PlayStation shares slump in wake of hack
Over one million Middle East subscribers have had details compromised
Sony PlayStation is urging both PlayStation Network and Qriocity users to be ultra-cautious following the hack which saw personal data of approximately 77 million users being stolen, including over one million users from the Middle East.
Sony shares have sunk 5% in Tokyo since the announcement of the hack and data theft earlier this week.
The credit card details of approximately 27,000 users in the region may have been compromised. Fourteen-thousand of these credit card holders are from the UAE, 12,500 in Saudi Arabia and 500 in Kuwait.
The Sony PlayStation Network has 1,093,000 account holders that are registered in the Middle East with 650,000 based in Saudi Arabia. The UAE has 250,000 registered users, making it Sony's second largest Middle East market; Kuwait has 90,000 registered users, Qatar has 46,000, Bahrain 26,000, Lebanon 21,000 and Oman 10,000.
PlayStation may also be facing a lawsuit as a US-based law firm has filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of consumers affected by the hack.
PlayStation says that it is currently revamping the whole network and is enhancing both security and the network infrastructure; this includes moving the entire network infrastructure to a new, more secure location.
The company is now working with law enforcement and a security technology firm to try and find the culprits behind the attack, according to a post on the official PlayStation blog.
"This malicious attack against our system and against our customers is a criminal act and we are proceeding aggressively to find those responsible," said Patrick Seybold, senior director, Corporate Communications and Social Media in the blog post.
According to PlayStation, all credit card information on the site was protected and encrypted; however, the personal data table was not encrypted but was protected by a high-level security system, which was breached.
PlayStation is urging PlayStation Network and Qriocity users to be aware of any emails, phone calls or postal mail scams that request any users' credit card details or personal information.
"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," said Seybold.
The company is also working on a new system software update that will require all users to change their passwords as both sites come back online.
Seybold also said that the PlayStation network should be up within a week, but stressed that it would only go up if they company was sure it was secure.