Published: 10.35 Europe/London, April 28, 2011

Sony is now emailing its 77 million worldwide users of the PlayStation Network with a warning that all their user data have been compromised by the hacker attack between April 17 – 19. This might include the user’s credit card information.

According to the email, the information that was illegally obtained by the hackers include all personal data, including name, full address, email address, date of birth, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login information.

Sony also said that credit card data could have been stolen. As a precautionary measure, people are advised to closely watch transactions on their credit card account. It is believed that a minority of users have supplied their credit card details.

Meanwhile, PSN community members are upset about the lack of communication from Sony on the matter, as well as the time it is taking for the company to restore the PSN and Qriocity services. They also complain about the lack of information about what actually happened.

Meanwhile, Sony issued an offical statement about the situation in answer to criticism: “There’s a difference in timing between when we identified there was an intrusion and when we learned of consumers’ data being compromised. We learned there was an intrusion April 19 and subsequently shut the services down. We then brought in outside experts to help us learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident. It was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach. We then shared that information with our consumers.”

As we see it, the hack is not only a very big problem for Sony, but shows the vulnerability of online services in general. Needless to say, lawyers are filing lawsuits against Sony