It’s no longer a theory, it’s been publicly announced that hackers have undermined the security efforts of a multi-billion dollar corporation and stolen most if not all of the Playstation Network’s user details. Source on the quoted segments is the email Sony has sent out to it’s PSN users.
For sure Sony knows that the security breach has leaked the following information:
“Although we are still investigating the details of this incident,
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
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
In a moment I’m going to list steps Sony and others suggest you take to make sure the least amount of damage is done to your bank account and online persona in general. No matter what, it’s best not to take the “that’ll never happen to me” approach.
If you had a credit or bank debit card associated with your PSN account at the time of the hackings, follow these steps:
- Call your bank/credit card company
- Report that the card has possibly been stolen by this Playstation Network debacle and you need a replacement sent.
- Delete any stored card information on other sites such as Amazon.com or Xbox Live so you don’t have any problems in the future.
The other big problem you face right now is your accounts if you used a regular password with your PSN account. Yes I know, we’re all told we’re not supposed to but sometimes you can’t help it.
If you find yourself in this situation, your best bet is to go ahead and change your passwords, especially the one of the email associated with your PSN account, even if you didn’t use the same password an email is not that hard to crack. Mutiple numbers and upper-case letters are your friend in this situation.
Here’s some more from Sony’s email:
To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we
encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and
to monitor your credit reports. We are providing the following information
for those who wish to consider it:
– U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually
from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report,
visit www.annualcreditreport.com  or call toll-free (877) 322-8228 .
– We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S.
credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus
place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps
to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can
make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however,
that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you,
it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your
identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others
are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a
fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report,
please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
Experian: 888-397-3742 ; www.experian.com ; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285 ; www.equifax.com ; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289 ; www.transunion.com ; Fraud Victim Assistance Division,
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
– You may wish to visit the website of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at
www.consumer.gov/idtheft  or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357  or 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect
yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice
on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or
suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General,
and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be
contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone
(877) 566-7226 ; or www.ncdoj.gov . For Maryland residents, the Attorney
General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202;
telephone: (888) 743-0023 ; or www.oag.state.md.us .
Stay safe out there, fellow gamers. If you feel like reading the entire email from Playstation, I’ve made it available here!