Security Alert: Do you have an online gamer in the family? Passwords at Risk!
Do you have an online gamer in the family? The recent Amazon Twitch hack comes on the heels of other high profile hacks targeting the online gaming community, bringing with it serious password security implications.
What is the Amazon Twitch Hack?
Last year, Amazon acquired Twitch, a live video game streaming site, for $970 million. With more than 55 million users, hacking into Twitch could prove lucrative to hackers seeking to exploit usernames and passwords. On March 23, 2015, the official Twitch blog announced that there “may have been unauthorized access to some Twitch user information.”
In response to the likely breach, Twitch expired all passwords and stream keys, forcing its users to create new passwords when they next log in. According to an article on Forbes about the breach, Twitch initially required these new passwords to be at least 20 characters in length, but backed that requirement down to 8 characters after users complained.
Other Recent Online Gaming Hacks
The Amazon hack isn’t the only online gaming network to have been targeted by hackers. Last month, many members of the PlayStation Network reported that their accounts had been hacked and that fraudulent charges had been made as a result.
Last December, both the PSN and Microsoft’s Xbox Live sites went down, apparent victims of a denial of service attack. Though user accounts were presumably not compromised, these attacks highlight the fact that online gaming sites are indeed targets — and they’re vulnerable.
Why are Online Gamers’ Passwords at Risk?
Whether an online gamer in your family plays on Twitch, PSN, Steam, or any other online gaming site, password security is a concern. For example, if you use your online screen name as your login username, hackers already have half the information that they need to hack into your account — and passwords are notoriously easy to guess. How easy? Let’s start with the top three most popular passwords in 2014:
What’s more, many users use the same usernames and passwords across multiple sites. So while you may not be all that concerned about some hacker playing online games using a family member’s account, you should be concerned about the hacker now having credentials for other accounts such as for online banking, PayPal, or even your Amazon passwords.
If an online gamer in your family uses Twitch, the PlayStation Network, etc, the first order of business is to immediately change those passwords as well as the passwords of any other online sites that uses similar credentials.
In its blog post announcing the breach, Twitch shared examples of bad, okay, and good passwords as well as recommended the use of a reputable password manager with a random password generator. A free password manager such as Speedy Password makes it easy to generate unique, secure passwords for every account. Meanwhile, you only need to memorize a single Master Password.
Hackers are looking for easy targets, and online gaming sites are vulnerable. Make sure that your personal accounts are locked up tight by using hard-to-crack, unique passwords — ideally with a free password manager like SpeedyPassword.
April 8, 2015 / By: Celeste