Rockstar, the games developer behind the huge hit Grand Theft Auto 5 has denied that its Social Club hub has been hacked, despite multiple reports from players that they have been locked out of their accounts.
Reports of the issue first emerged on Reddit, when one player said his account had been "stolen" and that "there may be a larger hack going on". The problem was with an account associated with Rockstar's Social Club, an online hub which facilitates GTA 5 online multiplayer gaming.
Reddit user rappo said the person who stole his account had been using his credentials to login and play, and had logged three hours of play time in total. In the following days hundreds of more people reported the problem to Rockstar via email, its helpline and through the company's support account on Twitter.
However, despite all these reports claiming accounts have been hacked, Rockstar has denied that its Social Club website has been compromised. In a statement given to Kokatu Australia, the company said:
Rockstar Games Social Club has not been compromised. However, it appears that attempts have been made to access user accounts using email and password combinations from an unaffiliated, compromised website or database elsewhere on the internet. For the accounts affected, we are in the process of reverting those accounts back to their original owners. As a reminder, it is a good policy to ensure that the Rockstar Games Social Club account username and password is not shared across multiple websites on the internet.
This is not a unusual occurrence as many people reuse one set of login details across multiple online services from banking, to email and social media. It is a practice which is strongly advised against by security professionals but continues to be a problem.
Hackers in 2014 stole billions of usernames and passwords in multiple high-profile attacks on services and retailers like eBay, Home Depot, Target, JP Morgan Chase and the European Central Bank.