The PlayStation Network (PSN) has been hacked, Sony has confirmed, exposing the personal details of potentially all its users to hackers.
PSN was taken offline last week following an “intrusion”, but now Sony has come out and admitted to the seriousness of the breach. Users’ names, addresses, emails, usernames, passwords and even credit card data could potentially have fallen into the wrong hands.
“We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorised intrusion into our network,” Sony said in a statement.
Now the system is being rebuilt to ensure better safety, with external security experts having been brought onboard to investigate what went wrong. Services are expected to be restored within a week, but trust in the PSN network may take a lot longer to recover.
Users: What to do now
In the meantime, PSN users are urged to change all their passwords, and potentially change passwords for their other online activities too, if these are the same as the one they use on PSN.
You may also want to contact your bank, which will either want to replace your card, or keep a closer eye on your account for unusual activities. Also do this yourself, and contact the bank immediately if you see anything fishy.
Be extra vigilant against phishing attacks, as your email address may have been compromised and fraudsters may have sent dodgy messages your way. Lastly, if you are especially concerned you could pay a few pounds a month for an ID fraud monitoring service, to make sure no one uses the hacked info to open any new accounts in your name.