Credit card data at risk in PlayStation hack

Hackers who broke into Sony's PlayStation Network online service might have stolen members' credit card information, Sony said Tuesday.

The intrusion, which happened between April 17 and 19, has resulted in a week-long system outage that could last as long as another week. As many as 75 million users globally use the network to play online games together and download movies, TV episodes and game demos. 

Sony says it will send an e-mail to all account holders advising those who gave their credit card information to either PSN or Sony's new Qriocity music system that hackers may have gotten their credit card number and expiration date but not the card's security code. "While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility," Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media, said in a statement on Sony's official PlayStation blog.

"An unauthorized person" did get users' personal information including birth date and e-mail addresses, he said. In the wake of the security breach, PSN members should be alert for e-mail, telephone and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information, Seybold said.

Users should change the passwords on other services and accounts that might use the same user name or password as their PSN account. "We encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports," he said.

Consumers should heed Sony's advice, says Tim Rohrbaugh, vice president of information security for Intersections, an ID theft protection and risk management firm in Chantilly, Va. "On something like a PlayStation or (Internet-connected) TV, you can't use the same password that you use on your bank account or the accounts where a lot of damage can happen," he says.

Some users criticized Sony on social networks and forums for not coming forward with information about the breach sooner. But Rohrbaugh applauded Sony for a quick response. "The average amount of time it takes for a company to find an unauthorized access is six months-plus," he says.

The Sony breach and another earlier this month at Epsilon, which provides e-mail marketing for 2,500 companies, is "a wake-up call" to pay attention to what is going on with your data, he says.

The outage comes at a bad time for Sony. Hot titles such as Valve Software's Portal 2, Warner Bros. brawler Mortal Kombat and PlayStation 3 exclusive Socom 4 all hit stores last week.

Credit card data at risk in PlayStation hack Credit card data at risk in PlayStation hack Reviewed by afree on 2:42 PM Rating: 5

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