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Posts with tag keylogger

Antivirus company claims viruses are out to get you

McAfee Avert Labs, a monitoring and research division of McAfee Inc., claims that malware attacks are on the rise, and the targets are often gamers.

According to McAfee, there was a 245% growth in the amount of malware being developed from 2006 to 2007, with roughly 300% more developed from 2007 to 2008. So far this year, development already exceeds 2006 and 2007 combined.

Earlier this year, McAfee released a list of some of the most dangerous web domains. Even major, reputable websites are not immune, although the problems are usually addressed almost instantly. Commonly targeted websites include social networking sites like Facebook, as well as gaming sites.

The developers harvest the information, and sell it to others who then exploit it, possibly to steal your account information.

With so little time until Wrath of the Lich King, I'd like to remind everyone that buying gold or power-leveling services is not only not permitted, it is likely to get you burned.

For more information on protecting your computer from keyloggers and other malware, check out the following guides:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, News items, Features, Wrath of the Lich King, Account Security

International Space Station has a keylogger

NASA has confirmed that the International Space Station has been infected by a keylogger. It was carried onto the station by an astronaut's laptop back in July. The keylogger in question is the W32.Gammima.AG -- which is specifically a gaming keylogger. In other words, the ISS has the exact kind of keylogger that plagues so many of us in WoW.

NASA describes the keylogger as merely a "nuisance," but at least two of the laptops on board had the virus. That probably means it arrived on one laptop, and a removable device like a thumb drive carried it to another. Kelly Humphries, a NASA spokesperson, said "This is not the first time we have had a worm or a virus. It's not a frequent occurrence, but this isn't the first time."

For security reasons, Humphries couldn't say whether mission-critical systems were affected by the keylogger. NASA is working with its Russian partners to figure out how the virus got space-born.

Here's hoping the International Space Station has their Blizzard Authenticators installed properly.

Filed under: News items, Account Security

Authenticator ordering leads to unexplained refunds

We've already reported that the Blizzard Authenticator is sold out, but here's another twist to the story. WoW Insider reader Ryan told us that he placed his order last Monday, before the sell out was announced.

However, instead of getting his Authenticator, he instead got an unexplained refund. With no other word from Blizzard, they simply canceled the order and refunded the money. He talked to a coworker who had also ordered the Authenticator and found that he had the same experience. As of yet, Blizzard has not explained the refund to him.

It's likely that Ryan was simply unlucky enough to place his order after they'd sold out but before they'd officially announced it, but there's other somewhat unfortunate implications. If they're refunding his order instead of honoring it, it suggests that they don't expect to have any new Authenticators ready for quite some time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Hardware, Account Security

McAfee report reveals the most dangerous web domains

In an era where clicking on the wrong link while browsing the web could mean your account will get hacked, and one of your guild members clicking on the wrong link means your guild bank could get emptied as well, it's always good to protect yourself and keep abreast of web security issues.

In that vein, it's worth checking out a new report released by McAfee called Mapping the Mal Web Report Revisited. It tested 9.9 Million websites in 265 domains to find out which ones had a higher risk of exposing visitors to malware, spam, and malicious attacks via a red, yellow, and green system.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Account Security

Arena Junkies suffers virus attack

Arena Junkies suffers virus attackArena Junkies is one of the most reputable online sources for. . .arena junkies. Its posters are numbered predominately among the 2000+ Arena Rated teams, and thus the site serves as a key resource for arena veterans and up-and-comers alike. Arena Junkies hosts dozens of forums, macros, strategies, and example Arena-centric Talent builds. Arena Junkies is also an official part of the Blizzard Fan Site Program. Oh, and they've got their own T-Shirts.

Which is why it can be so troubling to see they've been attacked by one of Vaneras's malicious "eVillains." The eVillain posted a "malicious applet" in their Interface forums, planting a virus which apparently spread to the hosting server itself. Naxos warns forum-goers that if any Junkie clicked on the link responsible for the attack, he or she should be careful that their system isn't under any danger. With the rising number of keyloggers and account theft, that kind of precaution is starting to get common for even the most casual WoW player.

Naxos definitely seems to have a handle on the problem, though. Arena Junkies reverted to its last-saved backup, from very early that morning, and now Arena Junkies is back to running smoothly. According to Naxos, the virus itself was a variation of the i-worm/stration virus. Links to the virus have, understandably, been removed.

It's unclear whether this attack was an attack of opportunity, or if someone has it out for the Arena Junkies. As Bio puts it: "He prob sucks at the arena."

Filed under: News items, Account Security

How misspelling might get you keylogged


There have been a lot of scares recently about AddOns having keyloggers in them. For the most part, it turned out to be ads on the sites that were the problem. And now we have the Fraps scare. Unfortunately, no one is immune and it's best to be as careful as possible. Recently, I came across another particularly sneaky way you could get keylogged.

I don't use many AddOns when I play. Cartographer, Auctioneer and Gatherer are pretty much it. I've tried tarting my UI up with some of the fancier mods, but I always come back to my minimalist setup. Because I don't use many, I don't have to upgrade very often and I always neglect to bookmark the appropriate download sites. I'm also a believer in convenience, so I make full use of my Firefox address bar to do my "searches". Firefox will either bring up a Google search for whatever I type in or it will bring up the closest webpage to what I have typed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, Forums, Account Security

WoW Ace Updater ad banners may contain trojans, claim some users

While the Incgamers malware problem is fixed, it looks like there's another malware flare up in the world of addons. The WoW Ace Updater, according to many users, may be passing off a trojan from an ad in the guise of an antivirus program. The program, called Winfixer, pops up in a window and (in some cases automatically) installs malware while claiming your computer is compromised and that you need to buy the full retail version to fix it. It can be detected and removed by Spybot Search and Destroy and Vundofix, and Symantec includes instructions on how to manually remove it here.

Wowace.com site owner Kaelten has disabled the ads on WoW Ace Updater completely for now, and is talking to his Ad provider to find out what went wrong and which ads might be causing problems.

This isn't the first time a popular WoW site has had trouble with trojans in ads, and unfortunately, it is unlikely to be the last. Kaelten seems to be on top of it, though, so hopefully he'll get to the bottom of these claims. Since the ads are currently disabled, the program itself should already be safe to use. If you're feeling a bit skittish, though, you can check out some of Sean's recommendations for other upgrade programs here.

I should note that, being a religious user of WoW Ace Updater myself (I run it at least a good 5 times a week), I just made sure to scan my computer with the aforementioned Spybot Search and Destroy as well as AVG Free Edition. According to those programs, It has a clean bill of health.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Add-Ons, Account Security

Incgamers.com malware mixup fixed

Yesterday, I reported to you that Google (via Stopbadware.org) had marked wowui.incgamers.com (which redirects to wowui.worldofwar.net) as a bad site. Today, the site is reported as clean according to the same report (you can check it out here).

Rushter of Incgamers.com explained to us on the comments of the previous article that the problem was with a seperate attack on a different hosted site (which was quickly dealt with, and unrelated to worldofwar.net, says Rushster), but Google marked the whole site as bad. The worldofwar.net UI database was unaffected, he says, and after some back and forth, Google has now dropped the warning.

Of course, it's still always a good idea to check your computer for viruses, trojans, and keyloggers regularly, and realize that no website is completely safe (though having a good defense always helps). That said, at the moment it looks like wowui.incgamers.com, also known as wowui.worldofwar.net, is a safe spot to grab your addons from.

Filed under: News items, Add-Ons, Account Security

Wowui.incgamers.com invaded by malware?


Here at WoW Insider, we've noticed an unusual and disturbing glut of people having trouble with being keylogged or otherwise hacked soon after installing new addons lately (which wouldn't be a surprise -- lots of people were grabbing addons after patch 2.4, so that makes them a likely route for attackers). While it's too early to make any definite connections, It seems like there's one new lead that's just popped up: popular addon site wowui.incgamers.com (not linked for obvious reasons) is apparently passing off bad files, according to reports from Stopbadware.org and other anonymous sources.

If you've been using the site for your addons, especially in the past week or so, it might be a good idea to exercise some caution and run your favorite anti-virus or anti-malware program. The site has already been in trouble recently with reports that their UICentral addon updater (now discontinued) was using copyrighted code, and now it looks like there's more trouble abrewing for them.

Update: Wowui.incgamers not infested with malware. Full story here.

Filed under: News items, Add-Ons, Account Security

Anti Keylogger Shield may offer some protection for your account

Hackers are getting more and more brazen lately, hiding various trojans and keyloggers not only in random forum links, but in ad banners and even in electronic devices. Even common sense avoidance of suspicious links and websites doesn't always seem to work anymore. Luckily, there are other tools you can use, such as the Noscript extension for the Firefox browser. Lifehacker reported on a new one yesterday as well: Anti Keylogger Shield for Windows.

This freeware program purports to work not by blocking installation of keyloggers, but by preventing them from logging your keys once installed. Lifehacker tested it by loading a keylogger and reported that it seemed to work, at least in that case, as the keylogger's log file was completely empty.

Of course, you probably shouldn't just install this program and go off clicking strange links willy nilly, but it does look like it could be one more line of defense in the ever escalating battle to protect your computer and your account from those who would steal it. Plus, it's free, so that's even better.

[Thanks for the forward, DrDiesel!]

Filed under: Odds and ends, Account Security

WoW Rookie: Account Security Basics

Recently we've had several posts about being hacked, guild banks assaulted, and Blizzard's typical response. The Customer Service Forum is filled with threads started by desperate World of Warcraft players seeking the return of their accounts and belongings as a gesture of goodwill. It is our responsibility to keep our accounts safe from hackers.

I speak from experience when I say that being hacked is just dreadful. Although it is usually possible to have your account returned, there is usually significant damage done in the process. In the past, even Blizzard employees have had their accounts compromised. This post is designed to help you do the best you can to protect your World of Warcraft investment.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Blizzard, Features, WoW Rookie, Account Security

Another blow in the keylogging experience


Thank you all for the encouragement I received in response to my recent keylogging experience. As a whole the experience was just dreadful. As I mentioned on last week's WoW Insider Show podcast, I am still afraid every time I log in that I will get the "The information you have entered is not valid" error. For the most part things have settled down, but the fear remains.

The worst part of the keylogging episode was that my Shaman was transferred from a PvP to PvE server. After about a week in limbo my beloved Tauren was returned to her proper place. I was extremely relieved. Unfortunately that's the only thing on my account that Blizzard was kind enough to restore. They refused to return any of my gear or gold and did nothing about the items ninjaed from the guild bank. I appealed their decision with several emails. Those appeals were ubiquitously denied despite logical arguments and heart-filled plights. I thought it was all over, for better or for worse.

I got more bad news in my email box the other day:

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Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

Wowhead and other sites are having trouble with ad banner trojans

You'll want to be a bit more cautious when looking up information on the game today. World of Raids reports that an unknown ad banner appearing on Wowhead, Thottbot, and Allakhazam has an embedded keylogger trojan. You don't even need to click on the banner, apparently, simply mousing over it will be enough. Wowhead says that all they know for sure is that it originates from "ad.yieldmanager.com", and will produce a redirect to "xpantivirus.com." They're working at isolating it.

The issue is known, and all parties involved are tracking it down, so it should hopefully be resolved soon. In the meantime, if you're looking for a quick way to protect yourself, I would follow the recommendation of World of Raids, and try out the Firefox web browser and the No Script extension. As long as you keep the scripts blocked, it should prevent the banner in question from forcing itself on you. This should also provide you with some protection if you accidentally click on the wrong link elsewhere, such as on the WoW general forums.

Edit: Apparently, the virus in question is not an actual keylogger, but it still does a number on your system, which is reason enough to try to avoid it.

Filed under: Bugs, News items

Your Christmas gift could be hacking your WoW account


Hackers seem to be trying more and more ways to get legitimate accounts out of players hands and working to steal and farm more gold, but if you think they've had some sneaky schemes in the past, you ain't seen nothing yet. Our colleagues at Massively have a story that's both amazing and disturbing at the same time.

A lot of geeks found a digital photo frame under the tree this year. Seems like a good idea, I'm sure a lot of us have a pretty large collection of digital photographs stored on memory cards and flash drives that we just haven't quite gotten around to printing for display.

Unfortunately, certain frames sold at Best Buy, Target, Costco and Sam's Club come with an extra undocumented feature, in that they have a nasty little bug that's being dubbed Mocmex. The bug can burrow its way into your computer, latch itself in, and sniff out account information. It doesn't seem to affect Linux or Macs, at least not in its current form, but right now there doesn't seem to be a single manufacturer or frame type that's infected, so the origin of the bug hasn't been nailed down.

If you think you've got one of the infected picture frames, Massively recommends contacting the SANS institute and calling the store where the frame was purchased. You can check their story for the contact information.

The upside of this, I suppose, is that if the farmers are starting to branch into using peripherals to steal our accounts, they may be getting pretty desperate. The downside is, when we have people who practice safe web browsing and keep a clean computer getting bitten, like our Amanda Dean for example, we could be in some trouble. With any luck, all the major virus programs will have a cure for Mocmex and programs like it soon. In the meantime, it looks like we'll have to be extra careful about what we install on our computers, and make sure our anti-virus programs and firewalls are up to date.

Filed under: Bugs, News items, Economy, Hardware

Breakfast Topic: Hacked

My first post on WoW Insider was about a friend of mine being hacked, this time it's about me. I woke yesterday and tried to copy a character over to the public test realm as I've been doing often lately. I got a password error. I tried to log into my account- same thing. My email had this happy little surprise for me:

Hello Amanda,

The character transfers listed below have been completed as of 2/14/2008. The character[s] listed will now appear in the new location and/or account selected and are immediately available for play!

- <character> - Level 70 Tauren Shaman - now on realm: Blade's Edge.

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Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

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