The roller coaster continues. BioWare is the latest to join the growing list of video game companies to be victimized by what has shaped up to be an ongoing series of illegal network intrusions perpetrated by hackers. This particular attack targeted the developer’s Neverwinter Nights forums, presumably because the security built into the forums back in 2002 when the game was released was easier to bypass. Although no payment information was stored on the site, all other user data is believed to have been exposed.
Unfortunately, since BioWare is owned by Electronic Arts, anyone who has linked up their various accounts with EA’s centralized network is at risk. Payment details might not be stored on the Neverwinter forums, but EA Accounts are a different story. A FAQ is posted that runs you through the highlights.
The key thing you should be looking for is an e-mail informing you that your data is at risk. EA isn’t sending anything to those it believes are unaffected. Then again, if you’re still using the same password on multiple sites even after this months-long hack-stravaganza, it might be a good idea to go ahead and change your EA Accounts password anyway. As far as what the actual data believed to be obtained by the hackers is, the Neverwinter forums servers contained “user names, encrypted passwords, email addresses, mailing addresses, names, phone numbers, CD keys and birth dates.” The FAQ also notes that some of the passwords stolen were not encrypted, though why or how that could happen isn’t specified.