Our tech team has just sent out emails to a small number of Eurogamer.net account holders (around 2000) to let them know about a security issue we had this Tuesday, 26th November.
During deployment of a site update, a serious bug meant that a small number of users were accidentally logged in to one or more completely different user accounts, at random. This problem lasted for three hours.
Users were not able to retrieve passwords, so these have not been compromised, but individuals who were mistakenly logged into the wrong account would have been able to view a limited amount of private profile information (listed below) and could read any private messages on the site's IM system. Some users also chose to post on the forum and comments system as the other user.
I'm very sorry that this has happened, and if you were affected, I sincerely apologise.
As regular readers will know, I believe we need to own our mistakes and be transparent about them. As soon as I found out about the extent of this issue, I felt we should put something prominent here on the Editor's blog. We are also taking steps behind the scenes to ensure that this will not happen again.
Anyone who has received one of these emails from our tech team should know that one or more people may now know the following information:
- The email address associated with your Eurogamer.net account.
- Your real name, should you have provided that to us.
- Your geographical location, should you have chosen to enter that into your profile.
- The contents of any private messages you sent using the site's IM system.
If you know that you have sensitive information in your account IMs, you should consider that information compromised.
If you have any other questions, or would like a fuller explanation of what went wrong, our tech director Mark Kennedy will be monitoring this comments thread and replying to inquiries. If you received the email above, you also have his address and can contact him directly as well.
Once again, I'm extremely sorry for this lapse and we will do everything we can to do better in future.