On April 17, 2011, hackers gained access to Sony’s PlayStation Network. At first, the company thought they would be able to keep damage to a minimum but as it turned out, the hackers were able to access the account information of the network’s 77 million users. As a result, many of Sony’s PlayStation customers were very upset that their information had been exposed. The only way Sony was able to stop the hackers from accessing anymore information was to completely shut down the network.
The Sony security breach has impacted PlayStation users on a global scale. Not only are customers upset because access to the PlayStation Network was disrupted, but they are also upset because they are now at risk for identity theft. Since PlayStation is a gateway to an Internet-connected network, it requires users to provide information such as birth dates, mother’s maiden names, and addresses, all of which could be used to access users’ bank accounts. Tom Standage, a technology editor for The Economist, said, “So the danger is that if your passwords and personal questions — your mother’s maiden name — so forth, the answers to those questions have been made available, fallen into the hands of hackers, then they could potentially use that for identity theft, to get into things like your bank account, and other online systems where you might have provided your credit card details.” Let’s hope Sony resolves its issues and looks into more effective ways to secure their network.