Posted on 8th May 2012 @ 1:12 PM
Online gaming has taken the entertainment industry by storm, with more and more video games being released online every day. These games are typically very interactive, with users creating their own accounts, meeting other players, and partaking in a wide variety of activities. These games are very entertaining and there is usually something for all ages. But are these games new portals for online hackers and technology thieves to get in and steal your information? Many games require personal information to create an account and play. If a hacker were to get into one of these games, they could get away with the information of hundreds or even thousands of people.
YoVille is one of many of these popular new online games. The objective is simply to create an identity and live out a life. Everything seemed to be going fine until about a month ago, when several players starting posting complaints to the message board for the game’s developers. In a cash of online larceny, players’ virtual items and possessions were being stolen and not returned. Also, people were noticing that some of the “properties” which they owned or moderated were being deleted or destroyed.
These are all hug signs that the game had indeed been hacked. According to the tech news site VentureBeat, hackers disrupted YoVille's gameplay for about 1,000 players during a couple weeks of April. "The Best YoVille Hackers" claimed responsibility for the hack.
"We detected unusual activity in YoVille, and it coincided with reports from a small number of users," Zynga's chief security officer Nils Puhlmann told VentureBeat. "We analyzed the reports. We found that a small number of vulnerabilities that contributed to the unusual activity. The game team patched these vulnerabilities immediately."
It would only make sense that all of these YoVille users would be scared. However, they were all able to breathe a sigh of relief when it was revealed that the hackers had not been able to steal any personal or financial information, only certain items and belongings inside the game. According to VentureBeat, the security issue has now been resolved, according to VentureBeat.
"Credit card numbers are not an issue here," Puhlmann said. "It is more a case of YoVille players disrupting other YoVille players."
YoVille is a social game that launched in 2008 and is played via app on Facebook or MySpace. Users hang out with friends in "YoVille" and are able to create a character, decorate their house, host a party, earn virtual cash, and chat with other players. The game currently has about 1.5 million monthly users, according to VentureBeat.
Zynga has returned all the virtual property that was stolen during the YoVille breach and has also banned some players, according to VentureBeat. The company additionally said that YoVille was the only Zynga game targeted in the attack.
It is very fortunate thing that none of the players’ personal or financial information was stolen. If a hacker had really wanted to, they could have been able to steal the personal and financial information for thousands of people, which could have resulted in a monetary loss of millions of dollars. It’s important that you take every precaution to protect yourself from these hackers.