The following is a developing story. Please check back for continued updates.
A week in the dark was one thing. But it now looks like Sony's PlayStation Network cloud is battling a serious security breach, one that includes the theft of millions of accounts and possibly credit card numbers. In fact, this breach started as early as April 17th, according to our sources, though Sony is just now revealing the extent of the problem.
This involves as many as 17.1 million accounts, and may also go far beyond Mastercards and passwords. As part of its registrations, Sony also stored data like emails, birthdates, home addresses, transaction histories, and security questions. "Out of an abundance of caution, we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained," Sony warned users. The company confirmed that the situation dates back to at least April 19th.
Yikes. The timing couldn't be worse, but it may be catastrophic for Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity. The cloud-focused music service just launched in the US, and the team was actually at the tail end of a promotional tour involving several cities (with at least two dates remaining). So, early signees cannot access their music, and may have had their personal data and credit card info stolen - what a start.
Already, Senator Richard Blumenthal has stepped in, and asked Sony to provide free security accounts and two years of credit-monitoring services. That sounds sensible, and Sony may dealing with this security 'spill' for months. But the broader ripples are hard to calculate at this early stage. Music Unlimited could be crushed for good - and the fallout may even be felt by cloud music entrants like Amazon, Google, and Apple.
(pictured: Yue Minjun, 'Black Cloud')