For those who are curious about the online hacking on April 20, 2011, here is the full text of the email message Sony sent out on April 27th to all customers, explaining the situation. Note that I live in Massachusetts so I *think* this was customized for my home state; I don't think Sony has its offices in Massachusetts to make this a location-based statement based on where they are.

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Add PlayStation_Network@playstation-email.com to your address book

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PlayStation(R)Network

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Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer:

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised. As a result of what we have found to date, we have:

1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;

2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and

3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by rebuilding our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained.
If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained.
While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, 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.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.

Under Massachusetts law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident. If you are the victim of identity theft, you also have the right to file a police report and obtain a copy of it.

Massachusetts law also allows consumers to place a security freeze on their credit reports. A security freeze prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from a consumer's credit report without written authorization. However, please be aware that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing or other services.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, and you provide the credit reporting agency with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift or remove a security freeze. In all other cases, a credit reporting agency may charge you up to $5.00 each to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze.

To place a security freeze on your credit report, you must send a written request to each of the three major consumer reporting agencies:
Equifax (www.equifax.com); Experian (www.experian.com); and TransUnion (www.transunion.com) by regular, certified or overnight mail at the addresses below:

Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Trans Union Security Freeze
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834

In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:

1. Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.); 2. Social Security Number; 3. Date of birth; 4. If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five (5) years; 5. Proof of current address such as a current utility bill or telephone bill; 6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver's license or ID card, military identification, etc.) 7. If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft; 8. If you are not a victim of identity theft, include payment by check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover only). Do not send cash through the mail.

The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to place a security freeze on your credit report. The credit bureaus must also send written confirmation to you within five (5) business days and provide you with a unique personal identification number (PIN) or password, or both, that can be used by you to authorize the removal or lifting of the security freeze.

To lift the security freeze in order to allow a specific entity or individual access to your credit report, you must call or send a written request to the credit reporting agencies by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and social security number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze as well as the identities of those entities or individuals you would like to receive your credit report or the specific period of time you want the credit report available. The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to lift the security freeze for those identified entities or for the specified period of time.

To remove the security freeze, you must send a written request to each of the three credit bureaus by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and social security number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze.
The credit bureaus have three (3) business days after receiving your request to remove the security freeze.

We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible.
Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please contact us at
1-800-345-7669 should you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,

Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment
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Lisa Shea, Low Carb / Video Games Editor
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