First, unidentified hackers stole the database of Playstation members. I don’t have a Playstation. That didn’t affect me.
Then, the hackers stole — and posted online — email addresses and passwords for people who’d entered a particular sweepstakes. Or maybe it’s just anyone else who’s registered through that Sony entertainment site. That did affect me.
Sony provided me with a free, one-year registration with an identity theft company. Fortunately, I use a different password for my email and for my financial accounts online. The hackers have my name, address, birth date, gender, and phone number. Most of the websites I have registered on are like Sony; I signed up to enter a sweepstakes. They don’t have my credit card number or social security number or anything that could get them into my accounts. I don’t even know why they bother asking for a password.
But here’s the thing:
My email is out there in a text file for everyone and anyone to find. My volume of spam has increased dramatically since the Sony security breach. Is Sony going to compensate me for important emails I miss because my in-box is filled with crap? Is Sony going to compensate me for all the extra time it takes to delete the crap? And what if I delete something important because it’s surrounded by crap?
Sony really ought to send every single one of us on the list, like a $5,000 gift card for Sony products. We should have something tangible for our trouble.
After all, this had happened to Sony before. They knew they were on the hackers’ radar. (I am not mentioning their name here, because I don’t want to give their group any more publicity than it’s already getting.) They had ample time to protect their customers’ data. They chose not to take action. It’s an embarrassment for them. It’s a major inconvenience for all of us who now have to content with everyone in the world having access to our email address for whatever purpose they choose, and we are at risk of the hackers releasing or selling our other information to the world at large.
I don’t know what the goal of the hacker group is, other than to cause trouble. They’ve hacked the PBS website, Arizona government computers, a software company, and a porn site. Very likely, they are trying to get high paid jobs in computer security. I think they should be locked away, in a prison without any internet access, for a very long time.
However, that won’t bring back my privacy. Sony owes me for that.