The worst fears of many PlayStation Network users were realized on Tuesday, as Sony finally admitted that the hack of the online service last week did indeed involve some type of data loss. The disclosure marks the first time since the debacle began that the public got a clear picture of what the hackers were after.
Sony said it believed at a minimum information including name, address, e-mail, birthday, and PSN login information were obtained. It also said that it was possible that both purchase history and also credit card information may have been compromised as well, although not the security code. An outside security firm was hired to investigate what happened.
"We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable," the company said in a statement.
It now appears that the hack itself did not take down the online gaming service: instead Sony cut access to PSN after it learned of the intrusion voluntarily. Tuesday's admission also seems to validate suspicions of some that thought the silence on the company's part indicated a serious problem.
The company offered links to credit reporting agencies and urged users that provided payment information to monitor their credit for any problems. What it did not do however is offer possible victims any assurances to how Sony would deal with possible claims of fraud as a result of its data loss.
"Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information," it said. "Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority."
Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Social Media Patrick Seybold said the company had a "clear path" to bringing services back online, and hoped to restore some service within a week. Seybold did not specify what services would become available.