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1.3 million users affected by cyber attack on Sega

By Reuters
Sunday, June 19, 2011 10:34 EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese video game developer Sega Corp said on Sunday that information belonging to 1.3 million customers has been stolen from its database, the latest in a rash of global cyber attacks against video game companies.

Names, birth dates, e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords of users of Sega Pass online network members had been compromised, Sega said in a statement, though payment data such as credit card numbers was safe. Sega Pass had been shut down.

“We are deeply sorry for causing trouble to our customers. We want to work on strengthening security,” said Yoko Nagasawa, a Sega spokeswoman, adding it is unclear when the firm would restart Sega Pass.

The attack against Sega, a division of Sega Sammy Holdings that makes game software such as Sonic the Hedgehog as well as slot machines, follows other recent significant breaches including Citigroup, which said over 360,000 accounts were hit in May, and the International Monetary Fund.

The drama surrounding the recent round of video game breaches paled compared to what PlayStation maker Sony Corp experienced following two high-profile attacks that surfaced in April.

Those breaches led to the theft of account data for more than 100 million customers, making it the largest ever hacking of data outside the financial services industry.

Sega Europe, a division of Sega that runs the Sega Pass network, immediately notified Sega and the network customers after it found out about the breach on Thursday, Nagasawa said.

Lulz Security, a group of hackers that has launched cyber attacks against other video game companies including Nintendo, has unexpectedly offered to track down and punish the hackers who broke into Sega’s database.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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