Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PSN Hack | You May Have Had Your Personal Info Stolen

(Reuters) - Sony Corp warned that hackers had stolen names, addresses and possibly credit card details from the 77 million user accounts of its video game online network, in one of the largest Internet security break-ins ever.

The Japanese electronic giant pulled the plug on the network on April 19 after finding out about the breach in its popular PlayStation Network, yet Sony did not tell the public about the stolen data until Tuesday.

It will be a blow for Kazuo Hirai, who was appointed to the company's No. 2 position last month after building up Sony's networked services.

The crisis could also overshadow Sony's plans to launch a new hand-held games wireless mobile device, the Next Generation Portable, by the end of the year.

It's suspected the hackers entered the network by taking over the PC of a system administrator, who had rights to access sensitive information about Sony's customers. They likely did that by sending the administrator an email message that contained a piece of malicious software that got downloaded onto his or her PC.

The company has struggled for years to control the activities of the hackers who make up a portion of PlayStation's fanbase.

Earlier this month, games fan website PlayStation Lifestyle said a group calling itself "Anonymous" had conducted attacks on Sony websites and online services, motivated by revenge for the company's attempts to clamp down on hacking.

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