Despite Sony's claims, PSN hackers may have credit card numbers

The question of whether or not PlayStation Network users' credit card information had indeed been compromised was still unanswered Friday, closing in on two weeks after the breach had occurred. On the one hand, Sony was telling customers it had "no evidence" of the data being taken, but press reports suggest otherwise.

Trend Micro senior security researcher Ken Stevens tweeted that a purported database with PSN users' personal data was apparently up for sale on the web. "The hackers that hacked PSN are selling off the DB. They reportedly have 2.2 million credits cards with CVVs," he tweeted on Thursday.

Screenshots of conversations regarding this database are now appearing on underground hacking boards. According to these reports, at least 150,000 European credit card numbers are included, making this issue an international problem.

Some of these boards claim that Sony was given the opportunity to purchase the database back for $100,000, however it either failed to respond or declined to do so.

Betanews itself has seen reports of fraudulent charges to cards linked to PSN accounts, although has not been able to independently confirm the report's authenticity. Either way, this directly conflicts with public comments made by Sony as of late.

"While all credit card information stored in our systems is encrypted and there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility," Patrick Seybold, Sony's senior director of Corporate Communications & Social Media said in a post to the company's official blog Wednesday.

He maintains that the so-called security codes on the back of the credit cards were not on the PSN system because Sony never requested it as part of the registration process. If these hackers are indeed pawning a database with this information, Seybold's comments may be at best misguided and giving PSN users a false sense of security.

Reports of the database's existence first appeared in the New York Times on Thursday.

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