Hackers steal personal information from another computer firm

Square-Enix Holdings has become the latest target of malicious hacking attacks, with the Japanese computer game developer admitting over the weekend that the e-mail addresses of 25,000 customers and the resumes of 250 people who applied for jobs with the company were leaked.

The hackers apparently targeted the firm's European subsidiary and were able to access the Eidos website, which is managed by London-based Square Enix Ltd. They were also able to interfere with the site for the company's Deus Ex: Human Revolution game, whish is due to be released in the near future.

The sites were taken down and replaced with the message: "Owned By Chippy1337."

This new attack comes after Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Network was illegally accessed in April, with the cyber attackers apparently getting the personal information of more than 100 million people who had signed up for the online services.

Sony reacted to that breach of its security with new security measures and a vow to track down those responsible. In a smart piece of public relations work, it also announced an unprecedented giveaway of free downloads and access to premium games and music.

On Sunday, the company announced in Tokyo that it has resumed some online services for its PlayStation consoles, mainly in the United States and Europe, after incorporating the enhanced security for users' privacy. The company said it hopes to be able to fully restore its services for subscribers in Asia before the end of the month.

Square-Enix has responded in a similar way and has vowed to step up its security measures.

"Square Enix can confirm a group of hackers gained access to parts of our Eidosmontreal.com web site as well as two of our product sites," the company said in a statement. "We immediately took the sites offline to assess how this had happened and what had been accessed, then took further measures to increase the security of these and all of our websites, before allowing the sites to go live again.

"Eidosmontreal.com does not hold any credit card information or code data, however there are resumes which are submitted to the web site by people interested in jobs at the studio," it added. "Regrettably, up to 350 of these resumes may have been accessed, and we are in the process of writing to each of the individuals who may have been affected to offer our sincere apologies for this situation."

Turning to the issue of the personal contact details that would have been released, the company confirmed that "up to 25,000 e-mail addresses were obtained as a result of this breach."

"These e-mail addresses are not linked to any additional personal information," the company said. "They were site registration e-mail addresses provided to us for users to receive product information updates.
No dissemination or misappropriation of any other personal information has been identified at this point.

"We take the security of our websites extremely seriously and employ strict measures, which we test regularly, to guard against this sort of incident."

JR

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