If you use a Sony PlayStation console, you may be part of one of the biggest data breaches in history. The information of some 77 million people has been hacked, including billing address, purchase history, account info (such as date of birth) and credit card information — just about anything a crook would need to steal your identity, minus your Social Security number.
I saw a timeline on The Wall Street Journal about how this breach happened and it all went down pretty quickly.
A hacker group publicly announced on April 3 that they intended to hack Sony. On April 6, some Sony services were disrupted. Then just days later on April 19, you had the scheduled release of high-profile game titles like Mortal Kombat and Portal 2. By April 25, Sony made the decision to take the PlayStation network offline. Days later, the company revealed there had been an external intrusion and the full count of how many millions were affected.
Now we’re learning there was also a prior breach of another 25 million customer records before the 77 million!
This is a serious issue because of the level of info the criminals have. There’s nothing at all to indicate Sony did anything wrong here. It’s just a case of very determined hackers who found gaps in code that they were able to exploit.
If you were affected by the Sony breaches, here’s what you need to know:
- Monitor your credit card very closely.
- Notify your credit card company if you see any suspicious activity.
- Remember, the crooks don’t have your Social Security number so even though full-blown identity theft is possible, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. It’s the access to your personal info tied in with your credit card that is the greatest concern here.