In what is a long overdue effort to enhance its users’ security, Sony has finally confirmed that it is adding two-factor authentication to its popular gaming platform, the PlayStation Network.
Whispers of an impending two-factor verification feature in the PlayStation Network was first spotted by users on the latest firmware update release for the company previous generation console, the PlayStation 3. The update, version 4.80, released Tuesday, highlighted the feature which was described in a login error screen when users entered the login information.
One PlayStation 3 user took a screenshot of the message plainly describing two-factor authentication to duly post it on Twitter.
— Tuomas Tonteri (@tontsa) April 20, 2016
The message read:
The sign-in ID or password is incorrect.
If 2-step verification is active, you must enter a device setup password into the [Password] field. Check your mobile phone for a text message about your Sony Entertainment Network Account.
Two-factor authentication is widely accepted as the obvious, go-to enhancement of a security measure to add a second layer of security beyond a password.
With two-factor authentication, a one-time passcode or token that is sent to the user’s mobile device in real-time, is required to authenticate the user before logging into the account. This way, even if a user’s password is compromised, a malicious hacker would have to get the one-time passcode which is routinely sent to the phone belonging to the user. This added layer of security inherently makes it harder for a hacker to hack a targeted account.
Speaking with industry news website Polygon, a Sony representative stated:
In order to further safeguard our users and their accounts, we are preparing to offer a 2-step verification feature.
As noted by the gaming-related website, the confirmation comes exactly five years to the day of the hack of the PlayStation Network, one which saw the theft of the personal information of its 77 million registered accounts at the time.
Featured image from PSN.