Security Experts:

Ubisoft Breached: Users Urged to Change Passwords

Ubisoft, the studio behind some widely popular games such as Assassin’s Creed and the Far Cry series, disclosed that they have suffered another security incident on Tuesday, and are urging users to reset their account passwords.

Earlier this year, Ubisoft confirmed to customers that UPlay accounts were compromised, but the scope was limited to a handful of gamers. At the time, gamers were complaining that third-parties were altering the email addresses associated with their accounts – a clear sign that there was a breach somewhere. But Ubisoft didn’t confirm if the issue was on the customer’s end, or their servers. 

Now, Ubisoft is once again admitting to a security incident, only this time there are clues as to what happened. Without actually saying so, Ubisoft paints the picture that either a customer or an employee had their account compromised, and a WebApp vulnerability allowed an attacker to gain access to account details. The result of those actions has exposed “user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords.”

“We recently discovered that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain unauthorized access to some of our online systems. We instantly took steps to close this off and to begin a thorough investigation with the relevant authorities, internal and external security experts,” the gaming firm said in a statement

“Passwords are not stored in clear-text but as an obfuscated value. These cannot be reversed but could be cracked, in particular if the password chosen is weak. This is the reason we are recommending that our users change their password.”

Early Wednesday morning, lists of password hashes started to circulate on the Web. SecurityWeek has seen some of those lists, which were hashed using MD5, and we’re hoping they’re from an older breach or something completely unrelated. If they are in fact taken from this latest incident, then the passwords are extremely common and easily cracked using basic wordlists. Moreover, unlike the incident earlier this year, this latest snafu has nothing to do with UPlay.

Ubisoft has said their security teams are exploring all options available to expand and strengthen their security posture, but would not comment any further on specifics. They did go out of their way to mention this recent incident was unrelated to previous breaches at other gaming firms, but that doesn’t exclude the likelihood that there was severe password recycling going on between user accounts.

Details on resetting passwords can be found online at the aforementioned blog post.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.