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Filed under: Account Security

Blizzard wins victory in legal battle over security breach

Blizzard has emerged (mostly) victorious in the case of Bell v. Blizzard Entertainment, which was filed in response to the Battle.net security breach last sumer. Though no financial data was taken, the lawsuit claimed the data breach harmed customers and targeted authenticators, which it said were required for players to have "even minimal protection for their sensitive personal, private, and financial data." From the beginning, Blizzard has said that the suit was without merit, and the court has dismissed 6 of the lawsuit's 8 claims, saying that the plaintiffs failed to to prove that they were harmed by the data breach and that Blizzard did not misrepresent its security practices.

The part of the lawsuit that moves forward relates to Blizzard failing to fully disclose the importance of an authenticator to users, though Blizzard is certain to continue the fight. As in most legal battles, the situation is more complicated than can be explained in a couple of paragraphs: if you're interested in digging further, you can read the full text of the complaint or legal analysis by Mayer-Brown.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

WoW Rookie guide updated with new account security section

Account security knowledge is essential info for any World of Warcraft newbie. However, even if you're not a newbie yourself, you might benefit from checking out the completely revised, revamped, and rewritten account security section of our WoW Rookie guide. Why? Because no one likes their account getting hacked and following the advice in our account security guides can help you keep your account in your hands. So what are you waiting for? Give our account security guides a gander.

Have new player questions we haven't answered yet? Or maybe you're looking for something you can't find in the rookie guide? Drop us a note and we'll look into covering it for a future WoW Rookie!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.

Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

What to do if your WoW account has been hacked

The worst has happened: you've tried to log on to your World of Warcraft account and you can't. Or perhaps you can log on to your account, but your characters are have been stripped of gear and gold. Your account has been stolen, hacked, or compromised somehow. But don't panic, because Blizzard can help you get your account back. It's a bit of trouble on your part -- which is why you ought to take care to keep your account secure! -- but it's certainly not impossible. We'll walk you through the whole process, step by step.

The process may seem lengthy -- and annoying -- but be patient, and you'll eventually get your account back just as you left it.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

How to keep your computer secure to keep your account secure

We've talked about how to secure your Warcraft account, but no matter how strong your password, your account can still be compromised if you don't practice safe computer habits. So just what makes safe computing? It's about keeping your computer itself secure from threats by making sure you have updated software and a solid antivirus program to keep out viruses and keyloggers. But even a secure system won't do you much good if you fall prey to a scam -- so safe computing isn't just keeping your computer secured, it's also about knowing how to stay safe online.

We admit, it sounds kind of hokey, but online security will help your account stay yours, whether you're talking about World of Warcraft or a credit card. So if you're not quite sure what we're getting at when we talk about safe computing, spend a few minutes to read this article. We'll walk you through the basics of what you need to know to keep your accounts in your hands.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

How to secure your World of Warcraft account

Whether you're just getting started or you've maxed out the number of characters on your World of Warcraft account, your account is valuable to hackers. And if they happen to steal your account, it can be a pain -- and a long wait -- to get it back to you. All of this makes securing your World of Warcraft account serious business.

But fortunately, it's easy enough to keep your account under (virtual) lock and key by taking some precautions in advance -- and when we say "in advance," we mean these are things you should do right now. We'll walk you through the very basics of keeping your account secure with a good password and an authenticator. Read on for all you need to know about getting started with good security!

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

Blizzard confirms WoW account hacks, issues warning on security

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WoW Insider reported on this over the weekend, and Blizzard has now confirmed that there has been a security issue with the Mobile Auction House.

Blizzard Entertainment
There's been a recent increase in unauthorized World of Warcraft account-logins via our website and the World of Warcraft mobile armory app.

We're in the process of notifying any account holders who were not using an authenticator and whose account showed signs of unauthorized access (e.g., logging in from an unusual IP address). If you are among this group, you will receive an email describing how to reset your account.

As a result of these activities, access to the World of Warcraft auction house via the mobile app has been taken off-line temporarily. Upon request, our customer support team will restore in-game items and gold for any accounts impacted.

While no means of account security is guaranteed, every precaution you take to secure your computer and your account-including changing your password periodically-adds another defensive barrier. We strongly encourage everyone to take a few moments to read through the security tips available on our support website and follow the suggestions posted there.

As we mentioned in the original article, a GM had recommended the addition of SMS Protect to further secure accounts, and using unique passwords for your battle.net account. Also, running virus scans, keylogger scans, and malware scans is an excellent practice.

Filed under: Account Security

Diablo 3 bug sees trillions in gold duping, auction houses shutdown

Sure, we all like gold. But even the most gold hungry among us can see the problem with a bug that allowed players to accumulate trillions of in-game currency, which is exactly what happened with Diablo III's patch 1.0.8. As a result, the game's Auction House was taken down, and Blizzard is still debating what actions to take to correct the issue, but Lylirra posts on the official forums that roll backs won't be necessary.

Lylirra - Auction Houses Temporarily Offline -- Update
12:00 a.m. PDT: At this time (and after careful consideration), we've decided to not move forward with rolling back the servers. We feel that this is the best course of action given the nature of the dupe, how relatively few players used it, and the fact that its effects were fairly limited within the region. We've been able to successfully identify players who duplicated gold by using this specific bug, and are focusing on these accounts to make corrections. While this is a time-consuming and very detailed process, we believe it's the most appropriate choice given the circumstances. We know that some of you may disagree, but we feel that performing a full roll back would impact the community in an even greater way, as it would require significant downtime as well as revert the progress legitimate players have made since patch 1.0.8 was released this morning.

I know it would be a pretty big blow to lose character levels or gear acquired legitimately, so if they can go after the actual accounts that used the exploit and remove just their duplicated gold, that seems like the best option to me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Account Security, Diablo 3

Blizzard offers WoW and antivirus combo ... in South Africa

Good news! Antivirus maker Kapersky Lab teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment to offer bundle that includes WoW, Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Kaspersky Internet Security 2013. Basically, the package is a World of Warcraft Battle Chest plus antivirus package. We think this would be a great package for friends who haven't yet gotten into the game because computer security is awfully important to keeping your WoW account in your hands. Kapersky in particular is designed with gamers in mind with a "game mode" that postpones processor-gobbling scans to free up power for gameplay. The only thing that would make this package better would be if it also included an authenticator, so you really wouldn't have to worry about account security.

The only downside to this package? Currently it's only available in South Africa, where it sells for 399 Rand (or about $44). Perhaps if it's successful there, Blizzard will offer similar packages elsewhere, but for now, new players will need to purchase their game of choice and their antivirus software separately. And don't forget your authenticator!

Filed under: Blizzard, Account Security

Watch out: Most game hacks are actually malware

We know that all of our readers are swell guys and gals who would never cheat at World of Warcraft, but just in case you needed another reason to avoid that kind of thing, anti-virus maker AVG is reporting that 90% of game hacks contain malware. And beyond the fact that using a hack will get your account banned by Blizzard, malware has a good chance to steal your WoW account and other sensitive information -- like bank account information or credit card numbers.

We know it seems to take forever to grind for gold or levels sometimes, but if you see something offering to get you gold, levels, achievements, or anything else with the click of a button -- don't click! If these things sound too good to be true, they probably are. So instead, keep your account secure by avoiding hacks and being sure you only download addons from trusted sources. Your account, safe and secure, will thank you!

[Via The Escapist]

Filed under: Account Security

Ever wonder what a game master does?

Well, Blizzard would like to tell you. And they've done so via the medium of clever video. Whatever your troubles in game are, the game masters are the ones who deal with them. The video explains the options you have to get the help you need, both in game and out of game. Whether it's phone support, web live chat, or in-game tickets, this video not only explains your options but gives a walk through of the typical tasks a Game Master undertakes in a day. There's even details on the various automated processes players can take advantage of to resolve issues faster than waiting for a GM.

So if you're curious, go take a gander at what, exactly, GM's do for you.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Account Security, Mists of Pandaria

Authenticators temporarily unavailable from EU Blizzard online store

From December 17th, players in Europe will no longer be able to order a physical Battle.net Authenticator from the Blizzard online store. CM Takralus broke it down for everyone playing in the EU realms. Why are authenticators going to be unavailable? Because the online store in Europe is being revamped.

Takralus - Battle.net Authenticators Temporarily Unavailable
From December 17 2012, physical products including Battle.net Authenticators will be temporarily unavailable on the Blizzard Online Store in Europe. This is in preparation for a revamp of the store which will take place during 2013. In the meantime, many items can be found on the US Blizzard Store.

Players wishing to acquire a Battle.net Authenticator have several options. The Battle.net Mobile Authenticator is available for many types of smartphone, and you can find out more about it here. For many people, this is the easiest and cheapest option!

If you prefer to have a physical Battle.net Authenticator, you can get hold of one from several sources including the online retailers and high-street stores listed here.
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I admit I don't know how reasonable it is to order an authenticator from the US store for players in Europe, so hopefully the store won't be down for long. It should be noted that Takralus specifically points out that physical products will be unavailable, so presumably you can still buy items like pets and mounts.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, Account Security, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: When was the last time you changed your WoW password?

Breakfast Topic When was the last time you changed your WoW password
Hey there -- Mom here! I know you're busy trying to hide the fact that you licked your plate to get all the stuff that was stuck in the gravy. (We see that little dab on your jaw there, just so you know.) I also know that the reason you keep jumping up to offer refilling people's drink is because you're actually mooching off tiny slivers of pie when nobody's watching ... But even on a holiday, it's my duty as a mother to remind you that you need to change your account password regularly.

It might be true that I don't practice what I preach quite as often as I should. (I didn't say it is true. But it could happen.) So my breakfast questions to you this morning are threefold: How long has it been since you changed your account password? Do you follow any set schedule or password schema for keeping your password up to date? And do you use an authenticator and any other security measures to keep your WoW account safe?

Poll: When did you last change your WoW password?
Within the last month718 (12.1%)
Within the last three months1398 (23.5%)
Within the last six months1038 (17.5%)
Longer than six months ago1176 (19.8%)
I can't remember522 (8.8%)
I don't think I've ever changed my account password1095 (18.4%)


Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Account Security

Why Blizzard isn't opening a gold shop

Last year, Blizzard started an experiment with the Guardian Cub, a pet store purchase that could be bought and sold in game with gold as well, since it was Bind on Equip. At the time, a lot of WoW players (including us) saw this as an experimental foray into Blizzard finding ways to allow people to get extra gold using real life money without directly selling gold. In part, that was because Blizzard came right out and admitted that's what it was. Since that time, we've seen no new Blizzard Store purchases that were BoE in this fashion.

Since then, we've heard a lot of complaints about botters who use hacked accounts to not only steal all the gold said account possesses, but also then use it as a farming bot for as long as they can keep hold of it. Some players are even suggesting that Blizzard should simply sell gold itself, cutting out the middleman and putting gold sellers out of business. Why isn't this a good idea?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Account Security, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard increases security with SMS Protect

If you're concerned about account security, there's a new feature Blizzard want you to know about. They've been reminding us all about this feature via the forums, and have posted this informative, if somewhat bizarre video to tell us all about it.

The new feature, introduced a few months back, is Battle.net SMS Protect. It's a free service, as long as your mobile phone service provider doesn't charge you to receive text messages, in which case text messages would be charged at the usual rate. SMS Protect cannot use any type of messaging other than text messaging, and doesn't require a smartphone to work -- all your phone needs is the ability to receive SMS text messages, making this a nice feature for those players who don't have smartphones.

There have been mixed reports on whether it works with prepaid mobile phones, but where it hasn't been working that's usually because carriers don't allow the receipt of SMS text messages.

SMS Protect is not designed to replace the authenticator, either the phone authenticator or the physical authenticator. Rather, it is an alert system, designed to warn you about suspicious activity on your account, and allow you to perform certain actions with your phone. Hit the break for more information!

Read more →

Filed under: Account Security

North American players may now update their security questions

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As an update to the security breach last week, players on North American realms will now be prompted to change their security question and answer when logging in to their Battle.net accounts. The security breach included no financial information; however, answers to personal security questions were compromised, as well as some information related to Mobile Authenticators.

In addition to the security question update, players may now also update their Mobile Authenticators as well. Please note, this is only in regards to North American accounts; players in Europe need to do neither of these things. And remember, if you are a North American player and have not changed the password on your account, doing so is an excellent idea.


Nethaera
As a precaution following our recent security update, players on North American servers please take a moment to visit Battle.net account management, where you will be prompted to change your security question as well as update your Mobile Authenticator. There you'll also find helpful tips and an FAQ, as well as instructions on how to add additional layers of security to your account, including the Battle.net Authenticator or the Mobile Authenticator for those that aren't already using one.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

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