SEGA, the maker of the Sonic the Hedgehog video game yesterday admitted hackers have stolen information on 1.3m of its customers.
The cyber attack allowed online thieves to make off with names, birth dates, email addresses and encrypted passwords of users of its Sega Pass online network.
Sega now joins an unenviable roll call of companies who have been hit by a recent spate of cyber attacks, including Sony and Citigroup.
The video-games maker, a division of Sega Sammy Holdings, has now closed the affected network and said it is unclear when it will re-open.
A Sega spokeswoman said: “We are deeply sorry for causing trouble to our customers. We want to work on strengthening security.”
In a bizarre twist, hacker group Lulz Security, which was behind cyber attacks against other video game companies including Nintendo, has offered to track down and punish the hackers who broke into Sega’s database.
Sega will at least be grateful the attack was not as severe as the raids on Sony’s PlayStation Network and entertainment division, in which information on more than 100m customers was compromised.
Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace, with other high profile targets falling victim recently including the International Monetary Find (IMF), the US Senate, the defence firm Lockheed Martin and even internet giant Google.
President Barack Obama made it clear online security is a matter of national importance, saying that any state-backed cyber attacks will be treated as acts of war and could lead to a military response.