Personal Data, And Maybe Credit Card Numbers, Of 77 Million Sony PlayStation Users Is Hacked

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 22:47
Personal Data, And Maybe Credit Card Numbers, Of 77  Million Sony PlayStation Users Is Hacked

Tags: privacy; security

Sony is in the midst of perhaps the worst Internet security disaster ever, after disclosing that its PlayStation gaming platform was hacked.

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It's bad enough that the system has been shut down since April 21. But making matters worse is the fact that since then Sony remained silent about why.


On Tuesday, Sony came clean and disclosed in a blog post that names, addresses, emails, birthdates, as well as PlayStation network login/passwords, handles, and password security answers were exposed during an illicit intrusion between April 17 and and April 19.


And, by the way, the hackers may also have gotten credit card numbers and expsiration dates.


"While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility," Sony says. "If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained."


If you have a PlayStation account, keep an eye out for any fraudulent activity of your credit cards. If your children set up the account, ask them to change their password. Also, if you used the PlayStation password for other accounts, change the passwords on those accounts as well. 


This data breach is so big and the hackers appear to have gotten to so much information that it is bound to promote outrage and concern in by regulators.


The FBI in San Diego has reportedly been called in to investigate.


The fact that Sony did not disclose the breach for nearly a week atfer learning seems inexcusable. I don't understand how that could not be a violation of federal law.

Comments (1)

As bad as it is, the thing that surprises me most is that Sony had 77 million users in the first place.

I have to admit being familiar with the gaming community. A fairly common consensus among gamers is that Sony is somewhat clueless about their network and has let it lapse in every possible way. That's the reason I'm less than surprised to hear their - their poor reputation as a quality platform in the first place makes me suspect poor security.

You make an excellent point about their delay in notifying users- a week is a long time when there's a reasonable chance a consumer's data was obtained. There's probably no way to totally, permanently prevent things like this from happening. Breaches have occurred affecting more users of more serious services than PSN and Qriocity, they'll probably happen again. Consumers need to have plans for reacting to it, changing passwords or card numbers where necessary, and following through to update any automated billing they have established. They need timely notification from corporations and good information from trusted advisors to do it.
gabriel.cooper , April 27, 2011

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