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Posts with tag wow-hack

What to do if your WoW account has been hacked

The worst has happened: you've tried to log on to your World of Warcraft account and you can't. Or perhaps you can log on to your account, but your characters are have been stripped of gear and gold. Your account has been stolen, hacked, or compromised somehow. But don't panic, because Blizzard can help you get your account back. It's a bit of trouble on your part -- which is why you ought to take care to keep your account secure! -- but it's certainly not impossible. We'll walk you through the whole process, step by step.

The process may seem lengthy -- and annoying -- but be patient, and you'll eventually get your account back just as you left it.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

Entire cities dead on some World of Warcraft realms

Entire cities dead on certain realms
This afternoon, Paris time, something very strange happened on various realms. Argent Dawn's forums have a long thread about it, but to cut a long story short, everyone in Stormwind and Orgrimmar was killed, NPCs included. It's also been happening on Tarren Mill, Ragnaros, Draenor, Twisting Nether, and no doubt other servers.

Of course, rumors abound as to just exactly what happened. Most people point towards it being a hack, and there's some videos out there floating around that give credence to this theory. Has it happened on your realm? What on earth is going on? And what do you think is causing it?

Update: Blizzard has posted on the forums, informing us that this exploit has now been hotfixed.

More screenshots as they come in after the break.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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

The truth about Authenticators [Updated]

After getting a glimpse into the operations and motivations of a scammer, a lot of questions have arisen about the Authenticator. Can it be circumvented? Briefly and with your help, yes. Is having an Authenticator worth the hassle? Absolutely. These are just quick answers, and this is a topic worthy of more in-depth questions and long answers.

What is the Authenticator?

The Authenticator is a small device (pictured right) or an iPhone/iPod Touch app that can be tied to your account and provide an extra layer of security. The application is free, but the physical Authenticator costs $6.50 with free shipping in the U.S. They are also available in other countries.

How does it work?

The Authenticator generates a code that you must enter after entering your username and password when logging into WoW or when accessing your account management screens. This code is a one use code that is valid only for a limited time. But it is valid for longer than it lasts on the Authenticator. A new code is generated every few seconds, but an unused code is valid for longer than that (I'm not sure how long). For more details about how the Authenticator works, please read our interview with Blizzard.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Account Security

Glider loses again, shutdown imminent

In the latest ruling in the Blizzard v. Glider case, the Honorable David G. Campbell (U.S. District Judge for the District of Arizona) ruled essentially that MDY Industries (the makers of Glider) has to present him with arguments why Glider should not be shut down during what will be a lengthy future appeals process. The arguments must be presented to the court by February 13th, 2009.

The Judge will then decide if the arguments hold merit and justify the continued operation of Glider.

If MDY Industries is not successful in their persuasion of the Judge Campbell, and MDY Industries CEO Michael Donnelly believes they will not be (according to posts made on the Glider forums), then they will have to cease and desist selling Glider. The shutdown of Glider will happen quickly after the February 13th date.

Campbell's full ruling on the matter is available in PDF format for your viewing. We'll have more on this as it develops in the next couple weeks. In the mean time, check out our previous coverage of Glider and its results

Thanks to everyone who sent this in! And while I don't know what Judge David Campbell looks like, I prefer to think of him as pictured in the article.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: Are private servers really that bad?

Blizzard has a very clear line on private servers: they are against the rules. If you have one or play on one you're going to get in trouble. Your account will get shut down and you'll likely face some legal issues if you don't capitulate to their demands.

However is their stance right? Are private servers really that big of a deal?

There are two ways that I look at the issue. One way is to view the issue through the lens of morality and legalese. In this respect Blizzard is on solid ground. They own Warcraft and all the associated games, and they own the servers we play on. When we buy the game we're not buying the property. We're buying the right to use the property as long as we keep paying a monthly fee, and as long as we operate within their guidelines (the terms of service).

Some might contend that there is an innate right to privacy in the fact that after we've purchased the game (and its associated data), Blizzard has no right to tell us what to do with it or to find out how we're using it. I'm not a lawyer, but some are, and there's an interesting debate to be had here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

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