Sony's security problems continue to mount, as the intrusion that brought down Sony Online Entertainment this morning is linked to the theft of more than ten thousand customer credit card numbers.
According to Japanese news site Nikkei.com, Sony became aware of this latest cyber attack on Sunday, which lead to the shutting down of all of SOE's online gaming operations early Monday morning. Attempting to visit the home pages for popular games like Free Realms, DC Universe Online, and massively-multiplayer online role-playing game granddaddy EverQuest continues to result in the following down for maintenance message:
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).
Hopefully that update will shed more light on the stolen card numbers, allowing players of those games to take appropriate action in a timely fashion.
Kotaku has contacted Sony Online Entertainment and awaits further word on the credit card issue. The company did tell us that this was not a separate attack, and that service going down was "related to the ongoing investigation of the external intrusion that occurred in April".
They are of course referring to the large-scale cyber attack that has had the PlayStation Network down since late last month and compromised the personal information of millions of Sony customers.