Sony’s PlayStation Data Theft and Your Online Security, By the Numbers

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Serious data breaches at both Sony and Epsilon have allowed hackers to steal millions of customers’ personal details in the past month alone. If you own a Sony PlayStation network, hackers now know your name, your home address, your email address, your birthday, and your PlayStation password and login name.

That’s a lot of data now in the hands of crooks. Check out this summary of the Sony data theft and how it affects you, by the numbers.

♦ 10. From the time it was first reported, it took ten days until Sony executives apologized for the potential loss of personal information on millions of customers.

$10. That’s the estimated amount of compensation victims of this breach are expected to get if they take part in a class-action lawsuit that was just filed against Sony. However, NetworkWorld points out that “if each of the 77 million PlayStation Network customers whose information was stolen gets just $10, that’s $770 million out of Sony’s pockets.”

$20. The small amount a thief could spend to get your personal details on cybercrook forums. This small fee could get a crook not just your name, but also your entire online identity — including email addresses, passwords, and security questions — which can unlock several accounts like Amazon, eBay, or Facebook.

Seven. The number of days it took Sony to admit that its PlayStation system had been breached.

Three. That’s the three credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) that can place a preventive “credit alert” on your account. That way, no credit can be established without your notification and consent. After all, the crook who purchases your stolen personal information will likely try to commit financial fraud.

Two. The two companies – Sony and Epsilon – that have triggered a House hearing on Wednesday in response to the recent breaches. However, both companies will be no-shows. “Sony has declined to testify because of their ongoing investigation. While we certainly understand the company is going through a tough time, there are still millions of consumers who are twisting in the wind,” a Congressional committee spokesman told Politico.com.

One. There was not one report, despite conflicting rumors, that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. According to the official PlayStation blog, that report is false, and the company warns customers that:

“Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well. 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.”

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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.

2 Responses

  1. October 25, 2011

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  2. December 20, 2011

    […] most people have forgotten the Sony Playstation hack, but if hackers can access 77 million “protected” Sony accounts, just think of the […]