01 Jun 2012

GameReplays to Collaborate with Hackers after Data Breach

Anonymous member Ececus exposed 10,000 member accounts, but GameReplays’ owner continues to give credit to ethical hackers probing the site. Jon LeMaitre, co-owner and General Manager of the online gamer company, confessed in a blog post that he still supports Anonymous' mission and will collaborate with hackers in the future, inviting them to help track vulnerabilities in the web site, but in a responsible manner.

“Sadly, there are people like _ecECus_ who give Anonymous and other hackers a bad reputation, since his goal isn't to help, but rather, to be immature and stroke his own ego,” LeMaitre said. “Unfortunately, because we have such limited development resources, we cannot do this alone. Therefore anyone who helps us will be given due credit.”

The gaming platform’s general manager also confessed the attacker previously sent him an e-mail, announcing he has found a breach on the web site and could share details if given proper credit. Because the e-mail was in Spanish and sent in the weekend, the owner wasn’t quick with the “thank you” note.

“Given that he sent the email in Spanish, and I was out celebrating Memorial Day weekend, I had no chance to address his email and thank him for alerting us to the issue,” LeMaitre said. “Because I was not able to respond to an email (written in a language I don't know), within 24 hours, he decided to go ahead and give himself credit for the hack.”

After he went along with the attack, the alleged Anonymous member first published a list of 5,000 accounts from the database, and then an additional 5,000 emails and passwords that he had stolen.

GameReplays is an online community of multiplayer gamers where professional tournaments and replays are organized. This is not the only company that rewards hackers who find vulnerabilities in their services and report them privately. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Mozilla give credit and money to so-called white hat hackers.