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At Sony, Financial, Personal Data of 77 Million Users Stolen

Published on April 27, 2011
Sony suffered a massive breach in its video game online network that led to the theft of names, addresses, birth dates, and possibly credit card data belonging to 77 million user accounts in what is one of the largest-ever Internet security break-ins, Reuters reports. The breach occurred between April 17 and 19, but the company suspended availability of gaming, and online entertainment programs available on its PlayStation Network & Qriocity networks in the interim, and waited until April 26 to make a statement. The details of the data breach, according to the Sony web site: “We believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained.” The company expects to restore the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services within a week. For a perspective on how the recent data breach cases contribute to the overall problem, according to Verizon Business' "2011 Data Breach Investigations Report," the upward trend had seemed to reach an apex in 2008, and after four years of increasing losses culminating in 2008’s record-setting 361 million, Verizon speculated in the report whether 2009’s drop to 144 million was a fluke or a sign of things to come. "2010’s total of less than four million compromised records seems to suggest it was a sign. But of what? And is it a permanent change in direction or a temporary detour?" their research asked.