Game publishers just can't seem to catch a break this year, it seems at least once a month someone needs to get hacked - with the latest victim being Japanese publisher Square Enix.
The company has announced that their Square Enix Members service has been taken down due an intrusion in one of their servers.
The service was taken down 10pm (PST) on December 12th, 2011, and at this point still remains inaccessible. The publisher is continuing to investigate whether or not any personal information has been released - and though they cannot give a solid answer they believe that the most important data has not been leaked.
There is also no need to worry about credit card information being stolen - as that was not stored on the affected server.
Here's the official word from Square Enix:
"We have reason to believe that unknown parties may have gained unauthorized access to a particular Square Enix server related to the free SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS service offered in North America and Japan. In response, Square Enix, Inc. has temporarily suspended operation of the SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS service starting at 10PM (PST) on December 12, 2011. We are assessing the full extent of this potential breach to determine what data, if any, was compromised and will provide more details as soon as possible. While some personal information may have been accessed, we can confirm that there is no possibility of any credit card information leak from this incident, since the server in question stores no credit card information. We estimate that the suspension will continue for a few days until we complete our investigation and counter-measures. We will update you as we learn more. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by the temporary suspension of the SQUARE ENIX MEMBERS service. We take data security extremely seriously and we regret any inconvenience this may have caused our customers and fans. We appreciate your patience and support at this time."
The Square Enix Members service awards Square Enix fans with access to prizes and other complimentary items - think of it like the Club Nintendo program. The service itself is optional, so seeing as this is not an integral feature to any of the publisher's games, it's likely you'll have to worry about your information being leaked - unless you've ever signed up as a Square Enix Member.
In any case, these hacks are becoming an annoying trend. Early this year we saw Sony's PSN get hacked, with widespread compromise of user information, and more recently the Steam Forums were attacked. Yes, hacking is inevitable no matter what security protocols companies employ, but it's the frequency of these hacks that's more worrying. Hopefully we'll start seeing less of this in the new year.