Ubisoft, the videogame company behind the popular Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell franchises, announced today that it fell victim to computer hackers who gained unauthorized access to a database full of user names, emails and encrypted passwords.
“We recently discovered that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain unauthorized access to some of our online systems,” explained Ubisoft in a blog entry posted to the company’s website. “We instantly took steps to close this off and to begin a thorough investigation with the relevant authorities, internal and external security experts, and to start restoring the integrity of any systems that may have been compromised.”
Ubisoft does not store customers’ credit card numbers or data, so the extent of the security breach is somewhat limited. Still, because encrypted passwords were exposed, the company is recommending that all account holders visit Ubi.com to change their login credentials. After all, simple passwords, even if encrypted, can be easily divined with patience and the right hacking software.
You may also want to go a step further and change the passwords associated with any email addresses you have on file with the gaming company, as well as any other account that you’ve given the same user name. Once a hacker gains access to one of your online accounts – even one as innocent sounding as a video game login – gaining access to your other, more important data becomes exponentially easier to obtain.
Though there’s no way for you to prevent the companies you do business with from being compromised, there are a few simple steps you can personally take to minimize your hacking risk. Consider using a password managing service like RoboForm Everywhere ($9.99 per year at roboform.com) or Kaspersky Password Manager ($24.95 at usa.kaspersky.com). And be sure to check out our tips on how to easily make strong passwords that will fluster the bad guys.