April 28th, 2011
07:31 AM GMT
(CNN) – The hackers who hit Sony’s online PlayStation videogame service not only forced the company to take down its 70 million-plus user network, known as PSN, but struck a blow against the company’s strategic long-term plans.
“Sony has positioned PlayStation 3, not as a games console,” Tim Ingham of Computer and Video Gaming Magazine told CNN. “Indeed, it’s come out and said it sees it as an entertainment hub that sits in the middle of the lounge and provides movies, TV.”
Sony took down the network on April 20, yet waited nearly a week before telling customers that personal data may have been compromised, much to the ire of users.
The hackers have taken personal details – such as name, birth date, email address, user name and password – and other information that may have been taken includes credit card number, expiration date, billing address and password security questions.
Sony has recommended changing passwords and watching for suspicious billing activity. Others recommend cancelling credit cards as a precautionary measure.
“This is very, very serious – I think it’s hard to overstate how bad this is from Sony and potentially for consumers,” Johnny Minkley, editor of EuroGamer.net, told CNN.
PSN along with Qriocity – Sony’s online music and movie stores – are seen as Sony’s foothold in future plans to eventually go head-to-head with the likes of the iTunes store.
“PlayStation Network is a hugely profitable part of not only Sony PlayStation, but Sony itself,” Ingham said. “And online services are at the very heart of what Sony sees its 10-year game plan as, in entertainment. So, for it to pull the plug for a week is a really, really big deal.”
A larger issue lurks in the minds of businesses that are dependent on credit card purchases via customers online – will cases like this hurt not only Sony, but the public’s trust of e-commerce?
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