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Esea Falls Foul of Hackers

Mon 16 Jan 2017

The E-Sports Entertainment Association (Esea) is the latest Internet giant to fall victim to the hands of hackers. Providing one of the largest Internet gaming communities in the world, Esea was hacked in December of 2016 and, as a result, a database holding the details of 1.5 million users was compromised. The names, addresses and personal IDs of the 1.5 million users have been leaked online, although Esea’s response wasn’t released until January 8th 2017. While the statement revealed that the leak of users’ data was “expected”, further information into the true scale of the hack has yet to be released.

Post-Ransom Release

Esea’s statement on the 8th January followed after the company had issued a warning on December 30th 2016, informing its customers that a security breach had taken place and that they were advised to change their passwords. Subsequently, a breach-notification service claimed that it had obtained 1,503,707 users’ records and that details of the hack only surfaced after Esea had refused to pay a ransom demand of £4,100. In addition to names, addresses and IDs, the leaked information is believed to include dates of birth and phone numbers, all related to popular gaming platforms, including the PlayStation Network, Xbox and Steam.

How Long had ESEA Known?

In a user FQA session, Esea admitted that it had known about the breach since December 27th 2016 and had since contacted the FBI, for assistance.

In a statement, the company said that “Following this event we will be moving forward with an even more enhanced and robust security system. Although no system may ever be 100% secure, we hope our community will trust us that we are taking all the appropriate measures to ensure their data is as safe as possible.”

However, users of the online gaming community may be feeling that this is a case of ‘too little, too late’: in May 2013, Esea found itself embroiled in another scandal. In which an employee was revealed to have been using the company’s software downloads to ‘enslave’ users’ computers. Esea’s administrators were fined $325,000, which it was deemed to have been in violation of the United States’ Consumer Fraud Act.

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