Breached... How Does That Affect You?

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06/03/2011 Breached... How Does That Affect You?

Kevin R. Smith

Sony has had a couple of rough days months.

First the Sony Playstation Network (PSN) was hacked. Then there was disclosure that they were notified weeks in advance that their servers were running outdated software and that they weren't firewalled.

Sometime along the way were disclosures how many accounts were affected. First it was 80, then it was 100 million users.

Then came the news that those stolen accounts included personal information and credit card numbers.

Not too long after that there were U.S. Congressional hearings and a refusal by Japanese officials to allow Sony to relaunch the network in Japan.

Wow. A tough few days indeed.

Finally, the network relaunched. Then it was taken down for a while and relaunched again.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. Sony's site has been hacked by a group called "LulzSec," and over 1,000,000 user accounts were compromised. has excellent coverage of the LulzSec hack.

The most important part of the coverage is this (fairly long quote), which should hopefully reduce the amount of FUD being spewed,

What do I do?

Fortunately, the hack does not appear to involve any direct credit card or financial data.

But if you use the same password all over the Web—like for online banking or credit card payments—others accounts could be compromised.

As a result, you might want to change your password asap and enable things like two-factor authentication on services that offer it.

LulzSec isn't exactly keeping your data under lock and key.
'I hear there's been some funny scamming with jacked Sony accounts. That's what you get for using the same password everywhere,'
the group tweeted earlier.

It also urged 'innocent people whose data we leaked' to blame Sony.

So, the bottom line,

  1. Use different passwords in different places. Always.
  2. If you have an account at, make sure the password you used there isn't being used anywhere else--especially at a banking or credit card site.


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