Sony has confirmed our worst fears – the Playstation Network has indeed been hacked, compromising all user information including names, passwords, and addresses. It is also most likely the users credit card numbesr have been stolen.
While Sony says it now “has a clear path to have PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems back online” and expects some services to be restored within a week, the illegal and unauthorized intrusion was a major break for all PlayStation Network and Qriocity customers. As a result, Sony has:
- Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
- Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
- Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.
However, the hackers still were able to gain a great deal of personal information of users, including names, addresss (city, state, zip), country, email addresses, birthdates, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and logins, and handle/PSN online IDs. It is also possible that profile data, including purchase history and billing addresses (city, state, zip), and PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. There is some likelihood that credit card data was obtained in the breach as well.
While we wait and see what repercussions and scrutiny Sony faces for this security breach, customers of the PlayStation Network and Qriocity should be extremely vigilant in the coming weeks and months. Here are a few tips to maintain your technical, financial and personal security:
- Change any passwords similar to your PlayStation Network password immediately.
- Monitor your credit card activity to be sure that it is not being used by an unauthorized party.
- Check your credit reports for any use that is out of the ordinary. U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.
- Consider placing a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name.
- Be aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony explains that it will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information.