PlayStation Data Theft
April 27, 2011 by staff
The electronics giant is in contact with about 70 million customers warning that the data included names; addresses, birth dates, passwords and security questions have been stolen.
Sony also admitted that hackers had access to details of people with credit card.
The network offers online video games and allows streaming of movies and music over the Internet.
Members are required to submit credit card and personal information to subscribe.
PlayStation Network members have also experienced a week without access to online games after the Japanese giant pulled the plug on the service last Wednesday and has spent the past week investigating the rape.
Experts described the security violation as a “nightmare” scenario that could leave millions of PlayStation users open to identity and credit card fraud.
The theft is of particular concern because of the variety of information stolen and because many people use the same password for all online services like email, online shopping and online banking accounts.
It also comes as an embarrassment for Sony and could deal a severe blow if customers lose confidence in their security systems.
In a statement to be sent by e-mail to millions of users worldwide network of PlayStation, Sony said: “We believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information provided: name, address, country, e-mail address, date of birth, PlayStation Network and Qriocity password and login.
“While there is no evidence at this point that the credit card data was taken, we can not rule out the possibility.
“If you have provided details of your credit card via PlayStation Network or Qriocity, an abundance of caution we are informing that the number of credit card (except the security code) and the expiry date has been obtained.
“For your safety, we encourage you to be especially aware of mail, telephone, email and other scams that ask for personal information or confidential information.
“To protect against possible identity theft or financial loss, we invite you to remain vigilant, to review their account statements and monitor your credit reports.”
Sony took over the network and Qriocity last Wednesday after suffering what he described as “external intrusion into our system,” but so far has kept his mouth shut about speculation that the financial details of customers had been stolen.
Internet security experts last night said that the revelation could deal a “devastating blow” to Sony and questioned the company’s control of threats to their systems.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, a security and data protection service, said: “This certainly ranks as one of the largest data loss ever to affect humans.
“This is not just a nightmare for Sony, but also worrying news for the millions of people using the network. Once again, users will have the confidence shaken by a major company to lose your personal information.”
Robert Siciliano, McAfee’s expert consultant and identity theft, added: “Many people use the same username and passwords for multiple accounts.
“If the bad guys have that information, you can use to access social networks and bank accounts, and that’s where the problems begin.
“You can access your email and change the password and go searching through other accounts. There is no end to what can do. There ‘s book bad enough that can be converted into cash with relative ease.”
Although it is not uncommon for user data to be stolen by hackers, this is one of the largest and most high profile of online data theft to come to light.
Earlier this month, U.S. Epsilon Company that manages the data for companies such as Barclaycard, Citigroup and the Marriott hotel chain, confirmed that millions of email addresses were stolen in an attack on their servers. However, the stolen data in this case is limited only to email addresses.
In March, the online retailer Play.com has warned that emails from clients and some personal data had been stolen, although the company stressed that the credit card details were safe. In January, the cosmetics firm Lozano admitted that the credit card details belonging to some of its customers had been stolen in the run up to Christmas. The company recommends that customers contact their bank.
The company is likely to face questions about whether he knew that customer data was stolen and why wait so long before issuing a statement.
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