Children's data exposed in VTech toy company hack

The Internet Archive, which operates the so-called Wayback Machine that holds copies of Web pages at various times, is asking for donations for its new Canadian project (AFP Photo/Michael Bocchieri)

San Francisco (AFP) - Learning toy maker VTech Holdings on Monday said that millions of accounts and related children's profiles were affected by a cyber attack on one of the Hong Kong-based company's databases.

VTech estimated about five million accounts were affected by a hacker breach of its Learning Lodge app store on November 14.

Learning Lodge allows customers to download applications, games, e-books and other material for VTech devices.

On its website, VTech describes itself as the number one "player" in infant toys in Britain, France, Germany and Spain, and tops globally when it comes to electronic learning products for children.

"We immediately conducted a thorough investigation, which involved a comprehensive check of the affected site and implementation of measures to defend against any further attacks," VTech said.

The breached database contains user profile information including names, passwords, mailing addresses and "secret questions" for password retrieval, according to the company.

The database also reportedly held information about children's birthdates, names and genders.

A report published in online magazine Motherboard cited the hacker as claiming that data easily swiped from the database included thousands of digital pictures or children and parents, and logs of their online chats.

VTech said that no credit card information was taken, because none is processed or stored at the Learning Lodge website.