Regrettably I am writing today not to inform you of a new update or feature for Pirates of the Burning Sea but instead to ask for your forgiveness, patience, and understanding. As Half-Hitch already posted, earlier today I discovered evidence of a breach of our website's security with the potential for compromising our password database.
Our initial response to this discovery was to shut down both the website and the game servers out of an abundance of caution for any potentially compromised accounts. Upon further investigation this appears to have been the correct decision, as I can now confirm that some user name and password information was acquired. While we are not certain yet, it is possible that email addresses associated with those accounts were also obtained. I want to reiterate Half-Hitch's point that no customer financial information has been compromised as we neither store nor have access to any of it.
The affected accounts are those that have logged into either the website or the forums since the beginning of September, however I urge everyone to work under the assumption that their account information was also acquired. If you use the same user ID or password for any other services -- especially email services -- you should change those passwords immediately. Furthermore, while this might not be the best time to mention it, I highly suggest using a password manager. I have personally used LastPass for years and it has improved my personal security immensely.
Now that we are aware of the extent of the breach we have developed a plan for getting everyone back into the game. The first step in this process will be the development of a new website for creating and updating your account which will allow players to reset their passwords (this will be required for everyone) and then log back in.
The first version of this new website will be incredibly minimal and I currently believe it can be completed over the weekend. Much of this work has already been done as it was part of our planned work to enable Captain's Club subscriptions. As a reassurance to everyone, the new website will have no relation to the old BurningSea.com or its code. It is being built with the utmost attention to security concerns and is being hosted by a world-class web services platform.
In the interest of time the new website will not initially include a way for players to purchase Burning Sea Notes. Once players are back in-game my focus will shift immediately to getting that working for those that want to buy BSN's. Currently I estimate that this will take at least another week after the initial version of the website is up and running. Other aspects of BurningSea.com, especially the forums, will take longer to get back online as I plan to perform a full security audit and upgrade, replace, or rewrite each component of the old site.
In the mean time we are changing our original plan to provide 500 Burning Sea Points to all migrated accounts and instead will be providing that to all current accounts, as well as an additional thank you item to be revealed later.
Again I wish to express my sincere thanks to everyone that has supported Portalus Games. I greatly appreciate the supportive attitude of everyone who has commented on our initial notice -- we do not take lightly the trust that you have put in us both as players of PotBS and as customers of ours. I will be working tirelessly over the coming days, weeks, and months to ensure that nothing like this happens again.
Charles "Hamled" Ellis
CEO / Lead Programmer