Sony Admits Personal Info at Risk, Claims PSN Back Up In a Week

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It’s been six days of hell for PS3 owners who’ve been without the use of the console’s PlayStation Network. However, with the latest update on the official Playstation blog, Sony PR rep Patrick Seybold reports that the PSN could be back up inside a week. But don’t celebrate just yet–it appears that things may be worse than first imagined for Sony and PSN members.

That’s because the “intrusion” that prompted Sony to shut down the PSN may have involved identity theft, with homes addresses and credit card information among the data Sony admits could have been stolen.

In the blog post, Sony PR rep Patrick Seybold wrote the following:

…We believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. 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.

This sort of security breach is the worst possible scenario for Sony, prompting the company to notify users and encourage PSN account holders to look at bank and credit card statements for unusual activity. Sony’s also warning users to be wary of phishing attempts, advising that no one from Sony will be calling to check personal info.

As bad as it’s been for PS3 owners–myself included, all I want is to play some Mortal Kombat online–PSN members assumed their credit cards and e-mail addresses were safe. This sudden turn of events not only stands to anger even Sony loyalists, it also exposes Sony to legal ramifications. In today’s super-litigious society, it’s only a matter of time before someone files a class-action suit, and Sony’s free PlayStation online service may wind up costing the company a lot more than they bargained for.