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Sony in legal spat; faces lawsuit over PlayStation hack

The personal information stolen from the network include names, e-mail addresses, birthdates, login data, purchase history and possibly credit card details from users of Sony's PlayStation Network.

As speculated, Sony is embroiled in a legal trouble over Sony PlayStation Network outage, triggered by massive security breach, in which hackers stole large amounts of personal data from the company's online gaming network.

Sony recently acknowledged one of the biggest online data breaches, in which the personal details of 77 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity users were stolen.

Massive data stolen
The personal information stolen from the network include names, e-mail addresses, birth dates, login data, purchase history and possibly credit card details from users of Sony's PlayStation Network.

The company had abruptly shut down its online gaming network seven days ago but did not disclose the news about theft until Tuesday, thus annoying users.

Sony recently acknowledged one of the biggest online data breaches, in which the personal details of 77 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity users were stolen.

Sony in legal spat
On Wednesday, a California-based firm has filed lawsuit against Sony Corp. on behalf of Alabama resident Kristopher Jones, who has been a PlayStation user since 2009.

In the lawsuit, the gamer accuses the PlayStation maker of failing to adequately protect, encrypt, and secure its customer data.

Sony “failed to encrypt data and establish adequate firewalls to handle a server intrusion contingency, failed to provide prompt and adequate warnings of security breaches, and unreasonably delayed in bringing the PSN service back on line,” states the suit.

Sued on behalf of all consumers
The plaintiff has requested the court to certify this case as class action, and is seeking damages for the data loss and PlayStation Network downtime.

"We bought this lawsuit on behalf of consumers to learn the full extent of Sony PlayStation Network data security practices and the data loss and to seek a remedy for consumers," Ira P. Rothken, of Rothken Law Firm that filed the complaint, said in a statement.

"We are hopeful that Sony will take this opportunity to learn from the network vulnerabilities, provide a remedy to consumers who entrusted their sensitive data to Sony, and lead the way in data security best practices going forward," Rothken added.

Sony’s gaming network has been closed since last Wednesday, April 20, but it was not until Tuesday, April 26 that Sony confirmed that hackers had obtained extensive amounts of sensitive personal data from the network.

Sony was aware of breach?
The Wednesday’s lawsuit claims Sony was aware of vulnerabilities with its system for some time, but the company took six days to reveal that personal information had been stolen.

"[Sony] has been aware for a substantial period of time that PSN was prone to catastrophic loss of data from a security breach," according to the court filing. "Nevertheless, [Sony] failed to warn its customers of the problem or tried to prevent them from suffering system suspension from security breaches and data loss."

"Sony sat silently while consumers purchased defective PlayStation consoles and PSN service without warning customers about the risks inherent in purchasing and relying upon Sony's data security," the suit continued.

According to Sony, PlayStation network is used by game lovers in 59 countries. Of the 77 million user accounts, about 36 million are in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas.