I Was Hacked! – A Cautionary Tale

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Something happened to me this last week that I’m not proud of. I’ll be honest, I thought I was immune; I never saw it coming. I hadn’t changed my Playstation Network password for years, and my luck finally ran out. It was hacked.


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I should of thought something was up when I apparently couldn’t remember my account details, but it took me a little longer, I was naive. A few days later I tried again, going through the hoops of resetting my password, when I saw that the registered email for my account had been altered.

So I did what any sane and rational person would do. I panicked. I checked my netbank, and saw I had been charged $120 from the PlayStation Store. Luckily, my Playstation 4 was still signed in, so I could go into the transactions and see just exactly what they were… FIFA Points.

God. Damnit. $120 worth of FIFA points. Are you friggen kidding me? To take my account is one thing, to then use my credit card to purchase FIFA points is downright blasphemy. I honestly don’t know what upset me more, the fact I had my account stolen, or that it was violated by FIFA.

So I did some digging, and it gets worse. The email the person had changed my account to… Was a Yahoo address. Seriously, is that still a thing? Even if it’s fake, why Yahoo?



So I rotate back into panicking mode. It’s times like this that I seek advice from my trusty friend who works for corporate overlords, the bank. He set me at ease with the knowledge that my bank would respond quickly to shut down fraudulent payments, and communicate with Sony to sort out the mess. To the bank’s credit, it took all of five minutes to launch a dispute, cancel my card – which is annoying but the price you pay for ignorance – and for a new one to be sent out.

So now that my credit card is secure, it was time that I take back my PSN account. I called support, and was greeted by a Scottish gentleman on the other end; he could’ve been Irish, one or the other, either way it was weird. Regardless, he got me sorted incredibly quickly after I proved the account was mine. One caveat, apparently I don’t remember the year of my birth. This was awkward, I was young and naive when I created the account… Anyway, I got through security by other means.

Ultimately, all I had to do was email in some ID, and my account would be reset to my initial email address, which I had now altered the password for. However, because I raised a dispute with my bank, Playstation will soon ban my account. The very helpful Scottish Irishman did say that this would eventually be resolved but it may take a week or so to get sorted.


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So that’s about it, it’s annoying, but in the grand scheme of things, I got lucky. I just thought I’d write this short little piece to A) Commend Playstation Support (I even stayed on to do the survey!) and B) Tell you to change your passwords! I have never signed into PSN on my computer, so Malware isn’t a factor, which means my account was either compromised during one of Sony’s many hacks, or it was brute forced. Change… Your… Password.

Lastly, I’d like to take a moment of silence for my fallen ‘password starter phrase’, which for obvious reasons I will not divulge here. But sir, you had been layering the front of my passwords for over 10 years now, your service will not be forgotten. It just won’t be the same without you.

 

Twitter @Touchidavos

David is an editor here at OK Games. He loves video games, particularly strong narratives, and cooperative experiences. There aren't many games he doesn't touch, except for MOBA's. Never MOBAS.