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Play.com spam points to malware downloads

Breach blamed on marketing company

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Multiple Reg readers were annoyed at receiving junk mail messages on Monday from addresses they had only registered with online retailer Play.com.

Several of these junk mail sites pointed to black hat controlled domains that served up malware, heightening complaints on online forums (discussion on MoneySavingExpert here) and sparking theories that either Play.com had been hacked or its mailing list had been stolen.

Affected users were sure that Play.com must have been associated with the malware touting emails because they used a unique email address when signing up to the site.

We put in a query to Play.com on Monday but are yet to hear back. However, we have received copies of emails sent to customer by Play.com that apologised for the incident and blamed the breach on an (unnamed) third-party marketing firm.

We are emailing all our customers to let you know that a company that handles part of our marketing communications has had a security breach. Unfortunately this has meant that some customer names and email addresses may have been compromised.

We take privacy and security very seriously and ensure all sensitive customer data is protected. Please be assured this issue has occurred outside of Play.com and no other personal customer information has been involved.

Please be assured we have taken every step to ensure this doesn’t happen again and accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused some of you.

Reports on a forum on gaming site GSN.com suggested that its subscribers were also hit by a spam-based malware attack. The junk emails touted a fake Adobe update that actually contained a Trojan. ®

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