Nations probe Sony PlayStation Network hack

Nations probe Sony PlayStation Network hack

Visitors  playing Sony’s next-generation video game PlayStation 3  in Tokyo. AP

The PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were shut down on April 20 after what Sony described as an “external intrusion” and remain offline as the company upgrades security and works with Federal investigators.

A US House of Representatives panel sent a letter to Sony Chairman Kazuo Hirai with questions on the data breach.

“Sony’s statement describes information illegally obtained to include account information as well as potentially profile information,” said the letter from a panel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which was posted on the Internet. “Given the amount and nature of personal information known to have been taken, the potential harm that could be caused if credit card information was also taken would be quite significant.” The committee, which has scheduled a hearing on May 4 to discuss data theft issues, also asked Sony to explain why it believes credit card information was not taken despite being unable to determine the exact scale of the theft. The Japanese electronics giant has said users’ credit card data was encrypted but could not rule out the possibility that card data was obtained by hackers.

In Britain, the Information Commissioner’s Office said it had contacted Sony and will make “further enquiries to establish the precise nature of the incident before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”

Australia’s Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim also said he had launched an investigation.

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