08 May 2012

Hackers Break Into YoVille Social Game

Hackers recently broke into Zynga’s YoVille social game, disrupting a group of almost 1.000 players. The company said no sensitive data was compromised.

“Credit card numbers are not an issue here,” said Nils Puhlmann, chief security officer at Zynga, as quoted by Venture Beat. “It is more a case of YoVille players disrupting other YoVille players.”

In the hacking, some users disrupted the accounts of other players, stealing their virtual inventory of belongings. The group that acknowledged the attacks called itself “The Best YoVille Hackers.”

Zynga first had to go through some rounds of iteration before being able to close off the exploits that hackers used in their attacks. These led to complain in the forums by users who were angry that the company didn’t seem to solve the problem.

The attacks happened in April, over the course of a couple of weeks. According to the company, they were limited to YoVille and did not extend to other games. YoVille is one of the oldest social games at Zynga and now has about 230,000 daily active users. Players can create their own characters, hangout with friends, decorate their house, host a party, earn virtual cash, and chat with other users.