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      Precautions urged for PlayStation online users

      UPDATED with statement from Mo. AG:April 28, 2011Attorney General Koster says Sony failed to warn consumers about Playstation network data breach--calls on company to ensure the financial protection of consumers--Attorney General Chris Koster today expressed concern that Sony failed to provide timely notice to Missouri consumers that their personal information may have been stolen by hackers. On April 19, Sony learned of the security breach on its Playstation network but failed to warn consumers about the breach and the threat of identity theft until Tuesday. One and a half million Missouri consumers are possibly affected.Sony has confirmed that the names, mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, and birthdays of consumers were obtained by the hackers, but Sony has been unable to verify whether consumers TM credit or debit card information was compromised. To help protect the financial security of Missouri consumers, Koster called on Sony to determine as soon as possible whether consumers TM credit or debit information was put at risk, and to provide notice of the breach to the three major credit reporting agencies.I am disappointed that it took Sony one week to inform consumers that the security of their personal information was compromised. In a world in which thousands of dollars can be charged to a stolen card number in a matter of hours, Sony TMs response is unacceptable. Koster said.Koster said affected consumers should closely monitor their credit or debit accounts. Affected consumers should also consider placing a fraud alert on their credit report with the three major credit reporting agencies " Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Koster said if you are the victim of identity theft, you should report it to your bank, close the account, and file an identity theft incident report with police.More information on identity theft can be accessed on the Missouri Attorney General Office TMs website at card data of PlayStation users may have been stolen. Sony says that's a possibility after an intrusion put its PlayStation Network out of commission. The network connects players in live game play worldwide. Sony shut it down last Wednesday after account information for certain players was compromised.Now, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is cautioning Sony PlayStation account users to take precautions to protect themselves from identity theft, in the wake of the company TMs disclosure of a massive personal data breach.On Tuesday, Sony confirmed through a statement that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. The breach could affect 77 million account holders worldwide. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility, the company TMs statement added.Miller advised any consumer who provided credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity to assume their credit card information may have been compromised. Consumers in this situation should watch their credit card activity very carefully, Miller said. Hackers infiltrated Sony TMs huge online network and stole large volumes of names, addresses, birth dates, user names, passwords, and possibly credit card information.Miller also advised consumers of the potential for e-mail, telephone and mail scams. Criminals who may or may not be connected with the breach may contact consumers and attempt to elicit additional personal information. Sony stated that the company will not contact consumers by e-mail seeking or confirming personal information.Miller offers identity theft prevention tips through a Consumer Advisory posted on the Attorney General TMs website: Consumers can also call the Consumer Protection Division at 515-281-5926. Outside of the Des Moines area, call toll free at 1-888-777-4590.The Federal Trade Commission also offers tips on preventing and responding to identity theft: says it has hired an outside security firm to investigate. It says it has also taken steps to rebuild the system to provide more protection of personal information.Some information provided by the Associated Press