Sony has moved to calm growing anger from PlayStation 3 users over the timing of its announcement that their personal information, possibly even their credit card details, had been stolen.
Last night Sony began sending emails to PSN users warning them their personal information, including PSN usernames and passwords, addresses and email addresses, had been stolen by an unauthorized user. There are 77 million PlayStation Network users across the world, and three million in the UK.
But given the service has been down since last Wednesday in the US, many have wondered why it took so long for Sony to warn its customers to change their passwords and check their credit card statements.
In a statement released this morning, Sony defended the timing of its announcement.
"There's a difference in timing between when we identified there was an intrusion and when we learned of consumers' data being compromised," Sony's director of communications Patrick Seybold said.
"We learned there was an intrusion 19th April and subsequently shut the services down. We then brought in outside experts to help us learn how the intrusion occurred and to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident.
"It was necessary to conduct several days of forensic analysis, and it took our experts until yesterday to understand the scope of the breach. We then shared that information with our consumers and announced it publicly this afternoon."
The huge security leak has left millions of gamers checking their credit card statements and frantically changing their online passwords.
It is, however, impossible to change your PSN details, given the service is down.
Sony has vowed to track those responsible for the security leak down.