Without the full scale of what has happened yet revealed, it is difficult to compare the incident to previous major data breaches.
Probably the most notorious of these was the TJX attack of 2007, believed to have affected at least 45 million credit cards held in databases by the retailer.
More seriously, although Sony is not certain that credit card data has been stolen, “we cannot rule out the possibility,” the blog said.
“If you have provided your credit card data through Play Station 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.” With identity theft a real possibility, the company has warned subscribers to be on the lookout for post, telephone and email scams, and for cold contacts asking for added personal data such as social security numbers.
When the system does return, users will also have to change their logins, although that will seem like a trifling inconvenience for those at risk of compromise, mostly parents of game-playing minors.
Play Station Network's services are dedicated to an online marketplace (Play Station Store), a premium subscription service for enhanced gaming and social features (Play Station Plus), movie streaming, rentals and purchases (Play Station Video), a cloud-based television programming service (Play Station Vue), music streaming (Play Station Music) and a cloud gaming service (Play Station Now).They are also able to purchase various Play Station network games at a discount unlike the unsubscribed Play Station network customers.How the Play Station plus works for those who have subscribed to its services There are several ways in which the Play Station plus works to the members.Sony launched an optional premium subscription service on top of the free PSN service in June 2010.Known as Play Station Plus, the system provides access to exclusive content, complimentary games, regular store discounts, and early access to forthcoming games.