Sony suffered a huge breach in its video game online network that allowed the theft of names, addresses and possibly credit card data belonging to 77 million user accounts, the company said today.
Sony said that it identified there was an intrusion to it Playstation Network on April 19th and subsequently shut the services down. The company than brought in outside experts to learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident. The results showed that certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised.
Although Sony is still investigating the details of this incident, the company believs that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that users provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID.
It is also possible that users' profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and their PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained.
While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, Sony cannot rule out the possibility. The company said users' credit card numbers (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained. Of course this affects users who had provided their credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity.
"For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking," Sony said.
When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, Sony strongly recommends users to log on and change their password.
To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, Sony also encourages users to remain vigilant, to review their account statements and to monitor their credit reports.
Sony says people in 59 nations use the PlayStation network. Of the 77 million user accounts, about 36 million are in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Americas, 32 million in Europe and 9 million in Asia, mostly in Japan.
"We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority," Sony Computer Entertainment's statement reads.
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