PlayStation Users Hacked off by Security Breach

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77 million Sony PlayStation subscribers have been warned that their credit card details and other confidential personal data may have been stolen by hackers, in what has been described as the largest identity theft on record. The cyber attack came to light on earlier this week, several days after Sony took the PlayStation Network (PSN) offline without any explanation.

As millions of PlayStation enthusiasts all over the world became increasingly frustrated and angry about being denied access to their PSN account, the Japanese high tech giant finally had to admit that a breach of security had occurred. In their official statement they say that an 'illegal and unauthorized' intrusion' into their PSN and Qriocity services has compromised customer account data privacy.

Data information that has been stolen includes:-
Customer names and addresses
Email addresses
Login ids & passwords
Sony believe it is possible that profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and customers' PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have also been obtained. They are playing down the risk to credit card accounts, but admit there is a possibility that these have also been hacked into.

They are advising their customers to be wary of any fraudulent email, telephone or postal requests asking for personal and sensitive information including credit card details.

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA), the name under which the financial services industry co-ordinates its activity on fraud, says there is no need for concerned customers to cancel their cards or contact their bank and card issuers at this stage, but advises them to check their statements for anything unusual.

The internet security firm, Sophos, recommends a more pro-active approach and is advising people to cancel their cards.

To put things into perspective, although there are 77 million PSN users world wide including around 3 million in the UK, not all will have registered their credit card details with the service.

Meanwhile Sony is working round the clock to resolve the problem and enhance and strengthen its network security. The PlayStation and Qriocity service remain turned off, and an independent firm of security experts has been engaged to complete a full investigation into the incident

To date it is not known who is responsible for the hack, although a prime suspect must be the shadowy association of hackers known as Anonymous, which claimed to have carried out the recent cyber attack on payment websites including PayPay, MasterCard and Visa.

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