Approximately 77 million people have been affected by a data breach of Sony’s PlayStation network. The network has been shut down for more than a week and its users are currently at serious risk of identity theft. Cyber attackers potentially have access to names, addresses, phone numbers, passwords and e-mail addresses of members of the Sony online community. Sony is still unsure whether or not the hackers have accessed credit card information. IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research Director Fred Cate said it’s difficult to prevent these cyber attacks, and the best defense is being smart about the information you provide.
“Even good, well protected networks get breached. So, really it just maximizes the importance of using good, unique passwords, don’t use the same password again and again, and then you gotta be vigilant when bad news like this does happen,” Cate said.
IU student and PlayStation Network user Corey Zaring said he did not receive any notification from PlayStation about the breach.
“I haven’t received anything about it. The first I realized it had been hacked was last night. I actually had to Google it to find out what the problem was,” Zaring said.
Cate advises network users like Zaring to change their passwords as soon as possible, but said canceling credit cards would be an overreaction. He also said attacks on other gaming networks, such as Xbox Live, are unlikely because they are expected to tighten security in response to the attack on Playstation. Cate is encouraging everyone to be cautious when sharing information online and to be aware of the dangers of cyber attacks.