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As we saw earlier this month with the Epsilon data breach, security breaches are common these days, and hackers are becoming bolder.
In fact, the recent PlayStation Network breach is said not only to be the first time a gaming network has ever been compromised, but it also has been pegged by experts as the second largest network security breach in history.
According to an April 26 statement Sony posted on its website, the company became aware of the PlayStation Network breach on April 19, causing it to disband access on April 20. It is expected to remain down for another week.
Because the network is used to purchase online games and movies, USA Today reports that the breach may have provided hackers with names, addresses, passwords and credit card numbers.
Nearly 70 million users are thought to be affected.
Citing a need to conduct a forensic audit, CNN reports that it took Sony 7 days to first notify the public about the PlayStation Network breach. During the time lag, hackers may have started to use the stolen information.
If you're a PlayStation subscriber, be aware of strange emails--even from Sony. No reputable company will ask you to provide or verify personal information via email. Also be wary of unsolicited phone calls.
If you're able to, it is also a good idea to cancel the credit card on file with the PlayStation Network. Otherwise, protect yourself by monitoring your credit card account for strange activity. The earlier you catch it, the better off you will be.