This is certainly something no one with a PlayStation 3 wants to hear, but Sony has finally admitted to why the PlayStation Network has been down. It seems that hackers have breached the PSN and taken virtually every bit of personal information there was to take. Sony is unsure if stored credit card information was also taken, but it is advising caution regardless. The hackers have your name, address, country, email address, birth date, and PSN password and login information. "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," said Sony. The company does say you should be safe instead of sorry and keep an eye on your bank account, if you had your credit card information stored on the PSN that is.
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.
What that means for the end user is not good since almost everything was taken, but at least Sony has finally come clean on why the PSN has been down for nearly a week. Sony is working to restore the PSN as quickly as possible, and when it does, I highly suggest you change your passwords and even login information. If your email account you use to log in also uses that same password, it would be wise to change it as well. Sony also mentions that you can get a free credit report to make sure everything is intact and to tell the three major US credit bureaus to place a "fraud alert" on your file so that no one can obtain anything in your name. Sony preaches caution in the matter, so just keep an eye on your bank account for anything suspicious.
Sony is working with a security firm and is currently in the process of rebuilding the PSN. Once done, Sony should have a much more secure network infrastructure when the PSN is back online. Sony expects to restore some services within a week, but no word on when everything would be back up.