Ubisoft warns millions of video gamers of hack attack

Ubisoft screenshot
Image caption Ubisoft posted news about the breach above a link for Watch Dogs - a forthcoming game about a hacker

Ubisoft has suffered a security breach and is warning account holders that details have been compromised.

The video games publisher said that user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords had been "illegally accessed", but that subscribers' debit and credit card details remained safe as it did not store them.

The firm said it had 58 million people on its database at the time of attack.

It said it did not believe the attack was related to earlier breaches.

Last year the firm had to release an emergency patch after it discovered a security hole in its Uplay web browser add-on could have allowed cybercriminals to run malware on computers that had installed it.

Then in April it temporarily halted sales of PC video games after hackers discovered a way to download software from its online store without paying and stole a copy of a title it had yet to release.

'Strengthen measures'

"We are recommending all our users change their passwords," the firm said in a statement.

"We also recommend that you change your password on any other website or service where you use the same or a similar password.

"Ubisoft's security teams are exploring all available means to expand and strengthen our security measures in order to better protect our customers. Unfortunately, no company or organisation is completely immune to these kinds of criminal attacks."

France-based Ubisoft is best known for its Assassin's Creed, Just Dance, Splinter Cell and Far Cry franchises.

Image caption Ubisoft said it was carrying out a "thorough investigation" into how the breach took place

Gamers buying its titles for PCs are often required to register an account with the firm as an anti-piracy measure, while console owners are encouraged to do so in order to log "achievements" which can be used to unlock bonus content.

The attack comes two years after the biggest video games industry breach to date - a hack attack on Sony's PlayStation network that resulted in millions of subscribers' passwords and credit card details being leaked online.

The firm was later fined £250,000 by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, which criticised the Japanese company for failing to have up-to-date security software.

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