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  • inexodus
  • Member Since Apr 30th, 2008

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In defense of care packages and mandatory authenticators {WoW}

Jan 11th 2010 3:03PM @Joshua Ochs
You're really asking a lot. "Average PC users" includes a wide range of people, most of whom have had little or no security training. When Windows 7 asks "Can this program do something to your PC?", only a small fraction of them actually understand what's going on. To label them all "stupid" only shows that you don't understand who's playing this game or buying PCs. Feel free to point me to the mandatory security class that comes bundled with every Windows PC purchase though, maybe I just clicked "OK" and skipped it.

Just to provide some perspective, I'm not your average PC user. I've worked in security for almost 10 years, I have multiple certifications and I'm finishing a masters degree in the field. Despite that, I made one mistake by trusting a few websites and was compromised. I've already said it was my own fault, so no need to point that out. But knowing what I do, there's no way I expect an average user to understand every way their PC might be compromised. The only truly guaranteed protection is to not use the computer at all. So I'm absolutely behind anything that gets authenticators into more players' hands, because they provide security that the user doesn't need to understand. It just works.

Now, should it be mandatory? Well that's ultimately up to Blizzard. My suggestion would be to bundle an authenticator with Cataclysm and refuse restoration to any account without one. That would shorten restoration times for players who are actually protecting their accounts, and allow the rest of you who still think you're secure to opt out. Just don't expect much sympathy from your guild when they lose their ICC geared main tank because he thought he was safe.

In defense of care packages and mandatory authenticators {WoW}

Jan 11th 2010 12:34PM @Joshua Ochs "Go ahead - show me an example of "drive by" hacking. These aren't the pre-XPSP2 days, where worms and network attacks were prevalent. It's all social engineering, and getting people to click things they shouldn't. Which boils down to stupid end users."

Quite possibly the most pointless and uninformed post about PC security I've seen yet. You really think XP SP2, Vista and Win 7 are immune to flash hacks and browser vulnerabilities? Get a clue. Most keyloggers didn't come in from worms or network attacks either, they were and still are mostly spread through browser exploits. You also can't forget that family PCs are shared, so even with Win 7's enhanced security all it takes is a young sibling or uninformed parent to click "OK" and you've lost your account.

I got hacked during the process of installing Windows XP on my computer (FYI- all those XP CDs didn't magically get updated to SP2). While waiting for drivers, updates and everything else to download and install I figured I'd go to my usual, trusted addon sites and get the latest copies of the few addons I needed. I can tell you the sites- curse, wowwiki, worldofwar.net. None of these are hacker sites, and I don't ever click on banners. But one of them must been targeted with a flash exploit, so before I could get the PC patched up I was infected. My account was taken that weekend. It was absolutely my fault, and I knew the risk at the time, but most PC users wouldn't even think about the security risk. Are they stupid? Certainly not, but they're not security engineers either. It's unfortunate that people like yourself think they need to be in order to use a PC. Instead of treating people like idiots, why not just hand them a $5 authenticator and solve the problem for them?

Speeding up Trial of the Champion {WoW}

Aug 20th 2009 5:05PM You don't even need to zone out, just don't stay in the center.

I have the engineering Wormhole Generator so it's a super fast trip for me to the tourney and I usually beat my group. Mount up, talk to the guy, and sit near the portal. I've never once agroed, the opponents just wait patiently in the middle for the rest of your group to show up.

It seems like the announcer might still mention people who zone in while he's talking, but I haven't payed close enough attention to confirm that.

Officers' Quarters: Guild control {WoW}

Dec 15th 2008 1:58PM I highly recommend this approach, particularly when your officers have many alts in the guild.

My guild just started this policy, though it's not mandatory. Instead of requiring the authenticator we've split the officers into 2 separate ranks, the higher of which we know have authenticators. That group can withdraw more stacks and access an officers only tab in the bank where we put things like raid flasks and any really valuable items like BOE epics. Every other tab in the bank has beel limited to 5 withdrawals ever since our first member (uh... me) got keylogged. It doesn't completely stop the looting, but certainly reduces the pain. I think our last hacker only got away with 5 BOE blues and some elixirs, nothing we couldn't live without and it was all restored.

Addon Spotlight: Mac Dual-boxing {WoW}

Sep 19th 2008 2:51PM You're on the right track with the macros, but they can be made even more useful with targeting commands. The following all assume you've set up the master as your focus. I also focus the slave from my master (using xperl or a focus frame), so that I can verify targets and see my slave's cast bar on quartz.

/cast [target=focus] Regrowth (heal your focus)

/cast [target=player] Regrowth (heal yourself - the slave, that is)

/cast [target=focustarget] Starfire (cast starfire on the focus' target)

The benefit here is that it won't matter what your slave is targeting. This lets your slave target a CC mob for roots, polymorph, etc, or just throw a heal to whoever needs it without dropping the current dps target.

Personally I've quit doing this for every spell since I quickly ran out of space for macros. Instead, I have an "opener" assist macro (add autoattack for melee) and the rest of my buttons are just standard non-macro abilities. The healing focus/self/target/targettarget macros are still great when I'd like my shammy to hold his target, heal either master or slave, then resume attack without an extra keypress.

Blizzard: Sharing Wrath data is "extremely offensive and inappropriate" {WoW}

May 22nd 2008 11:39PM "Here at WoW Insider, our policy is not to rehost or quote any leaked alpha information..."

I just have to say that this is a pretty thin argument when your posts have a prominent link to the wiki and essentially just reword the spell and talent information. Sure, you're not quoting the text exactly (though I didn't read every post to verify this), but is it really any different to describe each new class spell or talent using the same values given in the leaks?

Just one example from the warrior article:
"Shockwave... damage based on attack power, a cone AoE that hits all targets in front of the warrior for 10 yards, stunning for four seconds and causing high threat"
...and the wiki text:
"Shockwave - Sends a wave of force in front of the warrior, causing ${$m3/100*$AP} damage (based on attack power) and stunning all enemy targets within 10 yards in a frontal cone for 4 sec. This ability causes a high amount of threat."

It seems to me like you're obeying Blizzard's request only literally, and it certainly hasn't stopped this site from distributing the information. Then again I'm not a lawyer... maybe that's exactly what you have to do in order to not get sued.

Azeroth Security Advisor: WoW is watching you, part 1 {WoW}

May 13th 2008 10:30AM I started using the launcher to preload patches but I agree that I never actually want to see it. You can launch the game through Launcher.exe, and once you're at the actual logon screen there's a checkbox right next to the "remember username" box which will let you disable showing the launcher (I think it says "Show Launcher" or something). It still runs and does its thing, but you don't see it anymore.

Wowhead power updated {WoW}

Apr 30th 2008 12:37PM The "?lol" only forces your users to update their cached copy of the script. It doesn't have any impact on the actual javascript file delivered from the server. So if you've been using their tooltips and you think your users might have the script cached, put "?lol" (or really "?whatever") at the end to trick the browser into getting the newest version. But if you've never used the Wowhead tooltips on your site before and you're pretty sure your visitors won't have the script cached from another site (remember it's coming from wowhead.com, not from your server) then you can just use the normal URL.

Either way, once the cached version expires from their browsers in a few days they'll all get the newest version anyway.