However, this is a false choice – organizations can innovate while remaining secure if they implement the proper security controls as they adopt cloud. The password breach was first reported in September of 2019, when a Pakistani hacker by the name of “Gnosticplayers” reached out to The Hacker News. News, insights and resources for data protection, privacy and cyber security professionals. Retrieved from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2018/02/22/588069886/take-a-peek-inside-the-market-for-stolen-usernames-and-passwords, Troia, V. (2020, January 1). “I download everything up to May 17. Few details of the sophistication of the crime have been released. They do this in order to steal the account information and sell it on the deep web for a profit. After Zynga held a press conference in September 2019, Gnosticplayers contacted the popular hacker magazine HackerNews. The Have I Been Pwned website has been updated with the affected accounts, and concerned parties can search by email address to see if their Zynga account was compromised. Privacy Policy It could be as simple as using social engineering to steal passwords to access the account information. They then take this personal info and sell it on an illegal market place on the deep-web. 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How did the breach happen? (2019, September 12). Breach notification extensions for browsers, such as Password Checker for Google Chrome (soon to be incorporated into core Chrome functionality) and Firefox Monitor, can help to tip you off early in situations like these when the responsible company does not opt to notify all affected users of cyber attacks in a timely manner. Zynga; Gnostic’s Hacking Technique. Even after they do, many users are lazy and have a "well my account wasn't hacked" mentality. For his part, Gnosticplayers has been quite forthcoming, even providing The Hacker News with a … His work has been published in Street Muscle Magazine, Drag Zine and Offroad Xtreme Magazine. Gnosticplayers 2019 hack of Zynga is part of a growing trend of large mobile and gaming hacks. Retrieved from Zynga: https://investor.zynga.com/news-releases/news-release-details/player-security-announcement. Retrieved from Dark Web Link : https://darkweblink.com/top-darknet-markets-list/, Darknet Markets. Zynga admitted to the breach at the time, saying that hackers got their hands on “certain player account information” but that, at least during the early stages of its investigation, it didn’t think any financial information was accessed. (2020, February 20). Terms of Use The company … It’s apparent that these traditional authentication methods can no longer be trusted – companies must adopt biometric-based authentication to ensure a user’s data remains in the right hands.”. But this one hacker has compromised millions upon millions of user records. The passwords were secured with SHA-1 cryptography, which has been considered outdated and insecure since before Zynga was even founded. Zynga Inc. / ˈ z ɪ ŋ ɡ ə / is an ... a Pakistani hacker that goes by the name Gnosticplayers claimed to have hacked into Zynga's database of Words with Friends players and gained access to the 218 million accounts registered there. On Sept. 12, Zynga did not specify a breach window. This delay, and the initial lack of information provided by Zynga to its users, has put victims at unnecessary risk. Zynga Inc., one of the most successful online game developers, responsible for such titles like FarmVille, Words with Friends, Cafe World, CSR Racing, and many others, got hacked. Zynga confirmed that the account login information for certain players of Draw Something and Words With Friends that may have been exposed in the data breach. The most interesting thing about Gnosticplayers is unlike most criminals who wish to remain anonymous, he boosts to the media after he commits his cybercrimes. However, what would people want with a Words with Friends account? The hack was committed by an anonymous hacker who goes by the name of Gnosticplayers. GnosticPlayers Part 1: An Overview of Hackers Nclay, DDB, and NSFW. According to The Hacker News, the new data breach was successfully performed by … Retrieved from The Hacker News: https://thehackernews.com/2019/03/data-breach-security.html, Lyons, K. (2019, December 19). It was a replacement for previous darknet market places such as the Skill Road, Alpha Bay and Hansa. Jareth. The primary concern is the use of these username and password combinations in credential stuffing attacks to compromise accounts at other services that use the same information. Retrieved from Darknet Markets: https://darknetmarkets.org/, Hern, A. © Copyright 2020 | Site by 3C Web Services. They cannot have week security that can be exploited by a random hacker. The app is built by Zynga, a … Criminology. Contact How do hackers make money from your stolen data? According to the company, no financial information was accessed. Taking proactive steps to protect yourself from breaches is prudent. Zynga, a social game developer that made its name with Farmville a decade ago and acquired Words With Friends a year later, admitted to the hack in … The data breach appears to exclusively affect mobile players who installed the Android or iOS version of Words With Friends, Draw Something or the long-defunct OMGPOP platform. Gnosticplayers was at the centre of a major hack earlier this year that exposed data for nearly one billion online accounts. Words with Friends is literally Scrabble, so what would buyers want with these accounts? It's like eBay for criminals. Details of how the hack was conducted were not provided. The reasons for doing this are not only to gain notoriety but also to attract buyers on the deep web. The Hacker News confirmed that the stolen data included hashed and salted passwords, any password reset tokens that users might have requested, full names, email addresses, phone numbers and Facebook IDs. I do believe, based on the large number of accounts stolen, that a level of complexity was utilized. Gnosticplayers might be one user, but law enforcement and hacker media have theorized that it may be more than one person. A hacker calling himself Gnosticplayers told Hacker News in September that he had accessed users’ names, email addresses, login IDs, phone numbers, and passwords. Top Darknet Markets List. About Words With Friends developer Zynga released a statement on September 12 regarding a cyberattack, but did not go into the extent of the hack or the numbers involved. After Zynga held a press conference in September 2019, Gnosticplayers contacted the popular hacker magazine HackerNews. On Sept. 12, Zynga reported that a cybersecurity incident had taken place and account login information for certain players of Draw Something and Words With Friends may have been accessed. You can buy them all on the Dark Web for around $4,000 USD. “Especially now that the extent of the breach is clear, users who think they may have registered to use one of Zynga’s products, such as Farmville and Words With Friends, should navigate to haveibeenpwned.com to confirm whether they are impacted. However, the password breach also provides enough information for hackers to potentially create targeted phishing attacks made up to look as if they are an official communication from Zynga. (Lyons, 2019). Zynga burst on the gaming scene when its Farmville title became a hit a ... News of the breach went public at the end of September when notorious cyber-criminal “Gnosticplayers” claimed to have obtained data on over 218 million users. He informed the publication that he began the breach by hacking Words with Friends. The consensus on how sophisticated the crime is still up in the air. While Gnosticplayers appears to be promoting the compromised data for sale, hackers may also turn to the media in attempt to promote themselves. It does not appear that Zynga users were notified when the original breach news broke. Exclusive — Hacker Steals Over 218 Million Zynga 'Words with Friends' Gamers Data. Based on Gnosticplayers’ previous behaviour following similar attacks, the group may well decide to sell these details on the dark web – if they haven’t already done so. Hackers steal account information from popular websites and services. About Short of a sudden burst of enlightenment from all of the internet-based companies that collect user data, end users can expect major password breach incidents such as these to continue to crop up from time to time. The other exciting thing about stolen account attacks is that usually, it takes companies a few days to a few weeks to even realized they were hack on a massive scale. Oz Alashe, CEO of cyber security awareness platform and cloud data analytics platform CybSafe, observed that the amount of time that has passed makes it likely that these stolen passwords have been decrypted: “The disclosure of the full scale and nature of this breach, some three months after the initial announcement, is concerning. As of November, Zynga … Technology and Cybercrime. Retrieved from The Hacker News: https://thehackernews.com/2019/09/zynga-game-hacking.html, Khandelwal, S. (2019, March 17). Cookie Policy Hackers are finding security breaches in mobile apps and gaming software. Because most of these markets operate in foreign countries, they are usually taken down by global task forces, which end up forcibly seizing the website. This exposed information is sure to find a home on the dark web, enabling fraudsters to log into user accounts and commit account takeover fraud. 78, by Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, by International Review of the Red Cross (IRRC) No. Scott Ikeda is a technology futurist and writer for more than 15 years. During his previous hacks, Gnosticplayers would sell the stolen accounts on a darknet market known as Dream Market. The infamous hacker ‘Gnosticplayers’ who had earlier put up stolen data of 932 million users for sale on the dark web, is responsible for this breach. A major breach of usernames and passwords that happened this past September has been confirmed by the company, and it has turned out to be nearly as big as the initial reports indicated. Do not sell my information, Password Breach of Game Developer Zynga Compromises 170 Million Accounts by Scott Ikeda. Over the last 5 years, Scott has grown increasingly focused on the future landscape of big data, surveillance, cybersecurity and the right to privacy. The reason people purchase these accounts is so they can have the items and achievements that are already unlocked. #respectdata, Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, Brazil’s Health Ministry’s Website Data Leak Exposed 243 Million Medical Records for More Than 6 Months, China Removes 105 Mobile Apps From Public Stores for Privacy Violations & Criminal Activity, Including Tripadvisor, Zero Trust 2.0: The Perfect Balance Between Convenience and Security, Business Executives’ Logins Sold on Russian Hacking Forum; Accounts Can Be Used for BEC Scams. This isn't Gnosticplayers' first time stealing account information of mobile and online games. The group’s primary attack vector was also confirmed by several of the organizations on this list. In 2019, it reported a … Buying and selling hacked passwords: How does it work? Gnosticplayers contacted ZDNet on May 24, 2019, and said that he breached the company just hours before contacting them. The hack was committed by an anonymous hacker who goes by the name of Gnosticplayers. The name Gnosticplayers might not mean much to anyone on the street. He informed the publication that he began the breach by hacking Words with Friends. In T. Holt, A. Bossler, & K. Seigfried-Spellar, Cybercrime and Digital Forensics: An Introduction (pp. Original content is published under a Creative Commons License per our Terms of Use. Gnosticplayers, a well-known hacker claimed he gained access to 218 million user records at the mobile game maker Zynga. This seems to be baffling. Now, a … Retrieved from The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/19/21029682/zynga-hack-words-with-friends-draw-something-password-data-breach, Pagliery, J. That’s because many people reuse the same credentials on multiple websites.”. The most interesting thing about Gnosticplayers is unlike most criminals who wish to remain anonymous, he boosts to the media after he commits his cybercrimes. They are exploiting these weaknesses to steal information and selling it on the deep web for an illegal profit. Retrieved from The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/buying-and-selling-hacked-passwords-how-does-it-work-60894. Our Advertising Whether playing innocent games on your phone or ordering food from DoorDash, cybercriminals are looking for every opportunity possible to acquire user data. 22-23). FBI shuts down online drug market Silk Road. in Cybercrime. Co-Founder and CTO Chris DeRamus of DivvyCloud sees the Zynga password breach as yet more evidence that end users have to take the lion’s share of data security responsibility upon themselves: “Zynga’s response to its breach demonstrates how some organizations tend to view proper security as an afterthought. According to the Hacker News, Gnosticplayers is from Pakistan, making it harder for US Law Enforcement to catch him. (Troia, 2020) According to The Hacker News, Gnosticplayers claims to be Pakistani. A computer was likely used to breach the servers and upload the data on the dark web. Player Security Announcement. Though we lack details, a computer was instrumental as it was the primary tool used. The hacker steals the information and sells the accounts and info on the deep-web. The usernames and passwords of more than 172 million accounts were exposed in a hack of Zynga, the company behind the popular mobile game “Words with Friends.” According to a new report from The Guardian , Zynga admitted back in September that “log-in information for certain players of Draw Something and Words With Friends” may have been accessed. According to BuiltWith, there are over 190,000 websites that are Facebook Login Button customers and almost 40,000 live websites using Facebook Login Button. The hacking cost a revenue loss for Zynga and a class action lawsuit against Zynga by those who had their data stolen. The actor of the attack is none other than a hacker than refers to himself as Gnosticplayers. The websites are usually hosted in foreign countries on Onion servers. Almost as if he is an online version of Son of Sam. Irregular warfare with China, Russia: Ready or not, it's coming — if not already here, Counterinsurgency in the Philippines: An Inside Look at Partner Warfare, People's Liberation Army Operational Concepts, A NATO Urban Delaying Strategy for the Baltic States, A Roundtable Discussion with Three Leading Experts on Urban Warfare. When these accounts are stolen, they are sold on an illegal market place for an average of $15 (usually in Bitcoin). Retrieved from Data Viper: https://www.dataviper.io/blog/2019/gnosticplayers-part-1-nclay-ddb-nsfw/, Zynga. Zynga #databreach appears to affect mobile players who installed Words With Friends, Draw Something or the long-defunct OMGPOP platform. Online gaming giant Zynga was hit by a hacker who stole the personal information of as many as 218 million users of Words With Friends. Many more of these darknet markets exist, but they operate on a very underground level and are difficult to find. Those who discover that their details have been compromised need to promptly act to change their passwords. (Khandelwal, 2019)(Zynga, 2019), The hack was committed by an anonymous hacker who goes by the name of Gnosticplayers. Zygna did not confirm how many users were impacted by the hack or what information may have been revealed, but did say that an investigation is underway. While the majority of the passwords stolen were hashed and salted, the outdated SHA-1 encryption has recently shown to be theoretically breakable with as little as about $100,000 USD in cloud computing resources. We know the motive for Gnosticplayers is to profit off of selling the stolen accounts. An automated cloud security strategy can help organizations detect misconfigurations and other threats, then either alert the appropriate personnel of the issue or trigger an automated remediation – all in real-time.”. The method for Gnostic’s hacks was revealed to me by NSFW, and later confirmed by Gnostic over his Twitter. In September of 2019, Zynga admitted the information of over 170 million accounts registered mainly with those games had been stolen. Gnosticplayers told Hackernews that they had access to the names, email addresses, login IDs, phone numbers, Facebook IDs (if connected) and Zyna Account IDs of over 170 million users. Prolific hacker steals 218 million personal records in Zynga breach Gnosticplayers is responsible for some of the biggest data breaches of the year, adding another site to their hit list These hacks are a form of cyber-trespassing and theft. For those unfamiliar, Zynga is one of the largest mobile game developing studios. GnosticPlayers is a computer hacking group, who gained notability in 2019 for hacking Zynga Canva, and several other online services.. Joshua Courter is a graduate student at the University of South Florida where he is working to obtain his M.S. Dark Web Link . The hacker steals the information and sells the accounts and info on the deep-web. From there, he was able to steal the account information, store it on his computers and upload it to an illegal market place on the deep web. But why does his market exist? He seems to operate alone and is motivated by profit on the dark web. Buying Steam accounts is evident as people will download whatever games the account has for free. This means many users won't change their passwords. In four hacking attempts, he has racked up around 866 million records. For those unfamiliar, Zynga is one of the largest mobile game developing studios. 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News: https: //darkweblink.com/top-darknet-markets-list/, darknet markets: https: //thehackernews.com/2019/09/zynga-game-hacking.html, Khandelwal, V.. Them on the deep web for a profit passwords for about 7 million unprotected.... Still up in the summer of 2019 round 4 — hacker Puts 26 million accounts! Primary tool used to steal the data on the communities he visits few details of the is! '' mentality accounts in order to steal the account has for free Gnosticplayers 2019 of! About the impact of technology on the Dark web injected into commercial websites like Amazon and Ebay in to. Means many users wo n't change their passwords Terms of use week security that can be exploited a! Time to make the fact that they were hacked public information were not provided notified when the original News... Hackers are trespassing in areas they aren ’ t suppose such as Fortnite and selling them the... Not provided four hacking attempts, he has racked up around 866 million records information... Breach was successfully performed by … Zynga contacted affected users at the centre of a growing trend of mobile.
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