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Saga Continues: More Than 12,700 Credit Cards Stolen From Sony Online Entertainment

by Ernice Gilbert on May 2nd, 2011, under Hot, News, Sony

It’s not over for Sony, then, as over 12,7000 credit cards were stolen from its Sony Online Entertainment branch as part of the massive attack PSN suffered last month. Sony Online Entertainment are behind such games as EverQuest, Free Realms and DC Universe.

According to a statement released by SOE, the data theft took place between April 16 and 17, which is around the same time as the malicious attacks that compromised PSN. This particular data theft, however, was only discovered this morning during Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Entertainment’s investigation into the PlayStation Network hack.

The site’s been down since earlier today, and if you visit it right now the message you’ll be greeted with reads:

Customer Service Notification

May 2, 2011
Dear Valued Sony Online Entertainment Customer:
Our ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment systems has discovered that hackers may have obtained personal customer information from SOE systems. We are today advising you that the personal information you provided us in connection with your SOE account may have been stolen in a cyber-attack. Stolen information includes, to the extent you provided it to us, the following: name, address (city, state, zip, country), email address, gender, birthdate, phone number, login name and hashed password.

Customers outside the United States should be advised that we further discovered evidence that information from an outdated database from 2007 containing approximately 12,700 non-US customer credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates (but not credit card security codes) and about 10,700 direct debit records listing bank account numbers of certain customers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Spain may have also been obtained – we will be notifying each of those customers promptly.

There is no evidence that our main credit card database was compromised. It is in a completely separate and secured environment.

We had previously believed that SOE customer data had not been obtained in the cyber-attacks on the company, but on May 1st we concluded that SOE account information may have been stolen and we are notifying you as soon as possible.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the attack and as a result, we have:

1) Temporarily turned off all SOE game services;

2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and

3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

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 number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When SOE’s services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your Station or SOE game account 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. We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it:

U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.

We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S. credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below.

Experian: 888-397-3742;; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
Equifax: 800-525-6285;; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
TransUnion: 800-680-7289;; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

You may wish to visit the web site of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General, and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone (877) 566-7226; or For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: (888) 743-0023; or

We are committed to helping our customers protect their personal data and we will provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs. The implementation will be at a local level and further details will be made available shortly in regions in which such programs are commonly utilized.

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 1 (866) 436-6698 should you have any additional questions.

Sony Online Entertainment LLC


  1. Mon, 2nd May 2011 at 9:07 pm

    This has officially gone from bad to super, super, super bad. I hope they are able to catch the culprits.

  2. Mon, 2nd May 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Sad and hard times for Sony.

  3. Tue, 3rd May 2011 at 4:57 am

    same old song and dance!
    wonder if $onys actually learned anything from this…………..
    got onto them again today about my account and they refuse to give me their account details so i can put the payments in because they say they dont have one.
    how can you have a online store and not have a account number?
    i even went down to my bank and put the manager on the phone hoping he could squeeze something out but no luck.
    thats fine, im ringing my lawyer up tomorrow and i can solve this in court.
    $onys about to get another lawsuit on their hands!
    there lack of customer support is just deplorable!
    most would at least try to reach a resolution, they just clearly do not give a shit!

  4. Tue, 3rd May 2011 at 5:31 am

    Well in this case I hope you win. It’s about time you get your account rolling again.

  5. Tue, 3rd May 2011 at 10:41 am

    i just cant understand how they can be so thick headed!
    they keep saying my bank has the details to send it back to, but they say they dont so why cant they give it to them?
    if i have to take it to court i will, ive got over 500 dollars worth of PSN games not to mention 20+ PSP games at around 40 bucks each linked to that account too.

  6. Tue, 3rd May 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I hope this gets resolved quickly.

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