Maple Story hacked, 13 million gamers' details leaked

Personal details of more than 13 million South Korean gamers have been leaked following an attack on one of the nation's most popular on-line games, Maple Story, the Korea Communications Commission has confirmed.

With more than 18 million subscribers world-wide, Maple Story is extremely popular - and, as a result, an obvious target for ne'er-do-wells looking for personal information. While international subscribers - held, it would seem, in a separate database - are not affected, the game's 13.2 million South Korean users are.

Details leaked include user IDs, names, Resident Registration Numbers - equivalent to the Social Security Numbers of the US or the National Insurance Numbers of the UK - and passwords, although no payment details are thought to have been included. RRN and password details were also encrypted, the game's creator Nexon claims.

The news comes just ahead of Nexon's planned floating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on 14th December, through which it had hoped to raise around £800 million via its Japanese subsidiary to fund further game development.

Thus far, it is not known who is behind the attack on Nexon's infrastructure, but fingers are pointing north of the border - and given the focus on South Korean participants, that doesn't seem entirely unlikely.

The news that encryption was used to protect RRN and password details will be welcomed, but once again highlights just how far from industry best practice gaming giant Sony was when an attack resulted in the leaking of several million customers' details that had been stored on its servers in an unencrypted format.