77m fear fraud in PlayStation hack

The hack attack on Sony PlayStation’s Network has sparked fears of the world’s biggest data breach – potentially affecting up to 77 million credit card details – after the company refused to confirm users’ information was safe.
Sony has yet to determine if customers’ personal data – including credit cards – have been stolen as part of the attack on the system that has left its PlayStation Network blocked for nearly a week.
The company has admitted that the breach was so serious that it has been forced to rebuild the entire system, with a spokesman saying, “though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security”.
Users trying to connect have been met with error messages stating that the network is “undergoing maintenance” or is “suspended”.
The PlayStation Network is used by owners of PS3 and PlayStation Portable machines to download games, films and music, as well as to play online with friends. According to Sony, it has more than 77 million accounts registered worldwide.
In a blog post, the company thanked users for their patience and assured them that it was working “around the clock” to strengthen the network infrastructure.
But the company has not discovered if personal information or payment card data of its 70 million users has been exposed. It has vowed to warn users promptly if it determines such information was stolen in the attack.
The closure of the network has sparked fury among PlayStation fans and follows months of criticism by some over the company’s legal challenge against users who had found a way of running apps and games not officially sanctioned by Sony.
As well as gaming, the outage has affected other services running over the PlayStation Network.
UK-based film rental site LoveFilm confirmed to the BBC that its customers are currently unable to stream films on the service. In the US, some users of Netflix – another movie streaming service – have also reported problems.

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