PlayStation Network Breach Could Carry A $24 Billion Price Tag (In Some Crazy Fantasy World)

Illustration for article titled PlayStation Network Breach Could Carry A $24 Billion Price Tag (In Some Crazy Fantasy World)

While the financial ramifications of the PlayStation Network's "external intrustion" on Sony, PlayStation developers and consumers likely won't be known for many moons, a data-security research firm and the mathematicians at Forbes have put a worst-case scenario price tag on the breach: $24 billion USD.

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That gargantuan figure was derived by multiplying the number of PlayStation Network accounts (77 million) by the "cost of a data breach involving a malicious or criminal act," which according to the Ponemon Institute, averaged $318 last year. Of course, not every PSN account has current credit card data or accurate personal information attached to it, meaning the actual figure would likely be much, much less.

That said, Forbes still warns of scams that don't require access to credit card info.

Alan Paller, director of research for the SANS Institute, a security training organization, said that even if credit numbers weren't stolen, knowing someone's name, email address and which games he or she likes can lead to expertly crafted scam e-mails. Knowing billing histories can be even more harmful, since they can identify big spenders.

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Regardless of the actual cost to Sony and its customers, it's certainly a massive loss in terms of trust and sales, which we may see reflected in the company's earnings over the course of the coming months and years.

Illustration for article titled PlayStation Network Breach Could Carry A $24 Billion Price Tag (In Some Crazy Fantasy World)

Sony: Credit data risked in PlayStation outage [Forbes]

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DISCUSSION

most people have more than one account, some several, most used for demos and never actually used for purchases, plenty used for purchases are funded through psn cards, and a large majority of those that DO purchase things on cards, wont have saved their account info.

On top of all of this, the CCV numbers are not stored, so the card numbers aren't much use for purchasing things illegally online.

Yet, small sites are "receiving emails" from "people who have had credit card fraud because of the psn hack".

This whole thing is stupid, and Kotaku's rather critical coverage of it is quite silly given that the entire gawker userbase ended up having their provate data leaked too, not all that long ago.

How about you guys post an article on how many people had their accounts fiddled with and related accounts they use tied to credit cards / funding exploited too?

It's a sad age we live in where the entire worlds media is more focused on blaming a company, than the criminal.