Disaster: Playstation Network User Data Compromised, Names, Addresses, Maybe Credit Cards

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Sony has finally released a status update about the Playstation Network, which has been down since April 21. And it sounds like things couldn’t be much worse.

Sony says that “certain PSN and Qriocity service user account information was compromised” during an illegal intrusion between April 17 and April 19. Among the personal data that was accessed: name, address, email, birthdate, PSN network login/password, PSN handle, PSN password security answers, and possibly credit card information. Sony explains that “While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility.” Wow.

There has been rampant speculation since the network went down over what the cause was, with one leading theory stating that Sony was trying to stave off hackers who were attempting to pirate games and movies. But it looks like the damage is far worse: with this information, the hackers could easily make purchases using your personal information. Oh, and Sony waited a week before they told everyone that the data was compromised. Wonderful.

Sony is encouraging people to “remain vigilant” in reviewing their credit card accounts, and helpfully provides contact information for the US. credit bureaus in case you want to request a fraud alert. In addition to that, you’ll want to change the password of any account that uses the same one as your PSN login (or even the same security question).

Oh, and if you still care, Sony expects to have PSN service back up “within a week”.

Here’s a portion of the announcement:

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you 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 your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. 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.

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. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.