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Posts with tag account-hacking

WoW account hackers sentenced to 2 years in Chinese prison

Gold pile
We've all been affected by account theft in some way. Maybe your account has never been hacked, but I'd be willing to bet a guild mate or friend has had to deal with this annoyance. Blizzard has a pretty smooth system in place to fix these things for the account holders, but it doesn't stop it from being profitable for the hackers involved. They still get their gold in the end. Would you wish prison time on these people?

Last week, a group of 10 Chinese men were sentenced to prison for stealing from a total of 11,500 World of Warcraft accounts. The leader of the group, Chen, purchased hacked WoW accounts for $1 each and emptied them, selling the resulting gold for an average of $3 per account. Eventually one of Chen's accomplices left to start his own hacking "studio" to flip WoW accounts with several employees. A series of complaints led to an investigation and subsequent trial where Chen was found guilty, fined $8,000, and sentenced to 2 years in prison. The others involved were fined $1,000 and sentenced to just under 2 years in prison. Their $10,800 in profits and computer equipment used was also confiscated by the authorities.

Filed under: News items

Botters, how do they work?

One of the things almost everyone in every corner of our World of Warcraft can agree upon is that we hate botters... with the possible exception of those that bot themselves. Being the inveterate forum watcher that I am, this forum thread caught my attention. Should World of Warcraft have a system built in to randomly confirm that people engaged in excessive gathering or other 'suspicious' activities are in fact not botting? Well, I hope not the one described, a kind of captcha that would pop up a window needed to be typed into with an answer. That would just ruin gameplay for me the first time I had that pop up. Similarly, I have to agree that hiring thousands of staff to simply monitor for bots wouldn't be time or cost effective. We live at a period in the game where the game has automated a great deal of its customer service, after all.

What I really found interesting, however, was Takralus' takedown of a very old argument by players about Blizzard's stance on botting.

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The Lawbringer: Account security and you


Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

New players will soon be streaming into World of Warcraft come Cataclysm time, as well as old friends and enemies returning from prolonged sojourns. With these new or old accounts becoming active again, as well as a demand for grey market services increasing with a growing player base, account security is going to be on the tip of everyone's tongue again. For good reason, too. World of Warcraft has had one of the most daunting burdens of any MMO to date in dealing with account security, account hacking and a legal nightmare overseas.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

Adobe announces new Flash security vulnerability

On Sept. 13, Adobe Systems released a security advisory detailing a vulnerability in its Flash Player 10.1.82.76 for earlier versions of Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris, and Adobe Flash Player 10.1.92.10 for Android. The vulnerability also affects Adobe Reader 9.3.4 for Windows, Macintosh and Unix and Adobe Acrobat 9.3.4 for earlier versions of Windows and Macintosh. The vulnerability allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service crash and execute a code to take control of your system by delivering this malicious code through a specially crafted PDF or Flash file.

For WoW players, this can mean infection by keyloggers that could potentially steal your login information and compromise your account.

Adobe Systems is working on a patch to stop this type of attack from being possible and plans to make it available the week of Sept. 27, with plans to update Adobe Reader 9.3.4 and Adobe Acrobat 9.3.4 the week of Oct. 4.

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Filed under: News items, Account Security

The Daily Quest: Feeling safe and warm

Here at WoW.com, we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere. Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment and you may see it here tomorrow! Take a look at the links below, and be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW-related sites.

For many realms, Ruby Sanctum is up and running, and Halion's being smacked around by countless guilds (check out our Halion guide to learn how your guild can smack him around, too). With Ruby Sanctum as the last raid before the release of Cataclysm, players are still looking forward to the Cataclysm beta. With the beta now up and running, players are subject to piles of false email and announcements from people trying to steal valuable account information. With all these scammers trying to worm their way into player's accounts, how about we take a visit to that ever-pertinent blogging topic, account security?

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Real ID security concerns

Ever since the Real ID friend system was announced, players have voiced concerns about hackers and phishers exploiting this system. They're worried that hackers will move through a group of Real ID friends like a wildfire during a drought. While it is always good to have concerns about account security, sometimes paranoia is a bit too much.

Yes, you do need your friend's email address to add them as a Real ID friend. However, that is the last time you'll ever see that email address in your game client -- once you hit the "Send Request" button, that's it. There is no way to look up that person's email address from the interface again. The only personal information in the client after that is your friend's name.

Just remember that this system is meant for your real-life friends and family and not for some guy who was a good healer in your ICC PUG last week. If you don't know where to go to knock on the person's door if something happens to your account, then don't share your email address.

Filed under: Account Security

Why Blizzard can't (and won't) sell gold

In any discussion concerning botting, farming, hacking, or gold-buying, someone inevitably makes the argument that Blizzard should cut out the middlemen and sell gold to players themselves. I wanted to use this article to explain why this would not necessarily be a good idea. We don't need to get into the legal situation, or examine why assigning a real-world price to in-game currency edges us closer to a world where in-game property can be taxed. All I have to do is tell you a story from the not-too-distant past that involves:

  1. Prices that would make Zimbabwe look like a model of inflationary restraint, and:
  2. What happens when money -- in this case, gold -- loses meaning.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Account Administration encouraged not to restore hacked characters

Please see the update to this original post.

In a stunning revelation from a veteran account administrator at Blizzard, WoW.com has learned that account administrators are being encouraged by Blizzard managers not to restore people's characters and items after their account has been ransacked by gold sellers and keyloggers. Instead, account administrators are being told to give people a "care package" and get them to accept the package in lieu of total account restoration.

If the player does not accept this care package, they are then forced to go into a character restoration queue that is consistently several days to weeks long. According to sources familiar with the situation, this "care package policy" has been implemented in order to lighten the work load of those Blizzard employees who perform account restorations. Similar policies have existed at other times account compromises have been high, such as during the transition from Vanilla WoW to The Burning Crusade.

This care package being offered consists of the following:

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

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