Hackers attack League of Legends, steal user account data and credit card info

The League of Legends hack is bad, but fortunately, the most crucial information was encrypted.
  • Brad Chacos (PC World (US online))
  • 21 August, 2013 15:11

Game over, man, game over! Late Tuesday, Riot Games announced that hackers managed to breach the company's servers, swiping the usernames, email addresses, salted password hashes, and real-word names of North American players of the uber-popular League of Legends game. Worse, nearly 120,000 credit card transactions 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," Riot Games founders Marc Merrill and Brandon Beck explained in a blog post. "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."

League of Legends had roughly 70 million registered users as of last October, with 12 million users active daily. In March, Riot said the game often has more than five million players online simultaneously. (It's also one of the 12 frustrating games we can't help but love.)

Affected players will want to keep an eye on their bank statements, but fortunately, those transactions were also hashed and salted, which means--like the swiped passwords-- that they are very unlikely to be cracked any time soon. Even so, all League of Legend users will have to change their passwords the next time they log into the system. Better safe than, well, even more sorry.

If you used your League of Legends password at other websites, you'd be smart to change those as well. Or even better yet, take this opportunity to stop reusing passwords. (PCWorld has a guide to staying password-secure while maintaining your sanity.)

Riot also announced plans to add a couple of features to its security arsenal in the coming weeks and months. New accounts will need to be tied to a valid email address, and players will need to confirm any changes to existing accounts either via email or text message. Yup, that's a form of two-factor authentication, in case you were wondering.

This isn't the first time Riot has run into security woes. Last year, European League of Legends players had their account data compromised. Worried MOBA players shouldn't necessarily think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, though. In 2011, Valve--maker of Defense of the Ancients 2, League of Legend's prime competitor--also fell victim to a hack attack that resulted in lost passwords and credit card info.