Gamers might want to take a minute to go check on their Orc or Demon Hunter right now. Blizzard Entertainment, maker of World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Starcraft, released a statement today that probably freaked out most of the gamers that I play with.
Mike Morhaime, the President of Blizzard Entertainment, CEO, and co-founder, released an Important Security Update on August 9, 2012. He never used the word “hacked”. Instead, he said:
“This week our security team found an unauthorized and illegal access into our internal network here at Blizzard. We quickly took steps to close off this access and began working with law enforcement and security experts to investigate what happened”.
The statement pointed out that, so far, the company hasn’t found evidence that financial information, such as the credit cards players use to pay for their subscriptions and buy cool in-game or IRL items with, billing addresses, or real names have been compromised. What has been illegally accessed include a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users who play on North American servers.
In plain English, this means the email addresses of players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. Answers to personal security questions have also been illegally accessed, and so has information that relates to the Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators.
Players who haven’t already done so should go change their Battle.net password. It is also recommended that if you use that password for anything else that you go change those as well. Don’t click on any links in emails that come to the email address that your Blizzard account is connected to that appear as though they were sent by Blizzard. As always, those are very likely phishing schemes.
The statement ends with an apology from Mike Morhaime on behalf of Blizzard. I think that was a good idea to include.
I’m certain that I am not the only gamer who would have been completely devastated if my main, a Draenei Shaman, suddenly disappeared. If I’d lost the progress I’ve managed to fight my way through in D3, I am certain tears would be shed.
The idea of Blizzard getting hacked is something that keeps gamers up nights, and haunts our nightmares. To read an official statement, from Mike Morhaime, that really says that this scenario is exactly what has occurred, is extremely unsettling.