Five years after the great PSN hack of 2011, Sony is adding 2-step verification

Key changes are coming.

Five years after the great PlayStation Network hack of April 2011 - the one that saw more than 70m accounts compromised - Sony has announced plans to add two-step verification to the service.

In a statement issued to Polygon, Sony confirmed the upcoming security feature:

"In order to further safeguard our users and their accounts, we are preparing to offer a 2-step verification feature."

The news emerged after Sony updated the PlayStation 3's firmware to version 4.80. Users discovered a message that mentioned 2-step verification.

This should apply to all PSN accounts, and thus PS4, PS3, Vita, the PlayStation mobile app and the PlayStation Portable.

It's not clear which type of two-step verification Sony will use, but the on-screen message asks users to look out for a text message, so it seems likely you'll end up having to input a code sent to your phone when logging in.

PSN security has come under constant fire since the hack in 2011, which left PS3 and PSP users around the world unable to play online for 23 days.

The incident is thought to have cost Sony tens of millions of dollars and sparked the Welcome Back program. In January 2015 Sony contacted US PlayStation Network users with details of how they could claim compensation.

Despite Sony's revamp of its security following the hack, the company has faced questions about the strength of PSN's defences ever since.

In May 2015, the BBC's Watchdog shone a light on Sony's digital refunds policy after receiving reports of unauthorised purchases from multiple users.

And only last week Eurogamer reported the story of one PlayStation 4 user who failed to secure a refund despite suffering an unauthorised purchase from his PSN account.

So there will no doubt be some wondering why it's taken Sony so long to add what many consider to be a basic security feature. Microsoft added two-step verification to Microsoft accounts, including Xbox Live accounts, three years ago.

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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