House panel wants answers from Sony about PlayStation network hacker attack

A congressional subcommittee has sent a letter to Sony Corp. seeking information about a security attack on PlayStation's online network by hackers last week.

Addressed to Sony Chairman Kazuo Hirai, the letter requested answers to a detailed list of questions regarding the breach, which exposed the personal information and possibly credit card data of 77 million customer accounts.

The letter, written by the House subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trading, addresses a number of security concerns, including when the breach occurred, how much data was stolen and why Sony waited a week before it notified customers.

The letter demanded specifics on the kind of information the hackers stole and assurances that no credit card data was swiped.

"Given the amount and nature of the personal information known to have been taken, the potential harm that could be caused if credit card information was also taken would be quite significant," the letter said.

The subcommittee set a May 6 deadline for a reply.

Sony's admission has drawn a firestorm of anger from customers and lawmakers alike. On Wednesday, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said, "Hackers and thieves shouldn't be playing 'Grand Theft Auto' with millions of addresses, emails and other sensitive information."

The PlayStation network has been down for almost two weeks and it's unclear when the service will be fully revived.

Sony could not immediately be reached for comment.

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