Will you recognize when you make a mistake?

| June 25, 2008 | 12 Replies

Last night, Alachia posted that her account got hacked. I know that Alachia takes steps to protect her computer, but it made me wonder if perhaps Blizzard couldn’t do something extra to help the users.

When people ask this question on the WoW forums, the consensus is that anyone who gets hacked is “stupid” and that they deserve to get hacked because they’re a “failure”. Oh, REALLY?

Take the latest Flash virus. If you clicked a Flash video before it was known there was a problem, are you “stupid” for not knowing that there was an exploit? Virus software generally gets updated once every few days by default. You could set that to check more often, but the point is that there could be a window in which a trojan gets in your system before you get a chance to download the udpate and scan your computer.

It’s an annoying cat and mouse game just to play WoW.

The fact that people need to be made aware of viruses, how to prevent them, and worst of all, need to spend time dealing with it, is an unfortunate side effect of being online today.

But will you recognize when you make a mistake? If you get lax someday, will you realize it? Will you be aware that you’ve done something that might seem insignificant and yet has unleashed something on your computer that even your virus scanner and zonealarm isn’t aware of? Perhaps.

So I ask this: would it be prudent of Blizzard to implement tools on the back end to check where someone is trying to log into your account from? Let’s remove the point about protecting your own computer and that you’re responsible for what happens to it. Now the problem shifts from losing your hard work of building up your character for the last 4 years to Blizzard needing to spend time getting all those items back for you. Yes, it’s much easier to replace items than it is to roll a new toon, but sometimes people don’t get their accounts back.

People claim that if you get hacked you deserve it. I’ll bet those people won’t feel the same if it happened to them. People make mistakes, they shouldn’t have to pay a high price for them. I also think that the amount of effort Blizzard could put in to even put in the smallest bit of protection for the users could save both Blizzard and its customers a lot of time.

Category: Gameplay

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  1. Khaled says:

    That’s a shame, and Blizzard needs to take more steps to protect its customers.
    One example is to have 2 passwords, an account password and a game password. That will eliminate some of the problems.

  2. Bourgeoisie says:

    this reminds me of what happened to randydeluxe on the Instance. What I want to see is a security key, similar to what paypal did recently.


    A key like this could be used for everytime you logon. This would make it almost impossible to hack your account.

  3. alachia says:

    I have several suspicions as to how I got hacked. And there were several dumb mistakes on my part for sure. One, I stupidly use my wow account info for other purposes like forums etc. #1 mistake there. NEVER use your account information for wow for ANYTHING else. at all.

    The other problem is that people link me videos and stuff all the time. I have no idea sometimes what sites are doing what to my computer. Am I to stop surfing the internet all together? It almost feels like I need to keep my wow computer on lock down…and that sucks.

    Mods…how the heck do I know what some of these mods are doing? No idea at all if any of them are harmful. Some of them I really need and it would suck to go mod-less because security is so lax on Blizzard’s end.

    In our sister guild, two people got hacked already. One of the top guilds in our server go hacked last month. They had to reform the guild because the GM couldn’t even get his guild name back.

    If banks ran the same way Blizzard did, we’d all be pennyles right now. Going on 4 yeas come this Fall, some of our accounts are worth a lot to us. Sure, it’s just a game, but when you invest that much time into your online existence, it becomes an extension of who you are… to have that violated is crippling.

    I was probably only minutes away from losing everything. And currently I feel totally powerless to prevent it again. I can do things to help protect myself from it. But aside from cutting this machine off to the rest of the meta, I’m always open to threat.

  4. Starman says:

    I’ll bet it was the videos. Were they Flash based? That seems to be how most people have gotten hacked recently. I’m glad you were on when it happened so that you were able to prevent it.
    I’d also like to know how these smartasses on the forums will explain brute-force hacking. No matter what you do internally, someone can guess your password or brute-force it externally. Then what?
    Glad everything’s back to normal.

  5. Moheachaos says:

    That’s a shame that this is happening to people. I feel horrible for people like Alachia and anyone else who has been working so hard to build up their accounts just to have it stolen from them. I agree that Blizzard should take some extra steps to prevent this from happening. It makes me wonder how safe my account actually is. But you are right starman most people don’t realize how easy it is to get hacked and what it feels like when it happens. I hope that it can come to end soon or least Blizzard puts SOMETING out there that will help all of us keep our accounts protected.


  6. Celtia says:

    It was probably a flash video. If not that, then a bad mod. There’s nothing really on Blizzard’s end that a mod can access that they don’t allow them to. And so far no one has hacked Blizzard’s servers (that they’ve admitted too, but since they have credit card information I’m relatively sure they have to tell us).

    Sorry that it happened, but the people who say that the person who got hacked is stupid are stupid themselves. No one who is hacked deserves it, and yes I know there are people who say they do (I troll the CSF forum). The good people there just point people to the correct information to get their accounts back.

    As for what more can Blizzard do? I think Warden already does some limited scanning for keyloggers, but that’s only as affective as Warden’s detection systems. Can they check where you’re logging in from? Yes, but then that can limit people to logging in only from their computer if you want to be restrictive enough to prevent any sort of hacking. They already do track where you log in from (since they use that as an indicator of power leveling/account sharing to start an investigation). I don’t know. I just don’t like that Blizzard takes flack for something I don’t know they can do anymore about than they are. From what I’ve heard, they do more than some other games do.

  7. Fel says:

    Mine was hacked as well, and scans of all our computers came up clean before, during, and after. AV and anti-spyware. No account sharing, and no logins from other machines.

    Did I screw up somewhere? Probably. Should logins be OK from new addresses without, say, unlocking the account for travel? No. Should it be possible to move a character to a new server without email confirmation? No.

    In the end, I agree with Starman – we need better tools to help us.


  8. Starman says:

    See, this is what I mean. If you say your computer is clean (and it probably was), then it’s the TOOLS on the client end that fail, NOT THE USER. So why can’t Blizzard implement some kind of safeguards on the SERVER end? I’d rather deal with a minor inconvenience than a hacked account.

  9. Celtia says:

    The problem is what kind of tools? And where would they reside? If its on the server end, how would the server know your logging in from an authorized computer? Where would these be set?

    Look, I’m not saying Blizzard shouldn’t do more, I’m just saying I don’t see how they could do more without causing other problems.

    And yes, as I’m writing this a guild member of mine was hacked and our guild bank emptied.

  10. Celtia says:

    Actually, I just found this. Its an optional device.


  11. nerrollus says:

    I dunno .. Blizzard is providing the same amount of security that every other MMO is doing. At some point the responsibily of security has to fall on the user.

    I’ve been playing MMO’s since 1998 when EverQuest came out. I haven’t run a virus scanner, Malware detector, or any of that junk and I’ve never gotten hacked or information stolen.

    Just becareful what you’re doing … Keep windows updated, use FireFox if you’re worried about IE. Surfing around on warez or porn sites aren’t going to end well. A lot of spyware/malware gets installed that way. Don’t share your account information, even with friends. You may not be worried about them screwing with you, but you have no idea how secure their machine is.

    You can always buy a Mac. That’s the REAL solution… 😉

  12. Zashkaser says:

    Amazing news, thank you!

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