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Sega forums still closed a month after mystery hack

Digital pillage leaves lasting damage

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Sega's forum remains offline almost a month after its forums and other sites were hit by hacktivists.

Hackers broke into Sega's systems and made off with user registration details, email addresses, birth dates and encrypted passwords of around 1.3 million users last month. No financial data was exposed by the hack, which was initially blamed on infamous hacking group LulzSec. The now defunct group denied involvement, even going so far as offering to track down the miscreants responsible.

Sega took the precaution on 16 June of suspending its forums and other sites accessed via Sega Pass system while it beefed up security. This work remains ongoing almost a month later.

A representative of Sega told El Reg that the sites remain offline for testing: making Sega, in as far as possible, "hack proof". No date has been set for restoration.

Rival gaming firm Sony shut down its PlayStation Network in April, also following a hack attack. Sony, which blamed the attacks on Anonymous, restored the service around a month later.

Personal information on 77 million account-holders was exposed by the PlayStation hack, which also aired the credit card numbers, passwords, and security questions of a subset of these unfortunate gamers. Anonymous had been running a campaign of denial of service attacks against Sony sites in protest of its legal offensive against PlayStation modders at around this time. Members of Anonymous were quick to deny responsibility for the much more invasive PlayStation attack, but that still leaves open the possibility that other members of the group carried out the assault.

Whoever carried out the attack on Sony, it was orders of magnitude more serious than the comparatively minor breach at Sega. ®

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