Bethesda Suffers Data Leak of Some Fallout 76 Customers

If you’ve been asking for support help from Bethesda regarding Fallout 76, you may have had some details leaked to unwitting third parties.

It’s likely that Bethesda was hoping for a nice smooth launch for it’s big title Fallout 76. Unfortunately, the launch did have its issues. Back in October, a beta version of the game wound up deleting itself hours before the official launch. From a report at the time:

The Fallout 76 beta starts on PC tonight, but an 11th hour bug in Bethesda’s launcher has had unusually severe repercussions for some affected users.

Earlier this evening, Bethesda tweeted:

PC #Fallout76 B.E.T.A. players: We are aware of an issue with the client and are investigating. Do not click any buttons on the client for the time being.
— Bethesda Support (@BethesdaSupport) October 30, 2018

Don’t click any buttons? Weird. Turns out the “issue” wasn’t your average freeze. It was a bug where clicking any button on the launch client would delete the entire beta and force users to download the just-under-50GB thing all over again.

Anyone seeing this Tweet in time would have been fine, but loads of people of course wouldn’t have. We won’t ever know how just how many ended up losing their data, but when you’re at the point where Bethesda’s support forums are blowing up, things are bad.

While not the greatest thing to have happened, it’s likely the company wished that was the only problem with the launch of the game. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Last week, news surfaced that personal information was being leaked about customers. More specifically, if you were looking for help. From Motherboard:

Bethesda, the publisher and developer behind Fallout 76 accidentally released the private information of customers it was trying to help by sending that data to other customers.

“@Bethesasupport I am receiving other people’s support tickets on my @bethesda account,” a customer on tweeted Wednesday. “I have numerous other people [sic] receipts for power armor set that includes their email & home address and the type of card used. This is not good, right? #Fallout76.”

She wasn’t the only one. Bethesda customers hit social media and Bethesda’s forums to sound the warning: reach out to Bethesda for support and it might leak your private information, including your receipt, home address, email address, and type of credit card. The stories were all the same—they’d reached out to Bethesda for help with one thing or another and been given access to the help desk’s back end. They were able to update customer support tickets, see information, and close them.

The first official response from the company came from a community manager on Bethesda’s official forum. “Hi guys, we’ve resolved the issue,” they said.

Later, Bethesda Support’s official Twitter account tweeted out a lengthier response to the issue.

“We experienced an error with our customer support website that allowed some customers to view support tickets submitted by a limited number of other customers during a brief exposure window. Upon discovery, we immediately took down the website to fix the error,” Bethesda said.

In fairness, there is a silver lining to all of this. The data leak could have been a heck of a lot worse. It’s not as though customers credit cards or social security numbers are being leaked here. The same can’t be said for a host of other data leaks that have surfaced in recent months.

If anything, the issue wound up being a pretty big embarrassment for the company. In the grand scheme of things, further negative publicity is actually getting off easy as far as breaches and leaks are concerned.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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