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Sony PlayStation Users' Personal Information Compromised After Hack Attack

Sony Playstation 3

Sony

Sony Corp. said Tuesday that some users' personal information had been compromised in a hacker attack as the outage of its global PlayStation Network entered a seventh day.

The company confirmed that an "external intrusion" by hackers disrupted the service, affecting more than 75 million users worldwide who use it to play video games against friends, stream movies and shop online.

"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," the company said in a post on the official PlayStation blog.

Hackers may have obtained users' names, home addresses, email addresses, birthdates, PlayStation Network usernames and passwords, and answers to password security questions, according to the blog post.

There was no evidence that credit card information had been compromised, but Sony said it "cannot rule out the possibility" that hackers could access such information.

"For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information," the blog post continued. "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."

Patrick Seybold, Sony senior director of corporate communications and social media, said Saturday that Sony was completely rebuilding its systems to strengthen its network infrastructure in the wake of the service disruption, which began April 20.

Players can still play games offline, but are unable to challenge others over the internet, one of the console's key features.

Hacker group Anonymous was originally suspected of causing the disruption as it had previously vowed retribution against the Japanese electronics giant after it took legal action against two hackers.

However, in a message on its website Friday, titled "For Once We Didn't Do It," the group denied responsibility, saying that while it was possible that individual hackers had targeted the network, Sony was not an official target.