Foster City, Calif. – Sony (NYSE: SNE) has acknowledged that the now weeklong
outage of its PlayStation Network online game service was due to a security
breach, during which its 70 million users’ credit card information may have
been accessed. "While there is no evidence at this time that credit card
data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility," the company wrote in
a blog post. "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."

The company said that data including users real
names, birthdates, physical and email addresses, and usernames and passwords
associated with their PlayStation Network and Qriocity accounts were accessed
by the hackers.

As a result, Sony is encouraging users "to be especially
aware of e-mail, telephone, postal mail or other scans that ask for personal or
sensitive information."

The company is currently engaged in an
investigation of the incident, and said access to some of the downed services
could be restored within a week.

In a statement, Sen. Richard Blumenthal
(D-Conn.) said he wrote to the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment
America, calling on the company "to provide PlayStation Network users with
financial data security services, including free access to credit reporting
services for two years, the costs of which should be borne by the company."

Blumenthal added that Sony should offer "sufficient insurance to protect [PSN
users] from the possible financial consequences of identity theft."



Related Links:

(PlayStation blog)
(Sen. Blumenthal statement)