Hackers Target Gaming Industry As Breaches Run Rampant

Hackers getting bolder and more aggressive in post-PSN outage.

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Sony almost seems small time now as hackers seem intent on one-upping the as-of-yet unidentified group responsible for taking down the PlayStation Network. In recent weeks, hackers have set their sites on additional gaming targets, beginning with Codemasters who were hit on June 3.

The developer responsible for the hit racing series Dirt said the digital intruders snagged customer names and addresses, email, phone numbers, passwords, and order history. Luckily, Codemasters uses a secondary site for all payments, so credit card information was safe. However, the company's CodeM database was rich with online gaming preferences, like biographies, play history, and birthdates.

Over this past weekend, Nintendo of Europe became the victim of a phishing scam, the company quickly warning consumers with the stock e-mail that they don't ask for personal information.

A little more involving was a hack on Epic Games, the company "gearing" up for their major holiday release Gears of War 3, now stuck dealing with a forum disruption. When forum services returned, Epic stated e-mail addresses and passwords had been obtained, and is now requiring password resets as part of security protocol. While that was minor, hacking group Lulsec left a calling card taking credit for the Epic takedown, and stated they were going to set their sights on developer Bethesda.

And of course, they did. As with the other intrusions, payment information remains safe, while the usual round of e-mail addresses and passwords were nabbed. It's beginning to become an endless cycle of gaming downtime, none of which can be stopped. It's not just within the gaming industry either, Citibank losing customers credit card numbers June 9, and other various Sony services such as BMG Music might as well have offered open arms. The PSN downtime must have only been the first domino to topple.

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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