“‘Black Ops’ isn’t connecting,” my 13-year-old son informed me. I just shrugged. He stood there, shifting around for a minute, unsure what to do without his favorite game to entertain him. Then he shuffled off toward his room.
I never gave it a second thought. The next day, though, he mentioned it again. I checked the equipment, but nothing was wrong with it. The PlayStation Network was just down, and it stayed down. Now I gave it a second thought. What was going on, of course, was an investigation into a real-life “black op”– a large-scale hacker attack. I didn’t find out until several days later, and the email was not reassuring: “We believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, password and login [...] It is also possible that your profile data, including [...] password security answers may have been obtained [...] 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.”
Approximately 100 million users’ personal information – a lot of it – is now in the hands of unknown agents. That is rightfully concerning, even angering. So much of our financial personal life lives in databases hosted on websites. In this concentrated era of identity theft, debts we never knew we had can be run up by someone with a keyboard and an Internet connection.
The severity of the situation prompted two questions from me: Where was Sony’s “abundance of caution” in protecting our data? Why did it take them so long to notify us?
Read the full post on Forbes.com.