PlayStation Network: Status of passwords, encryption vs. hashing

By Peter Chubb - May 2, 2011

Earlier today we reported that the PlayStation Network was back up in Japan, but PSN users have wanted a status of passwords. Some are asking what the difference is between encryption vs. hashing? Many of us assumed that our passwords were encrypted, when in fact they were alerted to a “cryptographic hash function” instead.

So this means that although the passwords were not encrypted, as we hoped, they were not in clear text either. This is good news, as those who stole the information from Sony will have trouble reading anything due to it having a one-way algorithm. For more details on the differences, then visit Infocellar.

However, if for any reason you are contacted by anyone, do not offer any details. Also remember that Sony will not contact you at all to ask for any information, so just be careful. The PlayStation Blog also reports that Sony advises that if you used the same password for other services – not just PSN – then you best change that as well.

As yet it is not known who stole the information, but both Sony and law enforcement officials are working hard to discover who it was. Again, we like to say that this happening is a good thing, as it has forced Sony to improve its security of the PlayStation Network.

How confidant are you that your details are still safe?

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Also See: New PS4 feature adds PPV service for live sports events

  • Jimmer

    Yea, just get PSN back up and running and even if your account gets stolen just make a new one because if you didn't notice they are 100% free.

    • Harry

      what about people with level 13 trophies

  • meee

    nobody cares, we all just wanna know when the flip its back on line in the U.S. none of us care how it happened, or what happened, i just wanna play some fricken COD

  • Anon

    While a hash is a one-way cryptographic function, that doesn't mean that our passwords are secure. What is the method of encryption. Two popular yet easily broken hash methods are SHA-1 and MD5. If either of these methods were used, our passwords are as good as plain-text.

  • Tyler

    From the very page you linked to: "Hash – a special form of encryption often used for passwords"
    You make it sound like hashing them is somehow not a form of encryption, or is less secure. Neither is the case.

  • nieobin

    wth? when?

  • Dei

    I'm not sure if my passwords are still safe, but having my password set on "Remember". I'm kinda too lazy to go through the "E-mail me my password" process. LOL Cause well, I don't quite know all my info anymore. I could go check but eh, being lazy doesn't help. I could just prove my trust into PSN thinking that my password is safe along with all of my information, but due to the fact of what's going on, well, that's an extremely high risk to take.

  • Nate

    WHEN WILL PSN BE BACK ONLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jemy

      Never your Clittle

  • Guest

    When will the network be back up in NA?