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HACKER EXPOSES PLAYBOY.COM CUSTOMERS

Credit card information lifted from Web site

Source: Toronto Star

Posted on November 21, 2001

      Playboy models aren't the only people being exposed at Playboy.com.

      Some of the Web site's on-line customers have been left feeling a little vulnerable as well following the latest incident of high-profile hacking confirmed yesterday by the 50-year-old men's magazine.

      Customer information - including credit card numbers - has been stolen from an unknown number of customers on Playboy.com's database.

      "We are confident that not all of Playboy.com customers were affected," said Playboy spokesperson Laura Sigman, but she couldn't say how many were.

      Someone belonging to a group called "ingreslock 1524" and using the alias "martyn luther ping" e-mailed a letter to customers, claiming responsibility for the crime and provided the customer's name and credit card number as proof.

      The letter said the group has had full access to the Playboy.com network since 1998.

      The hacker used a forged address: hef@playboy.com. Sigman said the e-mail messages did not originate from any of Playboy's Web servers.

      Playboy.com's president Larry Lux sent out an e-mail to customers notifying them of the security breach and advising them to contact their credit card company to check for unauthorized charges. Credit card companies have already been told about the situation.

      "We have hired a leading computer security firm to audit our computer systems and analyze this particular incident (and) we are working with law enforcement authorities on a criminal investigation," he said.

      Sigman said the company became aware of the problem this weekend, when network administrators noticed unusual activities on their servers.

      Sigman said 3.2 million unique users a month visit Playboy.com.

      Playboy also runs a members-only site called Cyber Club with 100,000 paying members worldwide.

      Sigman said it wasn't yet clear which Playboy.com customers were exposed.




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