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Posts with tag wow-account-hacking

Blizzard increases security with SMS Protect

If you're concerned about account security, there's a new feature Blizzard want you to know about. They've been reminding us all about this feature via the forums, and have posted this informative, if somewhat bizarre video to tell us all about it.

The new feature, introduced a few months back, is Battle.net SMS Protect. It's a free service, as long as your mobile phone service provider doesn't charge you to receive text messages, in which case text messages would be charged at the usual rate. SMS Protect cannot use any type of messaging other than text messaging, and doesn't require a smartphone to work -- all your phone needs is the ability to receive SMS text messages, making this a nice feature for those players who don't have smartphones.

There have been mixed reports on whether it works with prepaid mobile phones, but where it hasn't been working that's usually because carriers don't allow the receipt of SMS text messages.

SMS Protect is not designed to replace the authenticator, either the phone authenticator or the physical authenticator. Rather, it is an alert system, designed to warn you about suspicious activity on your account, and allow you to perform certain actions with your phone. Hit the break for more information!

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Filed under: Account Security

Blizzard announces automated account recovery form for hacked accounts


World of Warcraft accounts have been under siege for years, with hackers and gold-selling outlets stealing passwords, items and more to fill their coffers, selling that gold to unwitting buyers. Blizzard has fought back incessantly over the years to stem the tide of gold farming and account hacking, and as you can imagine, the scale at which this happens is very tasking on its customer support department.

Blizzard has just announced a new, speedier way to get help and answered about your hacked account, stolen items, authenticator issues and more! Now, under the new system, you will not have to email or call Blizzard to get these matters into its queue -- simply use the Account Recovery Form.

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Filed under: News items, Account Security

New scam tries to give you a free Celestial Steed

One of the sadder parts of this job is reporting on the numerous scams that sweep across the World of Warcraft landscape. It's no secret that your WoW account is valuable to thieves -- the entire gold-selling industry is built on a foundation of hacked accounts and stolen items.

Their latest scam vehicle? Our inherent desire for sparkle ponies. Let's get two things straight off the bat:
  1. You did not just win a free Celestial Steed mount. That in-game tell is an attempt to steal your account.
  2. No one just bought you a Celestial Steed mount. That email you got is an attempt to steal your account
If it sneaks by your spam filter, the latest scam email can be quite convincing. The message, which appears to be from sales@mail.blizzard.com, masquerades as a receipt for the purchase of the $25 Celestial Steed mount. Of course, the email is not actually from Blizzard (the "from" email is spoofed), and the links to Battle.net and Worldofwarcraft.com inside send you to a phishing website designed to steal your password or infect your computer with a keylogger.

Attempt to collect your sparkle pony, and within a few short hours, your entire account will be under someone else's control. If you haven't put an authenticator on your account, the scammers will do it for you, locking you out of your own account and severely hampering your ability to get it back.

More information on the latest scam, what you can do to protect yourself and what to do if you're a victim, all after the break.

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Filed under: 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

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