Neopets Hacked, 69 Million Accounts Potentially Compromised
Neopets has been hacked, the virtual pet website has confirmed. Announced yesterday on Twitter and the official forums, developer JumpStart Games is asking all 69 million accounts to change their passwords.
"Neopets recently became aware that customer data may have been stolen," reads the official Twitter announcement. "We immediately launched an investigation assisted by a leading forensics firm. We are also engaging law enforcement and enhancing the protections for our systems and our user data."
First reported by Neopets community site JellyNeo (via Polygon), the hacker responsible has been spotted offering the full Neopets database and source code for 4 Bitcoins (or roughly $100,000). The hacker is also offering live access to the database for an additional fee.
It's unclear if this breach also includes credit card info. Neopets offers a paid subscription to remove ads from the site and also provide access to the forums and other premium features. There's also an in-game currency called NeoCash used for various microtransactions.
First launched in 1999, Neopets was a phenomenon for a time. A website where players care for a virtual pet, Neopets quickly grew to millions of users, with original creator Adam Powell selling the site to Viacom in 2005 for $160 million. Viacom later sold the site to JumpStart Games, which retains ownership to this day.
The Neopets themselves require regular feeding and care but they will never die even if neglected. You can also show them around in Neopia (the Neopets world) where you and your Neopet can take part in various minigames or engage in the site's extensive social features. Although nowhere near its peak, Neopets retains a dedicated user base.
This isn't the first time Neopets has been hacked. A similar data breach in 2016 also required all Neopets users to change their passwords. This latest hack is also unlikely to repair the site’s tarnished reputation following the recent announcement of the Neopets Metaverse Collection, a new NFT initiative that fans have derided as a blatant cash grab.
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