Sega falls victim to hack attack


Sega has become the newest victim in a spate of hacking attacks targeting the gaming industry.

The Japanese company sent out emails to its customers today warning its Sega Pass user database had been compromised, with emails, dates of birth and encrypted passwords seized by cyber criminals.

Al Sutton, an IT company director from Kent, sent IT Pro a copy of the email, which said: "As you may be aware, the Sega Pass system has been offline since yesterday, Thursday 16 June. Over the last 24 hours we have identified that unauthorised entry was gained to our Sega Pass database."

"We immediately took the appropriate action to protect our consumers' data and isolate the location of the breach. We have launched an investigation into the extent of the breach of our public systems."

The gaming firm said payment details were not accessed as these were held by a third party company.

Sega has suspended the Sega Pass login system, along with its forums, and although it has reset passwords, suggested users change any other internet account passwords they have if it uses the same one.

IT Pro spoke to Sega who confirmed the attack, but said it was unable to comment on who it thought was responsible whilst an internal investigation was going on.

"We have taken all of the Sega Pass systems down whilst we take the necessary steps but we are cautiously optimistic it won't be long until we are up and running again," a spokesperson said.

Although it has informed customers of the event, the Sega Pass login page on its website merely states the company is "going through some improvements."

We will update you when we know who is responsible and when the site is back in business.

UPDATE: Hacktivist group LulzSec has put themselves out of the frame by offering help to Sega via Twitter.

The tweet read: "@Sega - contact us. We want to help you destroy the hackers that attacked you. We love the Dreamcast, these people are going down."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.