Sony Corp. Accounts Hacked For Second Time in Two Weeks

By John Lahtinen May 03, 2011

Already under fire, Sony Corp. has announced that hackers have breached security for a second time, possibly gaining access to personal information from approximately 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) accounts.

The SOE service has been shut down since Monday morning pending further investigation.

This troubling revelation comes within two weeks of the company’s announcement that more than 75 million PlayStation Network users personal information might have been stolen in an earlier attack. Sony officials said that they plan to get the PlayStation Network back up and running this week and are continuing to work with the FBI in conjunction with their own internal investigation.

With this news, the total number of Sony customers potentially affected has reached more than 100 million. The company said the names, addresses, emails, birth dates, phone numbers and other information from its customers were stolen.

The Japanese electronics powerhouse has taken quite a hit from the recent security mishaps and its handling of them, leaving the company scrambling not only to keep its current customers from defecting, but also to keep potential customers interested.

To that end, Sony has announced that it will extend customers a complimentary month on current subscriptions, compensate them for every day the system is down, and provide users assistance in enrolling in identity theft protection programs at a local level. The company said further details regarding these efforts will be announced shortly.

“This criminal act against our network had a significant impact not only on our consumers, but our entire industry. These illegal attacks obviously highlight the widespread problem with cyber-security. We take the security of our consumers’ information very seriously and are committed to helping our consumers protect their personal data. In addition, the organization has worked around the clock to bring these services back online, and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks,” said Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president of Sony Corporation, in a release.

SOE, a game development and game publishing division of Sony, is best known for creating massive multi-player online games, including EverQuest, The Matrix Online, PlanetSide, Star Wars Galaxies, and Free Realms.

John Lahtinen is Community Development Editor for TechZone360. Previously, he served as Director of Publications at Yale Law School. He has 15 years of combined professional and educational experience involving newspapers, media, and communications, including editing, media relations, public relations, news writing, public speaking, layout/design, and marketing. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Community Development Editor, TechZone360

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