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Twenty thousand Greeks among the victims of the hackers who stole personal data from Sony

02 May 2011 / 17:05:58  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Thousands of Greeks have become the victims of hacker theft from the e-portal of the Sony PlayStation Network. According to the Greek branch of the company, the on-line users of the network are about 210,000. At least 20,000 of them, and at least 10 million users around the world have submitted the details of their credit cards to the PlayStation Network.

The hackers have stolen the personal data of gamers. From names, location or user names to credit card details as numbers and other transactions. They announced from Sony that they have no evidence of stealing the data, but could not deny this possibility.
 
According to Yannis, a seller and consultant in the central shop of the Public pleasure chain, "the users blame the company only that it did not report the incident on time and did not cut the network access for about 6-7 days. Of course, there is already a message on the the company's web site that the web site of Sony will never ask you to submit codes or credit card numbers." The administrators advise the users to replace their credit cards and change their codes or e-mails if they used them to gain access to other websites.

Yannis said that the majority of the users in Greece knew about the hacker attack from the Internet. "People who play often and are users of online games know the things. Even when trying to join a game, a message appears that the page is under construction."

According to Yiannis, the most concerned should be the people who have used their credit cards and worry that the hackers may have stolen their numbers. "The customers continue to buy games, we do not have a drop in sales. The only change is that they ask when the connection to the on-line page will be restored but there is still no answer from the company. As far as I know the investigation involves the FBI."

Yannis determined what happened as an unprecedented scandal for the reasons of which there are a lot of rumours.

"One of the options is that this blow is made by the competition and precisely by hackers from Microsoft, because the use of the Xbox is possible through annual subscription. Thus, the company ensures the security of user data. The other wide spread opinion is that Sony itself acted this way to establish the payment of subscription for the use of PlayStation."
 
It is commented in the forums that the hackers who managed to break the protection of the site will surely find a job at Microsoft. "They managed to take so much data that they could certainly be turned into a weapon against Sony." Yannis believes that their capturing is very unlikely. "The things in this case are like with serial killers and criminals. Often, when they are not capable of finding the culprit they blame someone else and this person becomes a scapegoat in order to close the case. Furthermore, I do not believe that only one hacker has made the whole attack. Surely, we are talking about a group of several people. It is just not possible a single person to steal so much information for 77 million people."

Users from many countries have already filed legal complaints against the company, requiring the payment of compensations "for the benefit of all customers." The state departments of some of them said they would investigate the theft of data. According to a publication in the British newspaper The Guardian, despite the assurances by Sony that the users’ credit card numbers are encrypted, dozens of gamers have reported illegal transactions in the cards they had used on the PlayStation Network website.
 
The researcher from the company for computer security Kevin Stevens said that in messages posted in forums hackers have offered for sale a copy of Sony’s customer database for 100 thousand dollars. "The hackers sell the database. It is believed that they avail the data of 2.2 million cards together with their security codes," wrote Stevens in Twitter. They denied from Sony the information published on blogs that the hackers are trying to sell the stolen data to the company.

The electronic online portal PlayStation Network have not been active for 13 days. In an yesterday’s message Sony promised that part of the network services will be recovered during the week. Sony’s manager Kazuo Hirai apologized to the customers of the company for the great concern and inconvenience.

Market analysts do not preclude a large number of users to abandon the Sony’s platform and to prefer Microsoft’s Xbox.

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