Visitors to Sony PlayStation website at risk of malware infection

Sophos Press Release

Hackers use SQL injection and scare tactics to grab consumers' credit card details

Researchers at IT security firm Sophos have warned lovers of video games that pages on the US-based Sony PlayStation website have been compromised by hackers.

Experts at SophosLabs™ have discovered that cybercriminals have successfully used an SQL injection attack to plant unauthorized code on pages promoting the PlayStation games "SingStar Pop" and "God of War".


One of the webpages on Sony PlayStation's US website that has been compromised by hackers.

At the time of writing the hacker's code attempts to dupe web surfers by running a fake anti-virus scan and displaying a bogus message that their computer is infected with a variety of different viruses and Trojan horses.


After pretending to scan your computer for malware, a bogus security warning is displayed.

The hackers' aim is to scare unsuspecting computer users into purchasing a bogus security product. Sophos warns, however, that it would be trivial for the hackers who have compromised the webpages to alter the payload so that it became more malicious, and installed code designed to turn Windows PCs into a botnet or to harvest confidential information from users.

"There are millions of video game lovers around the world, many of whom will visit Sony's PlayStation website regularly to find out more about the latest console games. Most would never expect that surfing to a website like this could potentially infect them with malware. If users do not have sufficient protection in place then they might find that before they know it they have been scared into handing their credit card details over to a bunch of cybercriminals," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It is essential that all websites, especially when they are high profile like this or receiving a large level of traffic, have been properly hardened to prevent hackers from injecting malicious code on to what should be legitimate webpages."

Sophos customers are automatically protected against the threats (which Sophos identities as Troj/Iframe-AG and Mal/Badsrc), and users of other vendors' products are advised to update their software.

SophosLabs have informed Sony of the problem on their website, which at the time of writing is still present.

Update 3 July 2008: The Sony PlayStation website is no longer infected. Learn more in "Sony PlayStation - Revisted" on the SophosLabs blog.

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