July 2, 2013 at 3:34 PM ET
In an unfortunate case of art imitating life, Ubisoft, the French Video game developer and publisher behind the upcoming hacking-themed title "Watch_dogs," said Tuesday that one of its websites had been hacked, with an undisclosed number of user accounts being compromised in the process, although none of them contained financial information.
“We recently discovered that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain unauthorized access to some of our online systems,” the company wrote in a blog post. “During this process, we learned that data had been illegally accessed from our account database, including user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords.”
Citing security concerns, Ubisoft did not say how many accounts were compromised in the security breach, or what third party (or parties) were behind the hack. The company noted that the hack came about as a result of an employee's credentials being stolen and used to log into Ubisoft's online network.
While hacks like this can be disastrous for a game company and its players when customers' financial information is on the line, Ubisoft was quick to highlight two key pieces of information about the current security breach.
First, Ubisoft said that Uplay, its digital distribution platform, has not been compromised. Instead, Ubisoft said that hackers only targeted some of the company's other "online systems," without going into specific detail about which systems were affected.
Second, the company said that since it does not store financial information like credit and debit card numbers in its online system, the company does not think that the hackers were able to gain access to either financial data or the real names and address information of users. However, saying that it will exercise "an abundance of caution," the company advised its users to change their passwords both for their Ubisoft accounts and any other online accounts that use the same login information.
“Unfortunately, no company or organization is completely immune to these kinds of criminal attacks,” Ubisoft wrote, noting that it is conducting a "thorough investigation with relevant authorities" alongside "internal and external security experts" in order to "restore the integrity of any compromised systems."
“We sincerely apologize to all of you for the inconvenience,” the company added. “Please rest assured that your security remains our priority.”
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: email@example.com.