Millions of League of Legends Accounts Compromised in North America

Riot Games is forcing a continent-wide password refresh
Riot Games is forcing a continent-wide password refresh

In a note on the website Riot Games confirmed the security breach, which affects its North American players. The exact number of accounts  wasn't revealed, but given that the game is the most-played in the world (bigger than World of Warcraft, bigger than Call of Duty) at 32 million active monthly gamers worldwide, the numbers are probably up there.

“The security of your information is critically important to us, so we’re really sorry to share that a portion of our North American account information was recently compromised,” it said. “What we know: user names, email addresses, salted password hashes, and some first and last names were accessed. This means that the password files are unreadable, but players with easily guessable passwords are vulnerable to account theft.”

As a preventative effort, Riot Games is forcing a continent-wide password refresh. “As a measure to make your accounts safer, within the next 24 hours we’ll require players with accounts in North America to change their passwords to stronger ones that are much harder to guess,” the company said. “At such time, you’ll be automatically prompted to change your password when you attempt to log in to the game.”

That kind of breach is a nightmare for any organization’s brand equity, but if that weren’t enough, Riot Games had another admission to make. About 120,000 transaction records from 2011 that contained hashed and salted credit card numbers have been accessed.

“The payment system involved with these records hasn't been used since July of 2011, and this type of payment card information hasn't been collected in any Riot systems since then,” the notice explained. “We are taking appropriate action to notify and safeguard affected players. We will be contacting these players via the email addresses currently associated with their accounts to alert them. Our investigation is ongoing and we will take all necessary steps to protect players.”

In response to the hacking incidents, the company is developing a raft of new security features. Email verification for one will mean that all new registrations and account changes will need to be associated with a valid email address. The company will also require that all existing players to provide a valid email address. It’s also working on two-factor authentication so that changes to account email or password information will require verification via email or mobile SMS.

“We’re sincerely sorry about this situation,” the company said. “We apologize for the inconvenience and will continue to focus on account security going forward.”

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