The US-based Sony PlayStation website has been infiltrated by hackers, according to a claim by IT security and control firm Sophos.
'Experts' at the company have apparently discovered that cybercriminals have injected unauthorised code on pages promoting the PlayStation games SingStar Pop and God of War.
According to the firm: 'The hackers attempted to dupe web surfers by running a fake anti-virus scan and displaying a bogus message saying that their computer was infected with a variety of different viruses and Trojan horses.
'The hackers' aim was to scare unsuspecting computer users into purchasing a bogus security product.'
MCV has contacted Sony for official response, and is awaiting word from the US.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said: "There are millions of video game lovers around the world, many of whom will visit Sony's PlayStation website regularly to find out more about the latest console games.
Most would never expect that surfing to a website like this could potentially infect them with malware. If users do not have sufficient protection in place then they might find that before they know it they have been scared into handing their credit card details over to a bunch of cybercriminals.
It is essential that all websites, especially high profile ones like this, have been properly hardened to prevent hackers from injecting malicious code on to what should be legitimate webpages."
Images of an infected page on the Sony PlayStation website, and the bogus virus warning, can be found on Sophos' website here.