April 28, 2011 / 1:45 AM / in 7 years

Sony shares slide as worries mount over data leak

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares of Sony Corp (6758.T) extended losses to trade down as much as 5.2 percent, hitting a one-month low on Thursday as investors worried over the widening impact of a massive leak of personal information of users of its PlayStation network.

Sony said on Tuesday that hackers had breached the network a week earlier, compromising confidential information including the names, addresses and possibly credit card data of 77 million users.

Experts say Sony could face legal action across the globe due to the incident.

The stock is now down more than 8 percent this week with investors nervous about the fall out of the data leak episode that plagued the company.

    There is concern that loyal PlayStation gamers could ditch Sony in the wake of the data theft. The theft could cost the company more than $1.5 billion, or an average of $20 for each of the 77 million customers whose data was compromised, according to Ponemon, whose firm specializes in securing information on computer networks.

    Security experts say that Sony needs to account for the loss of that business -- as well as damage to its brand -- when it tallies up the cost of dealing with the breach. Other costs include notifying customers of the attack and bringing in experts to cleanse its network.

    Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Lincoln Feast

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