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Sony hack risks personal information

A customer watches a monitor of Sony's video game PlayStation 3 at a Tokyo electric shop.

INTERVIEW WITH ROGER KAY

STACEY VANEK SMITH: The online gaming network tied to Sony's PlayStation gaming system has been shut down for nearly a week. The company just confirmed the network had been hacked and the data of 77 million users compromised.

Here to talk about this with us is Roger Kay, CEO of Endpoint Technologies. Roger, good morning.

ROGER KAY: Good morning Stacey. How are you?

SMITH: Good thank you. So, we've had several data breeches like this recently. What does this kind of data compromise mean for consumers?

KAY: When a hacker gets into a network like this, they can do a number of things. But probably one of the worst is that they can filch personal data from the users and in this case there are 77 million users on the PlayStation network.

SMITH: And credit card data is one of the things that might have been compromised right?

KAY: Right. They're saying that it's a possibility and so they're warning their users.

SMITH: Now, PlayStation is a huge moneymaker for Sony. It's not only taken a PR hit from this news, but it's also been offline for a week. How serious is this for the company?

KAY: Well, It's serious on two levels. In the sense that the network is unavailable for players. That's mostly annoying the younger users who actually don't care that much about personal data. They say, "Oh, it's out there anyway. Just give us about our network." On the other level, it's a larger issue because it shows that cloud services like this actually can be compromised. And users who are just getting used to putting their stuff online, are not facing the idea that perhaps it's not safe. And maybe they shouldn't do so.

SMITH: Will Sony recover from this do you think?

KAY: Oh they certainly will recover. But it tarnishes their image at least in the short term.

SMITH: Roger Kay with Endpoint Technologies. Roger thank you so much.

KAY: Thank you Stacey.


REPORT BY STEVE HENN

JEREMY HOBSON: Sony's PlayStation network has been offline for a week now. And the world found out why last night. Sony says tons of sensitive personal information has been hacked.

Marketplace's Steve Henn reports.


STEVE HENN: Sony's PlayStation network has roughly 77 million members world-wide. Each of them gave their e-mail, a physical address, and a password to the company. Many millions gave credit card information as well.

MICHAEL PACHTER: I've been reading criticism of Sony saying, "What took them a week to tell us." I think it took them a week to find out the extent of the breach.

Michael Pachter is a video game analyst at Wedbush securities. He says at this point no one know who the hacker is or what his or her intentions are.

PACHTER: If it is somebody who is really stealing the effects of this attack could linger for months or years.

Still Pacheter doesn't think the breach will bury Sony's gaming business.

PACHTER: It's not like closing down your Yahoo account and going somewhere else. The switching cost here is you have to spend $300to buy an Xbox 360 and $60 a year to join Xbox live

.

But the security breach could cost Sony some real money. Already one U.S. Senator is calling on the company to insure its customers against any possible identity theft.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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