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Posted at 11:40 PM ET, 05/02/2011

Sony hit by second security breach by hackers

Sony on Monday reported a second security breach by hackers, who may have stolen personal information about 24.6 million users, according to news services.

The newest breach comes on top of the April 17 break-in of 77 million customers’ accounts by hackers who may have stolen credit card information. On Monday, Sony’s online entertainment division shut down its Web site, the division’s Web site said.

Sony said the second breach took place April 16-17, before the PlayStation intrusions. It said hackers may have stolen about 10,700 direct debit records of users in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, as well as 12,700 credit or debit card numbers in other countries outside the United States.

In light of the breaches, Sony will not attend a hearing on data security Wednesday before the House subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, said Ken Johnson, a spokesman for subcommittee chair Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.).

“While we certainly understand that the company is going through a difficult time,”  Johnson said Monday, “there are still millions of American consumers twisting in the wind, and we’re determined to get some answers for them.”

Johnson noted that Sony has agreed to answer the questions by late Tuesday that Bono Mack and ranking member Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C) raised in a letter to the company last week .

Bono Mack and Butterfield had originally asked for answers by Friday.

David Vladeck, the head of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, will testify at the hearing, along with Pablo Martinez of the U.S. Secret Service, privacy expert Justin Brookman of the Center for Democracy and Technology and information security expert Eugene Spafford of Purdue University.

By  |  11:40 PM ET, 05/02/2011

 
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