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Posts with tag mandatory-authenticators

In defense of care packages and mandatory authenticators

If you read WoW.com with any regularity, you probably saw and read our pieces on Friday discussing some rather curious policies Blizzard has recently instituted. There are two in particular that I'd like to discuss further: The care package for hacked accounts and the possibility of mandatory authenticators.

First, how many of you have had your accounts stolen, or know someone that had theirs stolen? Chances are good every single person that reads this post will raise their hand to that question. The problem is not a small one. I'm in a rather large guild, and every few weeks someone has their account stolen and the little bits of our guild bank they have access to go with them. My large guild is also just one guild in a larger guild alliance which suffers the same problems. Every two weeks or so, someone I see online on a regular basis gets their account stolen.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Account Security

Blizzard policy changes in reaction to account security concerns

WoW.com has learned through sources close to the situation that after our series of posts describing some questionable internal policies at Blizzard concerning account administration and security, as well as the likely introduction of mandatory authenticators, a few of these policies have been changed this evening.

First, the abilities of billing representatives to directly roll back characters to previous states has been more or less removed, preventing the onioning exploit we spoke about earlier. Account administrators still have the ability, of course, but it should prevent people from being able to game the system over the phone. We do not know if this ability will be returned when billing representatives obtain the proper training and tools.

Second, the care package deal has been sweetened. We're not exactly sure how, only that it's been improved from what it was this morning. World of Raids was tracking the response to these stories on the Customer Service Forums and found a post by CSF blue Syndri detailing some specifics of the care page as it stood earlier today. We cannot be sure Syndri's post applies to the package now or not (given its changes), however it's probably safe to assume that it does. We have also learned that managers are being directed to ensure everyone is presented this care package as an optional alternative to full restoration, something we understand was not consistently happening before.

Syndri's enumerations after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

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

Blizzard giving serious consideration to mandatory authenticators

WoW.com has learned through trusted sources close to the situation that Blizzard is giving serious consideration to making authenticators mandatory on all accounts. According to our sources, while this policy has not been implemented yet and the details are not finalized, it is a virtually forgone conclusion that it will happen.

This response is a direct effort to stop the massive number of compromised accounts by gold sellers and keyloggers. The seriousness of the situation with compromised accounts has reached such a level that wait times for item and character restoration are entirely unacceptable, even to Blizzard executives. Blizzard has taken other internal measures to deal with long wait times of people in account restoration queues, and we'll be covering those measures tomorrow.

However, with the inclusion of mandatory authenticators, this should solve a major problem for Blizzard's support and account administration teams.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Account Security

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