Sony suspended access to the network, which has about three million British users, last Wednesday (20 April) after realising it had been hacked.
It has told users it cannot rule out the possibility that their credit card data was taken.
It has also told them which personal data it believes the hacker obtained, including names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates and PlayStation/Qriocity (its on-demand music and video service) usernames and passwords.
It sent the following email to customers yesterday:
Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer:
We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:
We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.
Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login and handle/PSN online ID.
It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained.
If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained.
While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility.
If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.
For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information.
Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security, tax identification or similar number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking.
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 or similar types of reports.
We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible.
Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority.
Please contact us at uk.playstation.com/psnoutage should you have any additional questions.
Sony Network Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment Teams
Sony Network Entertainment Europe Limited (formerly known as PlayStation Network Europe Limited) is a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited the data controller for PlayStation Network/Qriocity personal data.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk