By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Sony Computer Entertainment has released a statement today concerning the widely reported breach to its PlayStation Network. The key messages from this statement are that Sony is aggressively addressing the security issue and that users should be actively alert to any scams that result from it.

Sometime between 17 and 19 April 2011, hackers gained access to Sony’s PlayStation network, potentially gaining access to the account information of a reported 77 million users. It is understood that this includes names, addresses and credit card information.

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When asked for a localised response to this hack, received the following statement from a Sony spokesperson.

"Recently, PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorised intrusion into our network. In response to this external intrusion we have responded quickly and are behaving responsibly. 

“As soon as we learned of this issue, we temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services in order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services.

“We have also engaged an outside, recognised security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened, and quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by rebuilding our system to provide greater protection of personal information.

“We greatly appreciate the patience, understanding and goodwill of our account holders as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

“For the security of our valued customers, we are encouraging all account holders to be 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, 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 recommend that you change them, as well."