Rockstar Denies 'GTA' Social Club Hacking

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An advertisement for Take-Two Interactive Software's "Grand Theft Auto 4" video game
An advertisement for Take-Two Interactive Software's "Grand Theft Auto 4" video game is seen on the side of a building in Los Angeles April 26, 2008. REUTERS/Lisa Baertlein Reuters

With the advent of digital distribution of videogames, subscription services and paid DLC content, it isn't uncommon for videogame services to generate an eye-wateringly large amount of revenue. The relatively lower level of security safeguards used on these platforms as compared to robust financial institutions makes them a prime and easy target for hackers out to make a killing. Over the past couple of days, Rockstar was believed to be a victim of such hacking after the GTA 5 Social Club was allegedly compromised. The publisher, however, has disputed the hacking rumour.

Rockstar Games has denied that its GTA 5 Social Club has been compromised. The company made the statement to Kotaku Australia after Reddit users reported that their accounts had been hijacked. Similar instances were also cited by users of Rockstar's official support forums and further corroborated by instances tweeted to the company's Twitter support account.

The compromised accounts were discovered after a large number of affected users found that they had been kicked out of their GTA Online sessions. The error message these gamers received essentially informed them that someone else had logged in to their account from another location. Furthermore, VG247 reports that a rogue website had listed a large number of GTA Social Club emails along with associated passwords in plain text. The website won't be linked for obvious reasons, whereas the veracity of those username and passwords hasn't been confirmed either.

Such overwhelming amount of evidence and user complaints led gamers to believe that Rockstar had been compromised much in the same manner as the large scale PSN hack faced by Sony in 2011. The Grant Theft Auto 5 maker, however, maintained that Rockstar Games Social Club hasn't been compromised. The company did acknowledge that some user accounts have been affected, but it shifted the blame on the affected users. According to the publisher, the affected users may have had their accounts hacked because they could have employed the same email and password combination used on another compromised website or database.

"As confirmed yesterday, the Rockstar Games Social Club has not been compromised," said Rockstar Games in its statement. "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."

Gamespot reports that Rockstar is currently processing tickets issued to affected users, who will eventually have their compromised accounts returned. Meanwhile, the publisher has implored users to maintain separate email and passwords for the service to avoid losing their accounts.

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Grand Theft Auto V: First Person Experience (credit: Rockstar Games )