As some of you may or may not be aware, the PlayStation Network was hacked several weeks ago, resulting in 77 million users having their names, usernames, passwords, and addresses stolen, among other things.
Look at that number: 77 million. That’s a greater population than most countries in the world. How in heaven’s name did a group of hackers manage to gather all that data? It turns out that Sony thought it would be a good idea to store all their users’ personal information as plain text. Plain text is infamous for being vulnerable and insecure; sort of like a child using their hands to cover up something they don’t want the teacher to see, only for her to brush them out of the way moments later. They did have the decency to encrypt credit card data, but this gaping hole in users’ security has done massive amounts of damage to Sony’s PR (for example, Japan still won’t let the network come back online in their country).
So, how does this relate to those of you lucky enough to escape this fiasco? Stop for a moment, and think about these questions.
1. How many websites do I frequent and use the same password?
2. How many websites have some form of personal info?
3. Which websites log me in with my Facebook/Myspace info instead of a unique username and password?