If you have a forum account for any Epic Games titles, you may want to change your password as soon as possible. Epic Games has informed the community via email that forums for several of its games and game development tools have been compromised by unknown hackers. It is advising community members to change their passwords - particularly if those passwords and usernames are used for other services on the Internet.
According to Epic, forums for UDK (Unreal Development Kit), Infinity Blade, Gears of War, Bulletstorm, and multiple Unreal Tournament games have been compromised.
It looks like hacking group Lizard Squad is not taking Daybreak Game Studio CEO John Smedley's comments about getting one of its members lying down. The hacking group has attacked several of the servers of several Daybreak Game titles in what Daybreak Games CEO categorized as a "minor" Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
As is a common tactic with law enforcement (even in countries like Finland), instead of punishing notorious Lizard Squad member Julius "zeekill" Kivimaki with jail time for the 50,700 computer crime charges he was convicted of, he has been ordered to serve as an agent to fight against other hackers, apparently.
SC Magazine reports that unknown hackers managed to temporarily shut down the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) website on Monday night using a DDoS attack. This is the second time in the last couple of weeks that hackers have managed to take the site offline. The attack(s) are being attributed to a lone hackers who were formerly associated with hacktivist group Anonymous, working on their own.
Last month we reported on the Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada teen and League of Legends player (and also reportedly a member of the notorious hacking group Lizard Squad) who pleaded guilty to over 23 charges stemming from his one-man campaign of harassment in North America before he was finally arrested in December of last year.
India is in the midst of a fight over net neutrality rules. The agency in charge of dealing with the issue, the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI), recently asked citizens to weigh in on the issue during a public comment period and millions of citizens responded.
But during the course of publishing those comments, the agency also published personal information of everyone who responded, incensing millions of India's population and drawing the attention of activists and even hacktivist groups in the country including Anonymous.
Poker News and several other publications that focus on the ins and outs of online poker/gambling are reporting that two popular online gambling services were taken offline this weekend. Betfair and PokerStars were both offline over the weekend, according to the reports and are still suffering from connectivity issues today.
Security research firm and antivirus software maker Symnatec says that Twitch viewership may be being inflated by bots. The firm uncovered what it calls a "Twitch botnet marketplace" where people can "take a shortcut and generate a large audience of bots for their Twitch channels" (though Symantec points out these bots are being used on other video-related platforms as well.
Game streaming service Twitch is warning users on its blog and individually through email that they may want to change their passwords as soon as possible. The Amazon-owned company says that it recently suffered a security breach.
"We are writing to let you know that there may have been unauthorized access to some Twitch user account information."
According to this BBC report, gamers are being inordinately targeted by ransomware. According to the report, the ransomware seeks out important files from games (like saves) and encrypts them so that they will no longer run. Then the program demands that they pay at least $500 (£340) in Bitcoins. Around 40 different games are being targeted on infected machines. Games being targeted include Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Minecraft and World of Tanks.
The party is officially over for those who were using an exploit in the 3DS web browser to load unsigned code. Nintendo released a new firmware update today that eliminates a web browser exploit that allowed users to inject code within downloaded games. The exploit was being used by some to load and run pirated Game Boy Color ROMs, made it so that games could be played regardless of region-locking, and even allowed some to bypass actually paying for micro-transactions in Nintendo's first free-to-play puzzle game for 3DS, Pokémon Shuffle.
In an email sent to Raptr subscribers today from Raptr CEO Dennis Fong, the social gaming platform revealed that it had suffered a security breech and urged users to take necessary precautions to avoid any potential danger.
In the letter, Fong said that, while the threat to users is minor, some personal data may have been compromised including "user names, email addresses, password hashes, and some first and last names."
A new report on Computer Business Review suggests that it might have been hackers from Russia - and not anyone associated with the North Korean government - who hacked Sony Pictures.
According to cybersecurity firm Taia Global, Sony employees in Russia, India and Asia were spear-phishing emails containing a PDF and remote access trojan (RAT). This allowed hackers from Russia to gain access Sony Pictures Entertainment's networks.
A new report from Arbor Networks (cited by the BBC in this report suggests that hacktivists and gamers are becoming big users of new (but not necessarily technically sophisticated) attacks to take web sites offline. The new report from Arbor Networks examines 10 years of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
Sony announced today that it plans to delay its first quarter earnings by a month in the wake of its latest security breach at the hands of a hacking group. The company was hacked and had data stolen at the hands of a group called the Guardians of Peace. The hack was supposedly in response to Sony Pictures' plan to release the James Franco and Seth Rogan comedy The Interview.
A series of tweets this morning from the official Twitter account for the UK law enforcement agency South East Regional Organized Crime Unit reveals that an unnamed 18-year-old has been arrested in South Port, England for his alleged part in the Christmas day dedicated denial of service (DDoS) attacks that took both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live offline.
During his keynote address this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony boss Kazuo Hirai condemned the hackers who breached the firm's internal network and stole data. The Guardians of Peace hacker group attacked Sony in a bid to stop the release of the movie, The Interview, which made fun of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. The FBI claims that the group is directly tied to the North Korean government, though some security experts believe it was an inside job perpetrated with the help of a disgruntled Sony employee.
The Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has questioned a teenager in connection with Lizard Squad and its international hacking antics, according to Polygon. The law enforcement agency is looking into a 17-year-old identified only as "Ryan" for his alleged participation in DDoS attacks against PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, according to the report. There's some conflicting reports on whether the teen is still in police custody or if he was questioned and sent home.
Recently Sony said it was sorry for the Christmas outages of the PlayStation Network (which hacker group Lizard Squad claimed credit for) and offered a gift to PlayStation Network users: five free days of PlayStation Plus and 10 percent discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store. To say the response to this gift was tepid and even hostile in some circles is an understatement.
While the FBI continues to stick by its statement earlier this month that North Korea or hackers associated with the country hacked Sony Pictures, Politico reports that the top law enforcement agency in the country is - at the very least - entertaining other theories.
According to Daily Dot, the FBI is investigating the Christmas day outages on both PlayStation Network and Xbox Live that left many new PS4 and Xbox One owners unable to play their games on the holiday. The hacker group known as Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the Christmas day attacks.
In the spirit of the holidays, Blizzard is giving back this weekend with more than the usual amount of experience points in its popular (but always online) game Diablo III. Launched on Christmas, and running until midnight on December 29, anyone who plays logs into and plays Diablo III will get two times the normal experience.
TorrentFreak details at great length how Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom did his best to get hacking group Lizard Squad to stop DDoSing PlaySation Network and Xbox Live on Christmas. While it's debatable if the peace offering made by Dotcom really did stop all the Lizard Squad attacks, it shows that he at least made a strong effort to do something on behalf of gamers.
A security researcher says that the FBI's December 19 proclamation that agents from or related to North Korea hacked Sony Pictures is probably not true. Marc Rogers, the director of security operations for DEF CON and a security researcher for a mobile security company says that the hack is more likely the work of a disgruntled former or currently employee.
Here's some of what he wrote in The Daily Beast:
Over the Christmas holiday hacking group Lizard Squad claimed credit for taking both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network offline, much to the consternation of Xbox One and PS4 owners - particularly those who got one of the newer consoles for Christmas. Both networks were the targets of a concentrated series of DDoS attacks on Christmas, making it difficult to log in to either service all Christmas day.
Both Microsoft and Sony acknowledged that their services were experiencing downtime after angry users took to social media to complain to and at both companies.
Sony Pictures will release the controversial comedy "The Interview" on YouTube's movies service, and Xbox platforms, according to The Washington Post. The film is already available for on demand viewing ($5) or as an HD download ($15) through Google Play.
We knew it wouldn't be long before some politicians and bureaucrats took the opportunity to use Sony Pictures' recent security breach as a way to push questionable cybersecurity legislation. The White House declared the Sony security breach a "national security issue" yesterday and today the FBI claimed that North Korea was directly involved in the hack.