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Sony faces second data breach

By Marcie Geffner ·
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

Computer hackers have broken into another Sony online game service, and more sensitive consumer information, including credit card, debit and bank account numbers, may have been stolen.

Personal information from 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment, or SOE, accounts may have been taken along with data from a 2007 database, Sony said in a statement Tuesday.

The personal information from the 24.6 million accounts included customer names, the city, state, ZIP code and country portions of mailing addresses, email addresses, birthdates, gender, phone numbers and login names and passwords. The passwords were protected by a type of security called a "hash" algorithm.

The 2007 database, which Sony described as "outdated," included 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates and about 10,700 direct debit records of certain customers in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Spain, according to the company. The direct debit records included customer names, the city, state, ZIP code and country portions of mailing addresses, account names and bank account numbers.

The company hasn't said whether the financial data was encrypted, hashed or in clear text format.

SOE offers multiplayer online games that can be played on a wide range of platforms and devices, including the PlayStation 3, personal computers, and mobile and social networks. Game titles include "EverQuest," "EverQuest II," "Champions of Norrath," "PlanetSide," "Free Realms," "Clone Wars Adventures" and "DC Universe Online."

The newly discovered intrusion apparently occurred April 16-17, around the same time as the previously revealed unauthorized access into the Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. All of these services have been shut down while Sony reviews and upgrades its online security systems.

Customers have been advised to be alert to any email, telephone and postal solicitations that request personal or sensitive information and to logon to the SOE system and change their password as soon as the service is restored. Changing identical user names and passwords used elsewhere is also advised.

Sony has apologized for the inconvenience and said it is working with the FBI to investigate these cybercrimes.

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May 04, 2011 at 10:01 am

"Sony has apologized for the inconvenience..."

that's it? that's all we're getting from Sony? no other punishment?

well, isn't that nice for them and for all their customers.