The Web sites for computer game giant Eidos Interactive and one of its biggest titles — Deus Ex— were defaced and plundered on Wednesday in what appears to have been an attack from a splinter cell of the hacktivist group Anonymous. The hack comes just days after entertainment giant Sony told Congress that Anonymous members may have been responsible for break-ins that compromised personal information on more than 100 million customers of its PlayStation Network and other services.
For several hours early Thursday morning, the Deus Ex Web site, user forum, and Eidos.com were unreachable. For a brief period late Wednesday evening, the sites displayed a defacement banner that read “Owned by Chippy1337″ (click screen shot at right for a larger version), along with several names and hacker handles of those supposedly responsible for the break-in.
KrebsOnSecurity.com obtained an archived copy of the attackers’ online chatter as they were covering their tracks from compromising the sites. A hacker using the alias “ev0″ discusses having defaced the sites and downloading some 9,000 resumes from Eidos. ev0 and other hackers discuss leaking “src,” which may refer to source code for Deus Ex or other Eidos games. In a separate conversation, the hackers also say they have stolen information on at least 80,000 Deus Ex users and that they plan to release the data on file-sharing networks.
Neither Eidos nor its parent company Square Enix Co. could be immediately reached for comment. (This may not be the first time Eidos was breached: In a story I wrote earlier this year, I detailed how hackers on an underground criminal forum claimed to be selling access to Eidos’ customer database).
The attack seems to have been engineered by a faction of the hacker collective that recently seized control over Internet relay chat (IRC) channels previously used by Anonymous to help plan and conduct other, high-profile attacks. According to several news sites which covered that coup, the Anonymous control networks were taken over by a 17-year-old hacker from the United Kingdom who uses the handle “Ryan,” (shown in the chat conversation included below using the nickname “Blackhatcat”).