Sony Says PlayStation Hacker Got Personal Data Christopher Miller's PlayStation Portable game console had been broken for most of two years. So when

Christopher Miller's PlayStation Portable game console had been broken for most of two years. So when his parents brought him a new one for her 25th birthday on April 18, he was pleased - but only briefly.

Last week, the online network for the Sony PlayStation suffered a catastrophic failure of an attack by hackers. And since then, over 60 million players worldwide as Mr. Miller, who are accountable for the service were unable to play games with your friends via the Internet or to download demos of new games.

Then, on Tuesday after several days of near silence, Sony said that as a result of the attack, "unauthorized person" had obtained personal information of account holders, including their names, addresses, e -mail user names and passwords and PlayStation. Sony has warned that other confidential information, including credit card numbers, could have been compromised, warning customers through a statement " remain vigilant "in monitoring identity theft or other financial losses.

Police officials said Tuesday that Sony had reported the breach to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Diego, which specializes in computer crime.

The breach comes after an incident earlier this month when Epsilon, a marketing firm that handles e-mail lists, suffered a security breach that put millions of email addresses of people at risk. In some cases, client names were also stolen. Last year, a violation AT&T exposed the email addresses of at least 100,000 owners of the Apple iPad.

Even before the statement from Sony, complaints about the failure of the system have been mounting on websites, including Sony's own. "It's ridiculous," said Miller, a student of 3-D animation of Saline, Mich., in an e-mail.

Other customers - who came to take the gaming network for granted - they were surprised by the duration of the outage and its target, Sony, a technology company recognized worldwide. Some have suggested that the incident, already a severe blow to the reputation of Sony, would give its top rival video game, Microsoft and Nintendo an edge in the console wars.

"Sony is pretty much hurting," said Carl-Niclas Odenbring releasy of Customer Management in Sweden, which helps companies manage social media. Mr. Odenbring said his daughter, age 6, lack of games console from Sony, but is now playing on an iPad.

"It has no power to direct purchase, but its indirect influence in what my wife and I buy is enormous," he said. "Sony is losing the battle on her."

Last weekend, after the attack, Sony said it would rebuild the network to make it more secure. Sony Qriocity service, which is used to stream audio and video high-end televisions, Sony Blu-ray and other Web-enabled devices Sony was also hit offline.

"It is very unusual for Sony to completely rebuild a system after a security breach, rather than simply stop the bleeding and get back to some kind of limited network," said Mark Seiden, a longtime consultant information Security. "The fact that two distinct networks are involved in the security gap indicates Sony has discovered a major underlying problem that already existed."

It remains unclear who were the hackers. Anonymous, a well known group of hackers that has been blamed for attacking and above Sony's PlayStation Web sites, has denied any responsibility; group's website said: "For once we did not do it."

Last Wednesday, Sony has started posting messages sporadic PlayStation Network is down. In its first detailed statement on the attack, Sony told its customers Tuesday afternoon that it had discovered an "illegal and unauthorized intrusion" into the network took place between April 17 and 19.

"If you provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, an abundance of caution, we advise you that your credit card number and expiration date may have been obtained," Patrick Seybold, Senior Corporate Communications at Sony, wrote in a post on the PlayStation Web site and e-mail to customers.

Sony representatives declined to give details.

Sony said it expected to restore some services - but apparently not all - in a week.

Shortly after the announcement of Sony Tuesday, Senator Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat, sent a letter to Sony asking why customers were not notified immediately about the security breach and does not close a week on the scale of the attack. Mr. Blumenthal also cited concerns that many PlayStation users are children.

The letter said Sony will provide customers with PlayStation "service financial data security, including access to free credit reporting."

A group of players who have been particularly virulent have been members of DC Universe Online, an online game. The game was out of service since the attack, which affect the players who paid for the service for months in advance.

Other shoppers said they had trouble connecting to the popular online streaming service from Netflix for the PlayStation.

Daniel McGuire, a user PlayStation London, in an e-mail criticized the initial silence from Sony. "Most users would never pass PlayStation on the Xbox, he said, referring to rival Microsoft's console, but this drives people. If ever wanted to wrest PlayStation Xbox users, this would be the time."