PlayStation hackers claim to have 2.2 million credit card numbers

Things continue to look grim for Sony and PlayStation 3 owners in the great PlayStation Network hack saga. The online gaming service was brought to a standstill last week, and hackers are now claiming they have a database of 2.2 million credit card numbers belonging to Sony customers. Shit is most definitely at the ‘getting real’ stage.

Security researchers told The New York Times that the stolen card data has been openly discussed on “underground Internet hacker forums,” and that the hackers have customer names, addresses, usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers out the wazoo.

Kevin Stevens, senior threat researcher at the security firm Trend Micro, reports hackers were aiming to sell the list of numbers for a six-figure sum, and that hackers had even offered to sell the data back to Sony, though the company had not responded. You seriously couldn’t write this stuff: every new day seems to bring new tales of greed, incompetence, and fresh PR nightmares.

There is a slim ray of hope for Sony and PSN users. The existence of the database is not yet confirmed, and Sony has stated all credit card data was encrypted. Senior communications chief Patrick Seybold also batted away claims that the company had been offered the list of numbers, telling the NY Times: “To my knowledge there is no truth to the report that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list.” And that’s about as optimistic as things are going to get, folks.

In fact, this screw-up is now so big the FBI is involved, with its San Diego office assisting Sony in its investigations. Who knows where this will end, how many people will be affected, and what it will do to the PlayStation brand?

[Via The New York Times]

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