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    Dec 2009

    Default Sony PlayStation suffers massive data breach

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    Sony Corp suffered a massive breach in its video game online network that led to the theft of names, addresses and possibly credit card data belonging to 77 million user accounts in what is one of the largest-ever Internet security break-ins.
    Sony said it learned of the breach in its PlayStation Network on April 19, prompting it to shut down the network immediately. Sony did not tell the public until Tuesday, hours after it launched its new tablet computers in Japan.
    The electronics conglomerate is the latest Japanese company to come under fire for not disclosing bad news quickly. Tokyo Electric Power Co was criticized for how it handled the nuclear crisis after the March 11 earthquake. Last year, Toyota Motor Corp was slammed for being less than forthright about problems over a massive vehicle recall.

    An "illegal and unauthorized person" obtained people's names, addresses, email address, birth dates, usernames, passwords, logins, security questions and more, Sony said on its US PlayStation blog on Tuesday.
    A Sony spokesman said it took "several days of forensic investigation" after learning of the breach before the company knew consumers' data had been compromised.
    The shutdown of the PlayStation Network prevented owners of Sony's video game console from buying and downloading games, as well as playing with rivals over the Internet.
    Alan Paller, research director of the SANS Institute, said the breach may be the largest theft of identity data information on record.
    Shares of Sony rose 0.5 per cent in Tokyo to 2,421 yen, underperforming a 1.5 per cent rise in the benchmark Nikkei 225.


    The breach is a major setback for the Japanese electronics maker. Although video game hardware and software sales have declined globally, the PlayStation franchise has been a steady seller and remains a flagship product for Sony.
    Sony intends to use PlayStation games to lure consumers to buy its first tablet computers, which the company said on Tuesday it will release later this year to compete against Apple Inc's iPad and overtake Samsung Electronics to become No. 2 in the burgeoning market.
    Children with accounts established by their parents also might have had their data exposed, Sony said.
    Sony said it saw no evidence credit card numbers were stolen, but warned users it could not rule out the possibility.
    ...being a human...



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