Tokyo: The United States, Britain, Australia and Hong Kong are investigating the hacking and theft of personal data from Sony's PlayStation Network, which has 77 million users worldwide.
The PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were shut down on April 20 after what Sony described as an "external intrusion" and remain offline as the company upgrades security and works with Federal investigators.
A US House of Representatives panel on Friday sent a letter to Sony chairman Kazuo Hirai with questions on the data breach.
A letter from a panel of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which was posted onthe Internet said, "Sony's statement describes information illegally obtained to include account information as well as potentially profile information.”
"Given the amount and nature of personal information known to have been taken, the potential harm that could be caused if credit card information was also taken would be
The committee, which has scheduled a hearing on May 4 to discuss data theft issues, also asked Sony to explain why it believes credit card information was not taken despite being unable to determine the exact scale of the theft.
The Japanese electronics giant has said users' credit card data was encrypted but could not rule out the possibility that card data was obtained by hackers.
In Britain, the Information Commissioner's Office said it had contacted Sony and will make "further enquiries to establish the precise nature of the incident before deciding
what action, if any, needs to be taken."
Australia's Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim also said he had launched an investigation.
Pilgrim told broadcaster ABC, "We're seeing more and more now information being held globally, and it's more incumbent upon organisations to make sure they do have strong security systems in place to protect that information.”