If Someone Hacks Your PSN Account, You're Kinda Screwed

By Jason Schreier on at

Over the past few years, Sony's PlayStation Network has proven itself to be totally resilient and definitely not susceptible to any sort of major hack. So of course, it's perfectly reasonable that they still don't have two-step verification.

For the past day or so, the web has been exploding over this Reddit post by user kadjar that talks about PSN customer service. In short: kadjar says his account was hacked and used to make some $600/£404 worth of fraudulent purchases, but when he took the issue to Sony, they said they could only give him back a maximum of $150/£101 in PSN credit. (That's the max any US users can hold in their PSN wallet at one time.)

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem—it's credit card fraud, so he could just take it up with his credit card company—except if you try to file a chargeback on a PSN purchase, you'll probably get banned, as kadjar pointed out. Getting banned on PS4 means losing many of your game licenses—the ones you paid for—as well as trophies, friends lists, and everything else you use every day on your PlayStation.

Exacerbating this whole issue is the fact that PSN users can only deactivate their PlayStation accounts once every six months—so if a hacker gets access to your password, deactivates your PSN account from your PS4, and activates it on their own PlayStation, you'll have to wait a very long time to get it back.

Presumably Sony has these policies in place to prevent fraud—we've reached out to Sony for comment, but haven't heard back yet—and although we don't know if this Redditor was actually hacked, others have chimed in to air similar gripes. Ultimately, it seems like Sony doesn't have very effective ways to deal with people making fraudulent purchase claims.

But that's all beside the point. The bigger, more fundamental problem here is that the PlayStation Network doesn't have two-step verification—a security method that lets you use an e-mail address or phone as an extra form of protection from account theft—which in 2015 is just unacceptable. Xbox Live has it. Steam has it. Why is PSN so far behind?

Photo: Donald Traill/AP