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Personal data compromised during PlayStation Network outage

27 April 2011 - 14:21 by Graham Miller

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Sony has been suffering from an embarrassing week long outage of its PlayStation Network (PSN) service which has more than 70 million users around the world, but now it has admitted that customer information has been accessed and payment card details could have been stolen.

An external intrusion was billed as the cause for the PSN downtime, which, at the time of writing, is still in effect. It took Sony several days to let its users know about the issues it was facing and earlier in the week a spokesperson admitted that there was no timeframe for a full restoration of services because the PSN is essentially being rebuilt from the ground up.

Worrying new information has come to light after a recent blog post from Sony confirmed that for three days from the 19th of April certain users of the PSN had their private data compromised by a third party intruder to the service.

Amongst the type of data that was taken were addresses, postcodes, email details and dates of birth. Sony could also not be sure that the attackers had not gone away with payment card details and the purchase histories of those who are signed up to the service.

An already embarrassing episode for Sony has just been elevated into truly disastrous territory as users would have assumed that they could easily enjoy safe shopping online in the closed environment of a games console.

The hacks have revealed that no company, no matter its size or reputation, can totally ensure security. Whether customers will trust Sony to provide safe shopping online remains to be seen and while it is unlikely that the firm will be completely hobbled by this incident, there is no doubt that PSN users will think twice before they enter their card details again.