Wow, and here I was thinking that Sony’s woes were coming to an end. The company has confirmed that an additional 24.6 million European accounts tied to Sony Online Entertainment games (DC Universe Online, EverQuest II and FreeRealms) have also been stolen. This information has come to light as the ongoing investigation into April’s hacking of the PSN continues. It must be noted that this is not a result of an additional security breach and that this is new information arising from the initial investigation. Naturally, the SOE servers running those games have been shut down.

Speaking via the PlayStation blog, Sony has warned that SOE accounts from users in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain were compromised and stolen. Similar user personal information as before has been stolen: name, address, numbers, passwords, emails etc. However, Sony has also advised that credit card and debit card numbers from an outdated 2007 database have also been stolen. Of the 12 700 card numbers stolen, Sony is claiming that no credit card security codes were nicked at all.

Just before this new information was made public, Sony had begun outlining its “Welcome Back” program for PSN customers. Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Sony confirmed that the PSN will be switched back on sometime this week and detailed what freebies customers can expect to receive.

Once the PSN is back up, all users will be taken through a compulsory firmware update that will also force a password change for your PSN account. Services restored will include: online chatting, Friends Lists, online gaming (for PS3 and PSP), PlayStation Home and account management. The PlayStation Store will not be back up any time soon, but Sony has vowed to have that up before the end of May.

To thank customers for their patience and support, Sony is giving all existing PSN users 30 days of PlayStation+ usage. Existing PlayStation+ members will receive an additional 30 days on top of their existing subscription. Additional downloadable PlayStation content will also be offered for free, but Sony has not provided details on what that might be.

Sources: Eurogamer & IGN

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