So last week the PSN went down due to an “external intrusion”. If you need to catch up, then read this post we did a few days ago. Sony has been deliberately avoiding updates on the situation and the reason is because it is, quite simply, a catastrophe for the company. They’ve come clean and reported that the personal information attached to PSN user accounts (of which there are about 70 million) has been stolen by a still unidentified hacking group.
This admission came via Sony’s PlayStation Blog late yesterday when the PSN outage entered its second week of downtime. Sony is claiming that the reason they are reporting this so late is because they have only just learnt the extent of the security breach.
Insofar as your personal information is concerned, the following has been stolen: your name, physical address, country, email address, birthday and your PSN/Qriocity account login and password as well as your online nickname/handle. Your credit card information?
According to the Sony statement: “While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. 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.”
The security breach is a massive blow to Sony as a company. Immediately after the announcement their stock prices plummeted as can be seen in the image grab bellow.
Interestingly, an American Senator sent a letter to SCEA president Jack Tretton in which he lambastes the company for not keeping consumers in the loop. Ironically, exactly what the senator suggests might have happened, actually did happen. Whether or not this letter is the reason for Sony to come clean is not clear.
What is clear, however, is that if you have a PSN account, then your personal information has been stolen. It’s identity theft and Sony is warning customers to be extra vigilant when it comes to telephone scams, email scams and more asking for personal information. Once the PSN is back online, get on there and change your password and security question. If you share your password with other online accounts, then change those now. Oh and keep an eye on your credit card statements.