Sony PlayStation Network Finally Gains Two-Factor Authorization Five Years After Massive Data Breach

Sony PlayStation Network

At long last, Sony has finally begun work on adding two-factor authentication to its PlayStation Network (PSN) service, a security feature that could have come in handy five years ago when hackers barged their way in resulting in an extended outage. It wasn't Sony's finest moment by a long stretch.

The massive data breach compromised the personal information of every PSN user, which at the time totaled more than 77 million registered accounts. Sony had no choice but to pull the service offline while it investigated the situation and rebuilt the service to prevent further embarrassment. While Sony initially hoped to restore service within a week, the outage lasted 23 days.

Now five years removed from that incident, Sony is in the process of rolling out two-step authentication, a security measure that requires users to have two pieces of identification when logging in. Usually this consists of a password followed by a PIN code that gets set to the user's email or mobile handset via text. The two-step process makes it much more difficult for hackers to compromise an account.

After applying a new 4.80 firmware revision that Sony recently made available for its PlayStation 3 console, some users noticed that entering wrong login information would result in an error screen indicating that two-step verification exists. Sony confirmed to Polygon that it's working on adding the security layer, but didn't say when it will happen.

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

Adding to two-step verification to PSN will bring parity to Microsoft's Xbox Live service, at least in that regard, as Microsoft added the feature three years ago.