Sony has finally posted a detailed, official statement on the cause of the PSN outage which began last Wednesday, the potential compromise of personal information, and its timeframe for reactivation. According to Sony, it expects to restore "some services" within a week. In the meantime, however, the company is warning account holders that their information may have been stolen.
"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," wrote Sony in an e-mail to all PSN members.
While Sony does not believe that credit card information was stolen, it "cannot rule out that possibility." For the most part, however, Sony is concerned with the possibility of scammers who will attempt to use personal information (names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates) to retrieve further sensitive information over the phone, as well as password security.
"For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information," continues the e-mail.
"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. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well."
If you are a PSN owner, we suggest that you read Sony's statement in full, change any passwords which are identical to your PSN password (or just change them all... you've been meaning to do that, right?), and keep an eye out for unauthorized credit card activity (or cancel and replace them, if you want to be extra safe). As always, stay skeptical of any phone calls or letters from unverified sources - scammers will attempt to convince you that they are calling from your bank, Sony, or other such trusted sources.
Not that we really trust banks or Sony.