PlayStation Network Personal User Data Stolen

Very bad news for Playstation Network users as the service has been offline for nearly a week and now the company is saying that the intruder who broke into the network has stolen personal user information such as credit card numbers.

As PCWorld reports, Sony has shut down its Playstation Network due to a security breach and hired a security firm to conduct an investigation and is expected to restore services within the next week.

"We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility," Sony said. "If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained."

The PlayStation Network is used for online gaming and sales of Sony gaming software by nearly 77 million users while Qriocity provides audio and video services for some of Sony's consumer products.

Sony urges its users to be cautious when online. "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."

"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."

For those that are concerned if this will or has happened on the Xbox Live service, Microsoft wants you to stop worrying. "It's business as usual with our previously planned Xbox LIVE promotions and programming. Other than that we have no comment." Microsoft has been working on a planned Xbox Live system update but no details mention if this is a precautionary update or if something happened similar to Sony.

Read more about this incident on the PlayStation Blog.