It is hard to consider that the Pokemon Trading Card Game has lasted as long as it has. While representing one small part of the multimedia sensation that is Pokemon, there have been websites dedicated to covering the highs and lows of this card game, and Pokebeach is perhaps the largest with them having nearly 19m page views last month from 3.8m users.
Unfortunately, the biggest website dedicated to Pokemon TCG news, PokeBeach has recently been hacked. In the announcement of the attack, some helpful information was included. First and foremost, no user data was compromised or stolen, so if you have visited the website, your personal information is safe. Second, it appears all news stories, forum posts, or user accounts were not affected either. If you visited PokeBeach recently, you won’t have to worry about potential information being lost.
As for what the hackers did steal, it is inconvenient. It started with the hackers trying to take complete control of the website itself, then ransom it back to the owners. They even tried to re-route the site’s article program so that subscription payments would go to the hackers’ own Paypal account rather than PokeBeach itself. These hackers were eventually removed, but not before deleting all media image files, including ones for news stories and user attachments. Worse still, they even managed to delete back-ups. To replace some of the files they demanded some of the owner’s collection, cards that he’s had for 18 years now in a blatant attempt at extortion.
The following response from the owner says it all. “I consider PokeBeach a monument to the Pokemon TCG. I have worked hard to preserve the last 18 years of my news stories so fans could look back at the game’s history. It really hurts to lose years of that to vandals who don’t care about our game or its community.”
The owners of PokeBeach are seeking legal actions against either the hackers in question, or the software that had the vulnerability, if not both. After a few days down, the site is back up, albeit in a more basic state. Better still, they will continue to cover and discuss the Pokemon TCG going forward, and several posts are already up. This includes its upcoming release, Sky Stream and Towering Perfection.