- Title: JAPAN: Sony says 25 mln more users at risk in second data hack.
- Date: 4th May 2011
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (RECENT - APRIL 27, 2011) (REUTERS) MONITOR SHOWING "PLAYSTATION BLOG" WEBSITE WEBSITE TITLE READING IN ENGLISH "PLAYSTATION BLOG" HIGHLIGHTED TEXT ON WEBSITE READING IN ENGLISH "AN ILLEGAL INTRUSION ON OUR SYSTEMS"
- Embargoed: 19th May 2011 13:00
- Location: Japan, Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Industry
- Reuters ID: LVADR7912BLAJTKNOOV4VDNKDGH
- Story Text: Sony reveals that hackers may have stolen data of another 25 million users in a second data hack, one day after it announced measures to prevent another cyberattack.
Sony's Internet security crisis deepened on Monday (May 2) with the company revealing hackers had stolen data of another 25 million users of its PC games system in a second massive breach for the consumer electronics giant.
Sony's latest revelation comes just a day after Sony No. 2 Kazuo Hirai announced measures had been put in place to avert another cyberattack like that which hit its PlayStation Network, hoping to repair its tarnished image and reassure customers who might be pondering a shift to Microsoft's Xbox.
The attack that Sony disclosed on Monday took place a day before a massive break-in of a separate video game network that led to the theft of 77 million users accounts. Sony revealed the initial attack last week.
Sony executives apologized on Sunday (May 1) and said it would gradually restart the PlayStation Network with increased security and would offer some free content to users.
The Japanese electronics company said it discovered the break-in of its Sony Online Entertainment PC games network on May 2. The breach also led to the theft of 10,700 direct debit records from customers in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers, it said.
The PlayStation network lets video game console owners download games and play against friends. The Sony Online Entertainment network, the victim of the latest break-in, hosts games played over the Internet on PCs.
Sony said late on Monday that the names, addresses, emails, birth dates phone numbers and other information from 24.6 million PC games customers was stolen from its servers as well as an "outdated database" from 2007.
A spokesman for the online games unit based in San Diego said the service was taken down at 1:30 am Pacific time on Monday.
The PlayStation Network incident has sparked legal action and investigations by authorities in North America and Europe, home to almost 90 percent of the users of the network, which enables gamers to download software and compete with other members.
On Monday, Sony declined to testify in person in front of a U.S. congressional hearing, but agreed to respond to questions on how consumer private data is protected by businesses in a letter on Tuesday (May 3), said a spokesman for Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a Republican Congresswoman from California, who is leading the hearing.
Sony CEO Howard Stringer has not commented on the security breach, leaving No.2 Kazuo Hirai to lead the news conference and apology on Sunday (May 1). Hirai headed the networks division and is seen as the likely successor to Stringer, who in March committed to stay in his role for the current year at least.
Investors said Sony had botched the data security crisis, a further blow for the company which has struggled against rivals including Nintendo and lost ground to smartphone makers such as Apple Inc. By holding a press conference on Sunday, Sony was hoping to repair its tarnished image and reassure customers who might be pondering a shift to Microsoft's Xbox.
A worker in an Information Technology firm was critical on how Sony handled personal information of its users.
"The users now know that Sony, a company with huge global networks, doesn't take personal information seriously," said 24 year-old Chisato Tezuka.
Others felt the company should have addressed the problem and announced the security breach sooner.
"As you may recall, there was the case with Toyota, and I think the incident should have been announced faster, and they should have take decisive measures. Otherwise, it will be bad for their image (of Sony)," said hospital worker, Norikazu Hashimoto.
"Because of the nuclear crisis, Japan is already losing credibility worldwide, and I feel this (Sony) incident will only make Japan look worse," 25 year-old dental assistant, Saeko Ichiki told Reuters.
The electronics conglomerate is the latest Japanese company to come under fire for not disclosing bad news quickly.
Tokyo Electric Power Co was criticised for how it handled the nuclear crisis after the March 11 earthquake. Last year, Toyota Motor Corp was slammed for being less than forthright about problems over a massive vehicle recall.
The breach is a major setback for the Japanese electronics maker. Although video game hardware and software sales have declined globally, the PlayStation franchise has been a steady seller and remains a flagship product for Sony.
Sony intends to use PlayStation games to lure consumers to buy its first tablet computers, which the company said on April 26 it will release later this year to compete against Apple Inc's iPad and overtake Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab to become No. 2 in the burgeoning market.
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