by PlayStation Network/Qriocity account holders:
- address (city, state, zip)
- email address
- birth date
- PlayStation Network/Qriocity password, login, and handle/PSN online ID.
Other profile data may also have been obtained, including:
- purchase history
- billing address (city, state, zip).
If an account holder has authorized a sub-account for a dependent:
- the same data with respect to that dependent may have been obtained
If an account holder provided credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, it is possible that the following may also have been obtained:
- credit card number (excluding security code)
- expiration date
As a PSN account holder, what should you do? At minimum, immediately change all of your passwords
. Even if you were smart enough to use unique passwords for every one of your online accounts, I still urge you to change them all. The PSN is currently down, so you cannot yet change your password there, but please update all other accounts as soon as possible. Sony will very likely force a password change when the PSN is restored anyway.
If you provided credit card information to Sony associated with your PSN account, it is in your best interest to call the credit card company or bank to have your card canceled and a new one issued.
Following is the full text of the consumer alert posted on the US Playstation Blog.
Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer:
We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:
- Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
- Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
- Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.
We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.
Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained.
For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.
To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports. We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it:
U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.
We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S. credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below.
Experian: 888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
You may wish to visit the web site of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.gov/idtheft or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General, and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone (877) 566-7226; or www.ncdoj.gov. For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: (888) 743-0023; or www.oag.state.md.us.
We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please contact us at 1-800-345-7669 should you have any additional questions.
Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment
If you're interested in more on the matter, here are some good links:
|So I'm collecting cars in GT5...
Updated by Kerr 04/19/2011 2:41 PM
Who knew what a laborious process it would be trying to get all of the cars in the game. First, there are way, way, way, way too many of these:
- Mazda Miata / MX-5
- Nissan Skyline
- Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT
- Subaru Impreza
- Mitsubishi Evolution
- Acura NSX
- Honda Civic
There is far to little material variance in about 90% of those that I've seen thus far to justify making them "unique" models.
It's also very annoying that cars like the 1969 GT40 Race car cost over 19 million credits, while at the same time I have a 20 million credit limit. That is asinine, especially considering how seldom the car appears in the used lot. Combine that with the fact that the car cannot be gifted, and it's basically dumb luck and not spending any winnings getting a hold of one. Others, like the Chaparral 2J Race Car are around 14-15 million, so you're somewhat in the same boat with them.
That said, I do currently have around 580 Standard and around 50 Premium cars. It's getting more and more difficult to find cars I don't already own in the used lot though, so I imagine the last ~30% is going to be very painful and time consuming.
Is anyone else trying to collect all the cars in GT5?
|I think my PS3 is dying!
Posted by Kerr 04/14/2011 2:37 PM
I have a launch day 60GB PS3 "fat". It's seen pretty light duty since I've bought it, but now lately the cooling fan has been kicking up to high speed quite often. Twice now, after long sessions, GT5 has frozen during the track loading screen when I enter a race. Grrr.
I don't yet have a YLOD, but it seems like it may be imminent if action is not taken. I'm very familiar with building PCs, and have been contemplating taking my PS3 apart to see whether the thermal compound has broken down. Has anyone ever done this with their 60GB PS3 "fat"?
I've also seen various posts and videos on people "reflowing" their PS3. I'm not sure about this. The process involves taking a heat gun to the PCB, which to me seems asinine.
Updated by Kerr 04/10/2011 10:41 AM
I'm going to be performing some site maintenance here in a bit. GTVault may be inaccessible for up to a half hour during this time. I apologize for any inconvenience.
EDIT: Maintenance is complete, with downtime of only a few seconds.
|GTVault updates for GT5 very unlikely
Posted by Kerr 12/15/2010 4:57 PM
A lot of people have been asking about site updates for GT5, so I wanted to take some time to relate my perspective and thoughts. In short, I have decided to suspend all efforts to update GTVault for GT5. I have so many reasons that it's difficult to decide where to start. The scope of GT5 and changes to the tuning model (small as they seem), make for a long and involved development effort. Also consider that at some point PD may decide to make changes to the tuning model. For instance, perhaps they'll decide to implement individual gear ratio changes.
This potential moving target makes development efforts even more difficult in the long term. I have requested, as I did with GT4, detailed technical information from PD. I've also reached out to some other community members, and have not had any success in these areas. I also asked for something as simple as a saved game with all cars available so that I can fully analyze all the tuning possibilities. I've thus far received no response. With GT4, I was able to obtain a complete saved game from gamefaqs.com. PD have implemented copy protection with GT5, so that does not appear to be a possibility this time around. Even if I were able to secure the resources vital to development, I still doubt that I would be willing to put forth the immense amount of effort required.
For me, GT5 is largely a rehash of the original GT1 idea from the mid 1990's, and an incomplete implementation at that. The best example of lack of follow through is that we can no longer fine tune gear ratios. Recall that every proper GT release before GT5 gave us the ability to tune gears. But wait, I can take pretty pictures of the cars! Oh, wait again, that's only about 20% of the cars. The other 80% we've all seen before, and they look fair to horrible in their current incarnation. There are myriad other examples like this that can be read about all over boards like GTPlanet. I acknowledge that there are great new features such as the track editor and online (still in active development BTW). Regardless, I just can't help but feel I'm playing much the same game I was well over a decade ago.
In taking six years to develop GT5, PD elevated expectations to the stratosphere. The game tries to be everything to everyone, but falls short in achieving that goal. The continual missed deadlines are always disappointing to gamers. From a professional standpoint, if I missed my development deadlines as has PD, I would have long ago been fired for incompetence. But, we still reward the powers that be in the form of our money going into their pockets. As a consumer, I have already given SCEA the only thing they ever wanted. As a developer, I can still choose to devote my time to projects I view worthwhile. The bottom line is: I am not interested in spending my time developing a website for an incomplete, largely derivative game where my personal experience is middling at best.
From the derivative standpoint, I had much the same feelings about GT4 when it was released, but at least that game was completed by comparison to GT5. The fact that console game developers can now release online patches is a major red herring. On one hand, gamers are given the promise of new features and added functionality. The reality is it gives developers the opportunity to release poorly tested code and incomplete features. Prior releases of GT did not have this opportunity, and that is largely the reason those games felt much more complete. It used to be all or nothing when releasing console titles, and the paradigm shift to an online distribution model has forever changed that mentality. Perhaps I will change my view if/when PD completes the game. Regardless, having already spent my hard earned money for a product that is not up to snuff will leave an enduring bad taste in my mouth.
None of this even touches what I also view to be poor game design decisions. The economics and chance of acquiring cars you sometimes need are atrocious. The grinding one must do in A-Spec should you want to progress past the middle levels of the game (mid 20's) is excruciating. I was tired of that in 1987, playing Dragon Warrior II on the NES.
I know this message will come as a disappointment to many, and to that I only ask that you try to place yourself in my shoes. I do not make decisions of this nature lightly, and I also know that I am alone in my sentiments. I have seen eye opening comments from people normally very enthusiastic about a GT release. Perhaps the strongest of those is that some gamers have chosen to go back to GT4 because they are already bored with GT5. That kind of assessment from gamers who are your cash cow is not a harbinger of good things to come.
|GT5 in hand!
Posted by Kerr 11/24/2010 4:54 PM
Hey all, I just took delivery of the Collector's Edition of Gran Turismo 5. I also just received an iPhone 4 from my employer, so now I'm like a kid in a candy store. Or maybe it's more like a kid on Christmas with one too many toys. Has anyone else had an opportunity yet to play the game? I'm about to boot it up.
|Gran Turismo 5 North American release date - November 24, 2010
Updated by Kerr 11/13/2010 12:29 PM
The US Playstation Blog
has a post up confirming November 24, 2010 as the North American GT5 release date. Given all the prior posts and context, this looks like the real deal!
Here's an interesting thought: The GT5 launch is just two days after the 9 year anniversary
of the GTVault launch on November 22, 2001. Is anyone from those days still around?
Thanks to MasterGT for the link
|Gran Tusimo 5 release date - 12/31/2010?
Posted by Kerr 11/02/2010 11:15 AM
Hey all, I just received an e-mail from Amazon, which is where I placed my pre-order for Gran Turismo 5. It states that the game releases on 12/31/2010. Talk about stretching the definition of "Holiday Season 2010"! I've thus far been unable to officially confirm this date on the web. Has anyone else received a pre-order notification e-mail similar to mine?
|Gran Tusimo 5 release delayed until 'this holiday season'
Updated by Kerr 10/13/2010 1:41 PM
I know this will come as a surprise to all of you, though yet another delay in the release of Gran Turismo 5 has been officially announced over at the U.S. Playstation Blog
. The blog itself is short and sweet:
We can confirm that Gran Turismo 5 will not be available this November 2nd, but the game’s release will be coming this holiday season.
We sincerely apologize to GT fans for the delay, however, creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make certain they are creating the perfect racing experience, and we are confident that this ambitious game will exceed expectations when it launches.
We’ll have more information for you in the near future.
Judging by the comments on the blog post, most gamers are none too happy, and I don't blame them. Having been a fan since the original Gran Turismo, I wholeheartedly expected this to happen (again). That said, if in my job I missed deadlines in this manner, I'd have been fired long ago. I understand the desire for perfection, though I believe in part, with the scope of GT5 in particular, this is one of the symptoms of a game trying to be everything to everyone.
Thanks to MasterGT for the link.
|Who is getting GT5 Collector's Edition?
Updated by Kerr 10/11/2010 6:04 PM
I just pre-ordered my copy of Gran Turismo 5 Collector's Edition
today from Amazon. I was on the fence about ordering the standard Gran Turismo 5
vs. Gran Turismo 5 Collector's Edition
, but ultimately for me I like the fact that a few of the sweetest cars on earth will be included, and the die-cast model is cool for me. The extra literature wasn't a deciding factor for me, though I'm sure I'll read through it!
What is everyone else doing?