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Sony hacked - again

Hackers steal credit card details and personal information of another 25m gamers.

Sony has taken down its Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) service following the hacking of data from 25 million of its users. The security breach comes just two weeks after the attack on Playstation Network and theft of 77 million users' details

The latest incident, affecting PC and Facebook users, actually took place days before the 20 April Playstation breach, Sony told the Associated Press. The target was an "outdated database" from where names, credit card details, home and email addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and gender information were stolen.

Direct debit details of over 10,000 Austrian, Spanish, Dutch and German customers, and another 12,000 non-US users, were also hacked.

The information from the encrypted 2007 database does not yet seem to have been used for illegal financial gain, though Sony has warned its users to beware of fake correspondence from the company.

Sony said in a statement: "Sony will not contact you in any way, including email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information [...] When SOE's services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password."

Sony promised to "provide a complimentary offering to assist users in enrolling in identity theft protection services and/or similar programs" and apologised to its customers.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer has been called on to step down following the mass data breaches, as shares in the company have since dropped by 4 per cent.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.