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Zynga's YoVille gets hacked

Hackers infiltrate the social game affecting gameplay and stealing users' virtual goods, but private and sensitive data isn't compromised.

YoVille's Facebook profile photo. Zynga

YoVille players starting posting complaints on the gaming company's forum about a month ago. Strange happenings were afoot -- players' virtual items were stolen and not returned and some players' property supply was completely depleted.

Apparently, the game had been hacked. According to the tech news site VentureBeat, hackers disrupted YoVille's gameplay for about 1,000 players during a couple weeks of April. "The Best YoVille Hackers" claimed responsibility for the hack.

"We detected unusual activity in YoVille, and it coincided with reports from a small number of users," Zynga's chief security officer Nils Puhlmann told VentureBeat. "We analyzed the reports. We found that a small number of vulnerabilities that contributed to the unusual activity. The game team patched these vulnerabilities immediately."

While initially alarming news for YoVille users, it appears that the hackers only interrupted games and did not breach customer's private and sensitive information. The security issue has now been resolved, according to VentureBeat.

"Credit card numbers are not an issue here," Puhlmann said. "It is more a case of YoVille players disrupting other YoVille players."

YoVille is a social game that launched in 2008 and is played via app on Facebook or MySpace. Users hang out with friends in "YoVille" and are able to create a character, decorate their house, host a party, earn virtual cash, and chat with other players. The game currently has about 1.5 million monthly users, according to VentureBeat.

Zynga has returned all the virtual property that was stolen during the YoVille breach and has also banned some players, according to VentureBeat. The company additionally said that YoVille was the only Zynga game targeted in the attack.