Security Market Segment LS
Thursday, 02 February 2017 11:09

Millions of gamers' accounts hacked


The details of 2.5 million gamers, who had accounts on or, have been exposed on the Internet, having been hacked in late 2015.

Included are email addresses, IP addresses, usernames and passwords. All passwords were protected using MD5 hashing which is easy to break. The existence of the details came to light on the weekend.

The two sites were used to share pirated copies of games for Microsoft and Sony gaming platforms.

Australian Web security expert, ethical hacker and Microsoft Regional Director Troy Hunt maintains a website of the known breaches. Gamers using Xbox, PlayStation, Pokemon, Minecraft and more will need to change passwords.

A visit to the website reveals details of reported hacks. It also offers a free search for your email address on many of the hacked databases.

The Xbox hacks happened in September 2015 involving Xbox 360 ISO accounts and Xbox scene accounts. The Sony PlayStation hacks happened in July 2015 and involved its PS3Hax, PSX-Scene, PSP ISO databases.

The Pokemon hacks happened in August 2014 and October 2016, exposing email addresses, genders, IP addresses, passwords, usernames, and website activity.

Mark James, security specialist at ESET, said: “Often people using seemingly low-security websites don’t enforce good password security because it’s not a financial target. But all data has a value and will be re-used for other purposes. Every website should be treated as unique and require different passwords with a mix of usernames if possible.”

Hunt said, “Data breaches are often sold via dark websites or within closed trading circles. The prevalence of password re-use means that a relatively benign site can hold credentials that unlock far more valuable resources, for example, email or social media accounts.”

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!



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