Disaster for Sony: PlayStation Network Hacked, Customer Details Stolen

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For many users, the initial reaction to the Sony Playstation Network (PSN) and Qriocity services going ‘offline’ on April 20th was one of disappointment and irritation. Many were optimistic that the service would be resumed quickly though, presuming maintenance or a small glitch were to blame for the downtime.

The optimism ended officially on the 23rd of April however, when it became apparent that the reason for the outage on the PSN was a lot more serious than a simple glitch, as Sony themselves declared on their own blog – the reason that the PSN was offline was because there had been an “external intrusion” to their systems.

“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.”

Although at that time, no further explanation regarding the ‘intrusion’ was given, days later Sony finally admitted that the intrusion was actually an electronic hacking attempt that had successfully taken user details including names, addresses and more seriously, credit card details from the Sony databases.

“..between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network.”

Sony are now working to ‘save the situation’ and the closure of the PSN was their first step. However, users are now left wondering firstly why their details were left accessible to a hacking attempt in the first place secondly, why Sony took several days to admit that these details had been stolen and thirdly, what damage will be done by the theft of their personal and financial details.Credit card companies/financial institutions have been quick to reassure affected customers that they should be covered in the event of any fraudulent use of their details however, the whole event is causing much anguish amongst PlayStation Network users, understandably.

As news comes in regarding the hacking of the PSN and the fallout from it, we will update our readers. In the meantime Sony suggest following them on Twitter for updates on the situation:  Follow – @PlayStation or @PlayStationEU.

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