One of the world’s biggest game development companies has become the latest victim of a notorious serial hacker, leaving the data of over 218 million users exposed.
Zynga Inc., who owns a plethora of online games such as FarmVille, Words With Friends and Mafia Wars, was allegedly hacked by a Pakistani based cyber thief who goes by the name of “Gnosticplayers”.
The online bandit boasted about their triumph to The Hacker News where they claimed to have breached “Words With Friends” and accessed the massive amount of user’s data.
It’s also thought that Gnosticplayers sold over a billion stolen records from 45 online sites earlier this year.
Who is affected?
In their confession, the hacker said that both those on iOS and Android who downloaded the game before 2nd September will have been affected.
Although the games company did not say how many may have been affected in the breach, Zynga did admit, “We recently discovered that certain player account information may have been illegally accessed by outside hackers. An investigation was immediately commenced, leading third-party forensics firms were retained to assist, and we have contacted law enforcement.”
Ilia Kolochenko, founder and CEO of web security company ImmuniWeb, has commented on the breach. He says: “In light of the reported inclusiveness of compromised data, it may well be a breach related to unprotected backup available in a cloud or elsewhere. The information reportedly stolen does not give an immense marge de maneuver to the attackers, however, all potential victims should remain vigilant when handling any incoming emails or messages. It would be premature to derive any categorical conclusion about the true origins and scope of the breach before technical investigation is over. So far, Zynga’s response seems to be adequate to the obscure circumstances of the alleged incident.”