The Associated Press April 29, 2011, 7:21PM ET

US lawmakers press Sony for info on data breach

U.S. lawmakers are pressing Sony Corp. for more information about the loss of personal data in a security breach that affected 77 million accounts on its PlayStation Network.

Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., and Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., sent a letter Friday to the chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment America, Kazuo Hirai, demanding answers about when Sony discovered the breach and informed others, why it can't determine if credit card information was stolen, and what steps it was taking to address the crisis.

The lawmakers sought a response by May 6, two days after a congressional subcommittee was to hold a hearing on proposed data security legislation.

Pressure is mounting on Sony to restore services and compensate players. It shut down the network, which connects players in live play worldwide and powers its Qriocity music and movie service, last Wednesday after a hacker attack in the days prior. The system is being rebuilt with better security protections and some services are expected to be restored by Tuesday.

On Wednesday, lawyers filed a suit against the company on behalf of lead plaintiff Kristopher Johns for negligent protection of personal data and failure to inform players in a timely fashion that their credit card information may have been stolen. The suit seeks class-action status.

Sony has said credit card numbers were encrypted and there was no direct evidence the numbers were stolen, but it couldn't rule out the possibility. It also said it asks for, but does not collect, the 3-digit security code on the back of cards meant to protect against fraud. It is working with law enforcement to find those responsible for the breach.

A company spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment about either development.


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