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Hackers nab data of over 1 million online game customers

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Hackers steal Sega customers' data
  • NEW: SEGA says the affected service does not store credit card numbers
  • SEGA says the data breach included e-mail addresses and passwords
  • The company shut down operations and sent out apologies
  • English language users saw messages that the SEGA Pass site was down for "maintenance"

Tokyo (CNN) -- Hackers have stolen personal information from over 1.2 million customers of the Japanese gaming company SEGA, according to a company statement.

The breach occurred Friday and targeted user data from subsidiary "SEGA Pass", which is operated by Britain-based SEGA Europe Limited (SEL).

The service was "illegally accessed from outside and personal information of all 1,290,755 customers of the service... were brought outside of the system," according to SEGA. The information included names, birth dates, e-mail addresses and "encoded passwords," the statement said.

But the company emphasized that it "does not hold any confidential information such as credit card information." SEGA says it shut down service as soon as it confirmed the illegal access and sent affected customers an e-mail apology.

The company says it is investigating the cyber break-in.

SEGA published the statement explaining the data hacking in Japanese on the Japanese website only. English language users were greeted only with messages that the SEGA Pass service was momentarily down.

"Sorry, the website is temporarily unavailable due to Maintenance work," one message says. "We will be up and running again soon!"

SEGA advertises its privacy measures on a banner at the bottom of its website, which reads "ESRB Privacy Certified". The banner links to a privacy statement, which touts user information safeguards including "the storage of data on secure servers or computers inaccessible by modem."

In April hackers stole personal user information from SONY's PlayStation Network, which had some 70 million subscribers at the time. Hackers later broke into Sony Pictures website, compromising the accounts of over 1 million users.

SEGA creates games that play on SONY's PlayStation as well as on other gaming systems.

Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.