Data Stolen From 218 Million Words With Friends Users
Info stolen from gaming giant Zynga includes names, email addresses, login IDs, phone numbers, and Facebook IDs
As many as 218 million consumers who play—or used to play—Zynga's popular Words With Friends game have been advised to change their passwords after a hacker gained access to personal data in September.
A hacker using the online alias Gnosticplayers accessed information for all iOS and Android users who signed up for Words With Friends before September 2 of this year, according to The Hacker News.
The stolen information, revealed to the news site by the hacker, reportedly included names, email addresses, login IDs, hashed (scrambled) passwords, Zynga account IDs, and in some cases, phone numbers and Facebook IDs. The same hacker reportedly sold almost a billion user records from dozens of popular sites earlier this year.
In a statement, Zynga provided little detail on what data had been stolen but said that no financial information was compromised. The gaming giant says that it has taken steps to protect accounts, and that many users will be prompted by email notification to reset their passwords.
You should change your password even if it's not clear that your account has been affected, security experts say.
"You want to create a strong password that's unique, and not shared with any other online accounts, especially important accounts like social media logins or bank accounts," says Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy at Consumer Reports. "And stitching a bunch of random words together is more effective than [using common tactics such as] changing an 'i' to a '1' or exclamation point."
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of log-ins and passwords you have? On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports’ expert Bree Fowler explains to host Jack Rico how to find and eliminate old online accounts.