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NZ Privacy Commissioner issues warning after massive PlayStation Network security breach

UPDATE 6pm: As questions swirl over why Sony waited nearly a week before it told customers, NZ Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff has warned New Zealanders PlayStation Network (PSN) users to take steps to protect themselves.

Up to 77 million PSN customers worldwide had their personal dettails, including passwords and credit card details, exposed to hackers six days ago.

The Privacy Commissioner told RNZ that worried PSN customers should approach their bank to have their credit card details changed.

PlayStation Network passwords that are also used for other sites, such as TradeMe or internet banking, should be also be changed.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael said New Zealanders who accessed Sony PlayStation accounts need to be very vigilant in the weeks ahead, especially parents of children who used the network and were now at risk of identity theft.

Sony has sold around 325,000 online-capable PlayStations locally.


UPDATE 4pm: The Australian Privacy Commissioner has said that his office is launching an investigation into the loss of personal data in the PlayStation Network (PSN) hack.

Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said in addition that he was "very concerned" and would contact Sony for more information about the breach, which occurred between April 17 and April 19, and has resulted in the loss of personal information of users, including names, addresses, birth dates, and even possibly credit card information.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the head of the New South Wales Police fraud squad said Australian users may have to cancel their credit cards, since enough information was stolen to take out a loan on the victim's behalf.  Detective Superintendent Col Dyson said the information could be used to commit identity crimes, or sold to other groups to use. 

The NSW Police have advised affected Australian account holders to consider cancelling their credit cards, or contacting their bank to tell them their card may have been compromised.  The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sony Australia had confirmed the hack affected all PSN users but had not received any reports of credit card information being used improperly.

Sony's latest blog update said that there was a difference in timing between the realisation that there was an intrusion, and that customer data had been compromised.  Senior director, corporate communications and social media Patrick Seybold said Sony realised there was an intrusion on April 19, but it took an outside security team until yesterday to understand the "scope of the breach", after several days of forensic analysis.

"We then shared that information with our consumers and announced it publicly this afternoon."

In a Facts and Question section, Sony said it had not had a service termination as long as this before, and that it was reviewing options for loyal customers financially affected by the hack. 

NBR is waiting on comment from the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner and Sony.

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The Sony Playstation Network (PSN) will be down for a further week, meaning the network will have been out of action for about 14 days in total, following reports of hackers obtaining personal information stored in the network.

The network, an online service that connects game consoles allowing gamers to play multiplayer games and purchase movies, music and more, was taken down last Wednesday night after Sony noticed problems but on Friday it confirmed an "external intrusion" had occurred and the Qriocity cloud-based music service was taken down.

On an update to his blog, senior director of corporate communications and social media, Patrick Seybold, said Sony was working to send an email to registered account holders which detailed the hack that occurred between April17 and April 19.  He wrote that personal information of account holders had been "compromised", including names, addresses, birthdays and possibly, credit card information. 

Account holders were warned not to respond to emails, phone calls or post asking for personal information, and Sony has said it had hired an outside security firm to investigate the hack, taken down the PSN and Qrocity services and has "quickly taken steps" to re-build its system with extra security. 

Sony stated it had a "clear path" to have services back up and running within a week.

The hacker collective Anonymous was blamed for the intrusion, having previously called for a boycott of Sony in the wake of the company's law suit against hacker George Hotz this year.  Anonymous, however, has denied all responsibility following a storm of gamer-criticism,  which, however, didn't stop them revelling in Sony's catastrophic trip up.

Meanwhile many in the gaming world remain seriously upset with Sony, and anyone who might be responsible for taking the PSN offline.

Sony told NBR that it sincerely regretted the suspension of the services, and was working around the clock to bring them back online. 

"Our efforts to resolve this matter involve re-building our system to further strengthen our network infrastructure.  Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the
system with additional security."

More by Alex Walls and NBR staff

Comments and questions

Too bad, I wanted to play bbc2 sometime this week, Gonna have to stick with campaign mode i guess.

when will it be fixed????????????????

i hope it would be fixed soon

when will it be fixed????????????????

yeah me 2 pal.. glad i have a 360 :-)

yeah me 2 pal.. glad i have a 360 :-)

i have a ps3 and im mad. but seeing its not psn's fault i understand. i just hope that it ends soon.[i miss black ops zombies].

what is your online name

what is your online name

Not their fault? BS! Not only did they screw the pooch with their security, they wait more than a week to inform anyone? Typical SONY...screw them.

Thanks who ever did this is retarded and should see jail time.. I'm kinda getting bored playing the same game over again and I would like to see some free games from playstation or something to make me happy again but thanks for helping..

do you have black ops

If gaming is what you do most of your day, go outside, mow the lawn, play with yours friends. Get a life!

i feel you man i want to play wit my frends n tlk to my girl...

i feel you man i want to play wit my frends n tlk to my girl...

i feel you man i want to play wit my frends n tlk to my girl...

"The hacker collective Anonymous was blamed for the intrusion, having previously called for a boycott of Sony in the wake of but has denied all responsibility in the wake of a storm of gamer-criticism, which didn't stop them revelling in Sony's catastrophic trip up."

Does the NBR have a copy editor?

I have a ps3 and i'm mad. But seeing it's not psn's fault i understand. But it is their promblem. I'm sure 9 out of 10 ps3 users would agree with me.

If anyone is upset that Sony would shut down PSN due to a hacker stealing or just being able to see their info they need think about their money more then their gaming. Hackers can get into any system if they know what their doing. Would be a shame if Microsoft had anything to do with this, but we'll never know.

just wanna go back to being beasty at Black Ops

Anonymous does not forget.
Geohot is a hero.

yes man fa from last week wednesday when it got hack i HAVENT PLAYED ONLINE 24/7 but now since its near school holidays i just have to watch movies, really tired and i hope at least its fix by the 29th or 30th of april 2011 because i need to do videos on zombies,black ops,mw2 and post it up on youtube! PLease fix it this week before april FINISHES!
if you want to add me : email me: xvdarknightmarexv@hotmail.co.nz
shakeitgirl@msn.com
my youtube channel: nightmareassassin79
and my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/PS3/106485409413527
THANKS AND GOOD LUCK SONY!!!

im pissed off!!! get the internet back up plzz

they said it wwill be back up in a weeek tht pisses me off even more they said it was gunna be back on today!!!!!!

im pissed off!!! get the internet back up plzz

im pissed off!!! get the internet back up plzz

i hate playn the same game i love playn multiplayer in black ops and zombies i hope the psn will lets us go online again

come on, i only have 1 day left of internet and i want to download B ops map packs

how could it be hacked i say that the ps3 sud b a bit like xbox cause it cant be hacked and it would be better i miss goin online

i hate it because online is the only fun thing to do on some call of duty games.

gay i hate playing single player

DAM YOU HACKERS I WANNA PLAY BLACK OPS

I miss playen black ops zombie ugh hurry up and fix it

wtf hurry up sony

What advice are they giving. Do I need to cancel my card details??? Request a new card?

OMFG-returned from Holiday(Raro) to find out PSN not working. Campaign Mode completed(BCBF2 & MOH) LOL-neva thought I'd play em. Hanging out for my BFBC2 Vietnam-plse plse be up b4 the royal wedding-might be joining in with the wife & her friends(girls weekend viewing) argh.....I even thought about buying an XBOX 360-not that serious though :)

stop crying people its not sony's fault

Xbox 360 is the shit proven again that ps3 sucks - I have both and I rarely use ps3

Curse these hackers, I hope our credit card numbers aren't stolen!!!!

u can say tht again they stlen credit card details its not just the network down its personal info

So sad to see but funny to watch how many people fall apart cuz of the PSN being down. GET A REAL LIFE PEOPLE!!!

Anonymous | Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 12:49pm

LOL-you're slightly correct, think you meant;

" XBOX is SHIT "-subscription fee(XBOX) way to donate :)

Must be Black Ops-Kiddies game :)

I like that the majority of the users state how they miss playing online and how bored they are without the online aspect of the games and don't care that their personal data are now in the hands of thieves.

we want answers .......a lot of money was spent on socom4 and mortal combat and cant even play ........................FIX it NOw

wow 1 mre week to go wahhhhhhhhhhhhh

PPL seriously be glad that Sony told us abut our credit cards and stuff now before all your money and personal stuff got taken. Just think though if the so called "HACKERS" got into PSN then what else they into huh? Or whose to say they wont knock out ONLINE again cause trust me ppl if they wanna do it again they could, cause no Security System cant be gotten into thes "HACKERS" are good at this stuff but seriously SONY FIX THE PROBLEM ALREADY.

allright, enough is enough sony i hav waited 7 days now you gave us the bullshit that you would be back up in a day or two, you keep on saying "its a time consuming process" and "it will be back up soon" YOU give us an honest proper date when the psn will be back online and non of this in a day or two bullcrap! there are over 70 million people out there waiting 4 psn 2 be back up! P.S if you have heard the news that psn is up in japan THAT is BULLCRAP psn works over worldwide if it is down for one country/state it will be down for the REST of the world! P.P.S if you want to add me on psn my name is crushmyster29

I am happy they shut it down. That way the hackers can't do any more damage. BTW im not a 360 user.

This isn’t the end of the world, guys. Its just a week or two on solo. Maybe you can play with ur friends, if you have any…

one day soon maybe one day soon i might be back playing nazi zombies online

PlaystationNetwork bak on soon ... but my m8 is a hacker so he can get online , and told me AS SOON AS sony unhack PSN ... they gonna hack it all over again .. & again & again

they apparnently wer giving other hackerzZ ADMIN!! ... lukky 4 mee

This is such crap, i gotta do sum ownage on Bad Company 2 'n' Black Ops

If anyone wanna add me my online id is xHAMIDx98

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