When I first signed up for a PlayStation Network account years ago, never did it occur to me that my personal information would end up in the wrong hands. A wide-scale breach of a major game network of that size had never really happened before. Gamers safely played under a digital umbrella--now an illusion--of a secure network, thinking Sony was large, powerful, and had the resources to thwart any attack.
Then down came the rain--hard--and washed the illusion away.
The next blow, should it happen, could prove to be one of the worst public relations disasters to ever strike a consumer electronics company. Hackers say they have access to some of Sony's servers and plan to publicize all or some of the information they can copy from those servers. This may include consumers' credit card details. (A source tells CNET that this group of hackers claims to have access to Sony's servers, which are different from the servers already hacked to expose more than 77 million user accounts.)
Such private information would undoubtedly travel quickly around the world through torrents and download sites. Sadly, the vessel for this material would most likely be a simple text file, perhaps only 10MB-20MB in size. That may not sound like a large file, but in terms of pure text, its a bible's worth of names and numbers. Countless credit/debit cards would have to be replaced, and identities would have to be protected (for free, courtesy of Sony). Trust would be lost, perhaps never to be gained again.
It's come to light that Sony didn't adequately update the software that cataloged important consumer information. So, our question: Are hackers' plans to punish Sony for its security breaches a fair response? Vote in our poll, and if none of the choices reflect your opinion, be sure to elaborate in the comments.