PlayStation 4 hacked, hacker racks up £49.99 ($ 74.00), Sony tells user to pay up or face lifetime ban
It all started when Ben Smyth’s Sony PlayStation 4 account got hacked in February 2015 and the hackers racked up a £49.99 ($ 74.00) bill on his credit card. Ben managed to get the credit card provider to block the payment but it remained a debt on Sony’s account.
Two months later, Sony froze his PlayStation 4 account because of the pending payment, which it said was Ben’s responsibility. Ben put forward his argument that the bill was due to hacking and he was in no way responsible for the pending payment. Sony acknowledge that Ben was hacked but said that the debt would remain. Sony gave Ben two choices
1) Pay up the money and a 6 months ban
2) Dont pay the money and face a lifetime ban
Not much choice anyways. Ben couldnt use software and hardware including the PlayStation 4 worth £1,000 ($ 1500) till the issue was sorted out.
Ben put up a Reddit thread explaining his quandary “I was advised on the telephone by Sony support that all use, including fraudulent activities committed by an unknown third party, is my responsibility. He advised me that Sony takes no responsibility for fraudulent use of my credit card details and security rests solely with me,” Ben explains in his post.
Convince that is was a anti-trust issue, Ben also reported Sony to Trading Standards but they failed to provide him with proper protection. “Given that there is no other protection, such as two factor authentication, they don’t give you many tools for protection,” he said.
Sony which has been a victim of hacking many times before doesnt seem to care about the Ben’s plight. He was asked to approach PlayStations Twitter account for redressal,
“I was advised to contact @AskPlaystation over Twitter (with this thread in the tweet). I did so, and they directed me to chat. I wasn’t terribly optimistic that it would help, but I gave it a shot. Here’s the transcript. Nothing has changed, and they won’t do anything about it. If you have a minute and a Twitter account, I’d love it if any / all of you could tweet @AskPlaystation with a link to this thread! Some folks are adding the hashtag #PlayersBeforePolicy – that sounds like a good idea to me.”
When contacted to comment on the issue, Sony came out with some technical gibberish. Th Sony spokesman told The Register: “We do insist (an obligation outlined in our Terms of Service) that the SEN account holder is responsible for all activity and transactions made on their account – due to the nature of digital content, in that it is made available immediately and cannot be returned. We need to insist that the account holder take full responsibility for their account security.”
“To do otherwise would create an opportunity for consumers to claim that they were not responsible for a purchase on their account, receive a refund and yet retain the content,” continued the spokesman.
“If the reported unauthorised transactions were made on a console other than the one owned by the account holder, the person responsible must have had details of the account sign-in ID and password,” he added.
“We wouldn’t speculate on where this information was obtained, but we can state that our own database has not been compromised; whether the account holder willingly gave their details to a friend/acquaintance or were tricked into providing them via phishing sites or similar, the responsibility for keeping this information secure does lie with the account holder, as previously outlined.”
You can help Ben by joining the Twitstorm and asking Sony @AskPlaystation to take care of its users.