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Sony has confirmed that a hacking attack was to blame for its PlayStation Network being taken offline.
The company said that it had taken the PSN down voluntarily while it investigated an "external intrusion".
The system is still unavailable five days after the hack was discovered.
Users trying to connect have been met with error messages stating that the network is "undergoing maintenance" or is "suspended".
"Though this task is time-consuming, we decided it was worth the time necessary to provide the system with additional security," wrote Patrick Seybold, the company's senior director of corporate communications and social media.
an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID
purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers.
Sony says that while there is no evidence of credit card info being stolen, the company "cannot rule out the possibility,"
Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained.
For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.
To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports. We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it: