The Sony PlayStation Network data breach that exposed personal and password information -- and possibly credit cards -- of an estimated 77 million people is already considered one of tech history's worst security failures.
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The Department of Internal Affairs’ Anti-Spam Compliance Unit has issued a warning that Sony PlayStation users may be targeted by scammers following the theft of personal details on Sony’s PlayStation Network by hackers.
In a statement, acting general manager of regulatory and compliance operations Mike Hill says the stolen names, addresses, email address, birth date, username, passwords and login and security questions means scammers know a lot about customers registered with Sony.
“This provides them with a fertile field for their scams so we are advising people to be particularly vigilant of anyone contacting them using this information,” Hill says. “This could be by email or other electronic means.
“People need to review their online security particularly their passwords and secret questions and answers used to verify their identity. It’s never a good idea to use the same password and Q and As for all your online transactions," Hill says.
New Zealand Police has issued a warning to parents to be vigliant about children using Sony's PlayStation in the wake of the hacking incident that has seen up to 77 million PlayStation accounts breached.
The Anonymous hacker group has denied any involvement, despite earlier hinting that it may act against Sony in retaliation for a lawsuit Sony has taken against a hacker who released code making it possible to run homemade games on the PlayStation platform.
The hack has resulted in data, including users' names, addresses, email address, birthdates, usernames, passwords, logins, and other details, being compromised.
The information reportedly stolen also includes accounts parents set up for their children, the NZ Police statement notes.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael of Police National Headquarters, says in the statement: "Parents of children who have accounts should talk with their kids and alert them to the possible risks following the mass hacking.
“We don’t want to create unnecessary fear, but the sad fact is that by being too free with personal information on the net, children in particular can become vulnerable unless their computer use is supervised.
"We always encourage people to be vigilant in computer use, now more than ever. Think first and be very wary of approaches by telephone, email or social networks, especially if it relates to personal information, including login and credit card details."