Why The Hacked Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) is a Big Deal Security Issue for You

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To bring you up-to-date, if you are scratching your head right now, first, the Sony PlayStation Network (referred to in shorthand as the “PSN”) was taken down last month in a concerted cyber attack which, at first Sony claimed was down due to “maintenance” but, eventually, they admitted that a hacking attack had taken them down. The hacker or hackers also caused Sony’s Qriocity services to go down. Oh, and wait – it also extended to the Sony Online Entertainment network. In short, if you have ever completed any transaction online with Sony, you need to treat your identity and credit card information as compromised.

Eventually, Sony copped to the truth. In a statement from Sony Sr. Director of Corporate Communications & Social Media, Patrick Seybold, Seybold explained that An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th. Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority. We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share.”

So, to make a long story short, Sony took the networks down themselves, after the PlayStation Network and Qriocity had suffered pounding, sustained cyber attacks.

It has been posited that those cyber attacks may have come, in part, from Sony PSPs that had been rooted – although whether the suggestion is that it was intentional, or that rooted PSPs had been infected with malware, isn’t yet clear.

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After taking the systems down, and reinforcing and securing them, Sony started bringing the networks back up, on a region-by-region basis.

So, who is affected by this, other than those who were wanting, and unable, to play games on the PlayStation Network while it was down?

Pretty much anyone who has ever registered with the Playstation Network, as the hackers were able to steal all of that juicy user data, including not only names, usernames, and passwords but even, in all probability, credit card numbers (Sony has not confirmed this, but they haven’t denied it, either). In fact, security specialists have reported observing that a list of Sony PlayStation Network credit card numbers is being shopped around the dark underbelly of the Internet for as much as $100,000.

So, if anyone in your family has ever done business online with Sony, or connected a device to the Sony Online Network (does anyone in your family have a Sony PSP? Or a Playstation?), then you need to start watching your credit card statements very closely, and it may not be a bad idea to simply change your credit card out – and to check your credit report soon.

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