May 2, 2011 at 11:43 AM ET
Sony Online Entertainment has shut down its servers "temporarily" due to an unspecified issue possibly related to the PlayStation Network hack that left some 77 million personal accounts exposed.
SOE is a separate service from the PlayStation Network and hosts online PC games like the new "DC Universe Online," long-running online role-playing game "EverQuest" as well as the popular game "Free Realms."
A notice posted on several SOE-related websites Monday morning reads:
We have had to take the SOE service down temporarily. In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately. We will provide an update later today (Monday).
This comes after Sony previously said it thought its Sony Online Entertainment servers had been spared the kind of breach that left the PlayStation Network offline since April 20 and left millions of gamers' personal information flapping in the breeze.
Linda "Brasse" Carlson, director of global community relations for Sony Online Entertainment, told players on the "DC Universe Online" forums:
"We have been conducting a thorough investigation and, to the best of our knowledge, no customer personal information got out to any unauthorized person or persons."
Though Sony Online Entertainment service had experienced a short "service interruption" during last week's PlayStation Network brouhaha, SOE spokespeople reminded players via the forums that the Sony Online systems and databases are separate from the PlayStation Network and the service went back up.
But a visit to the forums for games like "DC Universe Online" or for "Everquest" on Monday returned this image:
We'll have to see what Sony says later today, but considering everything the company has undergone, it seems unlikely the news will be good.
In an interview with Wired, well known and wrongly jailed hacker Bret McDaniel says he spotted a severe security vulnerability on the PlayStation Network two months ago. And he and other hackers say they believe Sony's security overall is poor.
"They were probably behind on everything," McDaniel told Wired.
Over the weekend, Sony officials issued a formal apology for the PlayStation Network breach, with top officials offering a long formal bow of apology to their customers, as is the Japanese tradition.
The company has said it will resume some PlayStation Network services this week, and added that it would offer "welcome back" freebies such as complimentary downloads and 30 days of free service around the world to show remorse and appreciation.
Meanwhile Sony Online Entertainment had said it was working on a "make good" plan for players of the PS3 versions of "DC Universe Online" and "Free Realms" that had been affected by the outage.
But it looks like they may have to come up with an even bigger "make good" plan.
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