There has been a large amount of criticism and concern over the recent security breach of Sony’s Playstation Network (PSN), which is still offline after a major online attack during which Sony customer’s personal details and credit card information were compromised.
It has been discovered that some of the data stolen has begun to appear posted on black market websites.
A representative of security firm TrendMicro, Kevin Stevens, has been able to track conversations on a black market website between thieves who claim to have stolen in excess of over 2 million consumers worldwide.
A report issued by TrendMicro reveals that the data stolen during the attack on PSN includes users’ full names, home addresses, email addresses and passwords, dates of birth, credit card numbers, expiration dates, and CCV security codes. Kevin Stevens and fellow security expert Brain Krebs tracked the hackers’ conversation while they were discussing the stolen credit card database.
The hackers are allegedly attempting to sell the personal information and credit card details for up to $100,000. Claims that the hackers had unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a buy back deal with Sony have been dismissed as unfounded rumor.
Sony Communications has been publicly maintaining that because the data was encrypted there are no details to be sold by the thieves. However, customers are now receiving notice from Sony that their details have been stolen and are advising consumers of how to protect themselves against potential identity fraud.
However, Sony is still unable to confirm if the credit card details were actually stolen, but it cannot be ruled out. Sony has been harshly criticized for their handling of the security breach. Critics also say that Sony has failed their customers by not keeping PSN users properly informed about the situation.
Sony executives have apologized this week for the inconvenience caused and claim that at least partial service will be restored this week with much tighter security in place. Chief of Sony Corp.’s Playstation video game unit, Kazuo Hirai said “We deeply apologize for the inconvenience we have caused.”
Sony says they have introduced software monitoring and enhanced data protection and encryption. The company is also offering complimentary downloads and 30 days of free service to consumers worldwide as a mark of remorse and as an incentive to stop customers turning to competitors in the wake of what is being billed as “the biggest criminal hack on record.”
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