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Posts with tag theft

Actual gold stolen from virtual gold farmer results in ugly court battle

In Australia, where gold farming is perfectly legal (and income from such must even be filed on your tax return), Katrina Fincham had managed to earn $75,000 by farming and selling gold in World of Warcraft. As we know from farming our own gold, grinding for in-game cash takes time and effort, and Fincham was running her operation like a business -- which we're guessing takes most if not all of the fun out of things.

But when she decided to turn her newly made loot into actual gold bullion, her nest egg became a problem. While on vacation, her house was robbed and the safe containing the gold taken -- and her insurance company has refused to pay up, claiming that she was trying to swindle them by converting the cash into gold so it could be stolen. The legal battle is ongoing, but Fincham has already had to sell her house in order to pay court costs associated with fighting the insurance company. And in a final terrible twist of fate, it turns out it was an inside job: her boyfriend helped arrange the theft.

While we have no love for farmers, it's hard not to feel sorry about this: Fincham wasn't hacking or exploiting the game and had done nothing legally wrong, but farming gold has led to her financial ruin anyway. Yikes.

[Via GamePolitics]

Filed under: News items

Blizzard's zombie survival guide

If you are the leader of a guild that has a large number of people who have account security issues, you regularly get emails from Blizzard that say the following:

Recently one of the members of your guild was the victim of an account compromise, and during the course of our investigation it was discovered that items were removed from the guild bank while the account was out of the control of your guild member. The items have been returned to you as attachments to an in-game mail. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

The email lists what items were restored and that they are attached to an in-game email sent to your account. (You then probably insist the hacked guildie get an authenticator.) Recently, The Spousal Unit received a bit more from the GM helping him with a security incident: a zombie survival guide. The full text of the guide is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Humor, Account Security

Guildwatch: We're over applications, too

The image above is a little tough to read, but you can probably get the gist: someone posts on the forums that secretly, he's been taking things from the guild bank and selling them off on the AH to make money for himself. He posts on his alt, supposedly, but whoops: he leaves his forum signature up. And the very next post is someone from the guild saying he's been caught red-handed, with a gkick imminent. Moral? Steal if you want, we guess, but never, ever tell. Or at least don't use your forum sig when posting on your alt.

Much more drama, downed, and recruiting news in this week's Guildwatch, which starts right after the break. We are super low in the buffer for tips, so please be sure to let us know about your guild's action in Icecrown, any recruiting you're doing, or any drama you see on the forums by sending us a quick email at Thanks! Enjoy this week's column.

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Filed under: Ranking, Guilds, Instances, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

The Trojans are coming for the Horde! And the Alliance, too.

The fine folks at World of Raids, as pointed out by tipster Akyl, have linked to this article, which informs us that 20% of all trojan viruses are aimed directly at you, the World of Warcraft player. (Don't feel too bad, as Lineage 2 gets a whopping 40% of all trojans.) That's really rather astonishing, if you think about it... just a quick search of our own site reveals several trojans made mention of on our site alone. Of course, it's not news that crooks will steal things from you, but what's news is that this is a percentage of all trojans, period. In other words, between Lineage 2 and World of Warcraft, we're seeing more than half of all cyber crime committed via trojan viruses.

Forget banks, people. The future of online theft is your character's gear. Gaming accounts are targeted by the second most common malware on the web right now according to a previous article on the PCRetail site. That seems to suggest that this kind of activity, with its uncertain legality (who do you call when someone steals you WoW password and sells all your gear, after all, the cops or Blizzard? After all, technically all your character's stuff still belongs to Blizz, and not you) and as yet uncharted waters of enforcement, is only going to get more and more common. Gaming is described several times as a 'soft target' for this kind of theft.

There's more money to be made stealing people's accounts and selling all their gold to gold buyers than in trying to steal bank account information.

Have you ever downloaded a trojan, or otherwise had your account hacked? How long did it take to get your stuff back? Did you actually get it all back?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Economy

Is Your Warcraft Account More Valuable Than Your Credit Card Info?

Microsoft has caught on to what many Warcraft players already realized - our characters and in-game items are valuable. And for some, the value of your account itself is higher than that of the credit card you use to play the game with, making account theft a lucrative target. And, while Blizzard can help restore stolen in-game goods, once your account has been compromised, it's a long and tedious process to get it back. So in all cases, it's better to protect your account before-hand - while most of it's common sense, Blizzard has some good advice on that front.

[Fan art by Sarah Jaffe]

Filed under: News items, Economy

Fan Art Image Theft

You may recognize this image as one of the winners of the recent one year anniversary contest held for European Warcraft players.  However, have you seen this image, art for the Korean MMO Shaiya?  They do look awfully similar, and the markings on our supposed Night Elf's face do look rather poorly done, on second glance.  The original artist's homepage contains more work for Shaiya, including a note saying that the series of six images took two months to complete.  Ouch - all this for a video card?

This was originally reported to and acknowledged by Blizzard in this thread, which won't do you much good unless you speak German.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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