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Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators

WoW.com reports that Blizzard account administrators are being instructed by their managers to avoid restoring World of Warcraft characters for players whose accounts have been looted by gold sellers, keyloggers, and other nefarious elements from the MMO underworld. They attribute this information to a veteran account administrator who tells them admins are being told to offer ripped-off players a "care package" consisting of 2,500 gold, two Emblems of Frost, and 10 Emblems of Triumph for every day the players had to wait to receive the package. Word is if players accept the package, the incident is closed, and no other measures are taken, while if it is refused, "they are then forced to go into a character restoration queue that is consistently several days to weeks long." This is described as a measure meant to reduce the workload of employees who perform account restorations, and they note: "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 ties back to an earlier report they made saying "trusted sources close to the situation" inform them Blizzard is giving serious consideration to making hardware authenticators mandatory on all WoW accounts to reduce the number of accounts compromised in the game. They say: "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."

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17. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 10, 2010, 00:25 Ant
 
Lame. Why should people who secured their computers need this? Oh well, it doesn't matter since I don't WoW anymore.  
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16. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 9, 2010, 03:54 DrEvil
 
I bought an Authenticator last year; never been sorry.

Of course, I've never had my account hacked, and its been years since I had a virus/trojan (that I'm aware of) on my Windows boxen.

Running Windows means you have a very good chance of getting some nefarious evil program on your system even if you follow the best security practices.

I'm all for making the Authenticators mandatory personally, as long as having one doesn't lead Blizzard to automatically assume your account can't be hacked (which would be stupid).
 
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15. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 9, 2010, 02:26 Veterator
 
Seems to me that I've read more "I got hacked" posts, comments, news articles ever since Blizz moved to the bnet account setup for all their games instead of WoW having it's own login info. Which to me seems like it adds a lot more value to getting your hands on someone's bnet info. And seems to add more vulnerabilities to their system because if you can break into one part of it that has access to the account information, you have access to them all.


I still suspect that Blizzard has been compromised (at least once) and never made it public. Obviously people who actively play WoW will notice that their account has been hacked, but there are people who haven't played in many months/years who were hacked AND reactivated (probably with stolen CC or game card).

And this new policy seems exploitable... have a secondary account that gets compromised a little too often...and you've got yourself some free stuff for your naked chars time. Because if they aren't looking it up to actually see if you've LOST stuff....to save workload of course. Plus if they were looking up your old info to see that you lost stuff, then.....seems like it wouldn't be much more to just restore you right then and there.

 
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14. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 9, 2010, 00:06 Keilun
 
The mobile authenticator is supported on more than just the iPhone. A lot of phone models are supported. That said, if your model isn't supported, then yeah it's a bit much to ask of a customer to upgrade their phone to play WoW.

Including them in physical copies of the game would be useful. They included it as part of the loot swag at Blizzcon '09 and '08 as well I believe. Don't see why they couldn't for boxed copies. Who knows, maybe they will for Cataclysm.
 
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13. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 18:52 Kxmode
 
briktal wrote on Jan 8, 2010, 17:58:
kxmode wrote on Jan 8, 2010, 16:34:
Everyone knows the iPhone app is free, so if they make authenticators mandatory they better make them free. Like I said earlier an easy solution would be to include them in all future physical copies of the game. Digital downloads will be SOL unless they go get the iPhone app.
And an iPhone.

Thank you captain obvious.
 
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12. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 17:58 briktal
 
kxmode wrote on Jan 8, 2010, 16:34:
Everyone knows the iPhone app is free, so if they make authenticators mandatory they better make them free. Like I said earlier an easy solution would be to include them in all future physical copies of the game. Digital downloads will be SOL unless they go get the iPhone app.

And an iPhone.
 
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11. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 16:34 Kxmode
 
Everyone knows the iPhone app is free, so if they make authenticators mandatory they better make them free. Like I said earlier an easy solution would be to include them in all future physical copies of the game. Digital downloads will be SOL unless they go get the iPhone app.  
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10. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 15:54 Muscular Beaver
 
I doubt its always people who get on phishing sites or similar.
What I noticed far more often in the support forums is that people share their account info with friends and family and sooner or later someone is mad at them and messes around in their account for revenge.

Also there was this Allakhazam trojan, which installed itself when you visited Allakhazam (a trustworthy website until then) because it was implemented in some banner by hackers. My friend got it and his account was wiped clean.

Oh and a few months ago I got a tell from someone named "Blizzardusa", or something like that, in-game that told me that there was an issue with my account and that I would be disconnected now and I should visit a website that sounded very similar to Blizzards sites.

Normally I wouldnt have bothered, but there was an incident with Blizzard a few weeks before that. They banned my account and gave me a final warning without any reason. Took me 4 weeks to finally get my issue forwarded to a supervisor and all actions were canceled instantly.

So I was extremely frightened that something similar might have happened again and in the first few seconds I really thought about going there, but I got to my senses soon enough to notice that there was no Blizzard icon with his name.
 
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Oh that is so lame... You will PAY for your use of inappropriate dialogue!
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9. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 15:34 roguebanshee
 
Pigeon wrote on Jan 8, 2010, 14:58:
I know there's no such thing as an unhackable account, but a lot of these people get their accounts hacked because they do dumb things,
This week I've gotten 2 emails telling me to input information on a site due to some incident in WoW.

a) I don't have a WoW account.
b) The emails use fairly poor english such as "When we carry out a routine check when the account".

I have no doubt that there are people who do fall for that kind of stuff, but no one with more than two active braincells should.
 
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8. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 15:28 Keilun
 
Weird, I can't seem to edit my post.

Here is the link to the authenticator page (with Mobile authenticator FAQ):
http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&articleId=24986

Here is the link to the EU Authenticator purchase page:
http://eu.blizzard.com/store/details.xml?id=221003617

Note the following quote:
Please note:
Shipping fees have been waived on this product to reduce the cost to the consumer, and the new price for each Authenticator has been adjusted to cover the new lower shipping cost (6.99 / 6.29 GBP per unit).

They mention the shipping fees are waived for the US and other region authenticators as well, but don't go as in depth on the fact that the cost of the authenticator has shipping built-in, hence the $6 fee.
 
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7. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 15:19 Keilun
 
You know that you can get the mobile authenticators for free right? Goto their site and see if your phone (or iPod Touch) is supported, then simply download that app. Done.

I believe they've mentioned already that the $6 is to cover the hardware token and shipping.
 
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6. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 15:09 Trevellian
 
I bought one of the authenticators when they were first available because I knew several people who had their accounts hacked. While I'm not stupid and I don't follow obvious links from the official forums that are fishing, and I don't do other stupid things that could get my account compromised, when the Authenticator came out it was about 4 years into WoW, and thats a lot of time invested, 6 dollars was nothing to protect that kind of investment as a pretty hardcore player. Of course then the iphone app came out and I got it and now dont even use the actual authenticator I had.  
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5. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 15:01 Verno
 
When I used to play WoW I was in a raiding guild and what drove us nuts more than anything else was the number of people we'd miss for 1-2 weeks at a time because they got their account hacked. Literally almost every week it was someone new. You can't make people secure their computers but at least you can make their account itself secure so I say shit why not? Though I don't play WoW anymore and have no vested interest in either outcome, I can't see how this is anything but positive.

I know there's no such thing as an unhackable account, but a lot of these people get their accounts hacked because they do dumb things, like playing on a public computer, unsecured networks, or installing 'hacks' or suspect addons.

Well thats the thing, most of the WoW playerbase thinks Norton Antivirus is a great product and probably clicks on every link they see in their email.

This comment was edited on Jan 8, 2010, 15:02.
 
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4. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 14:58 Pigeon
 
So these authenticators are going to be free right?...
I know there's no such thing as an unhackable account, but a lot of these people get their accounts hacked because they do dumb things, like playing on a public computer, unsecured networks, or installing 'hacks' or suspect addons.

Also, 'reducing work load' hah!, more like reducing the number of employees we're gonna need. The last few times I've had to report an issue, like an in game bug, my ticket was in the queue for hours, so long I couldn't stay online anymore hoping to talk to a real person. When i'd log in the next day all I'd get was a message saying, yep we know that shit doesn't work, sorry.
 
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3. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 14:54 Linksil
 
Mandatory authenticators is the day I stop playing anything made by blizzard. Since it will be required for wow that means it will be required for all games, as they all run through the same battle.net account. Like kxmode said, if you wanna make it mandatory then just add it into the next exp so it comes in the box. Better yet, put in a coupon so I can go into my account and you'll mail me a free one. That way if I get D3, SC2, Cat, or whatever game comes out I don't have 10 of them laying around.  
Munching On: Warframe, Final Fantasy 6, Tales of Xallia, Saints Row 4.
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2. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 14:50 Kxmode
 
Or they could add an authenticator to new products which include Cataclysm, StarCraft 2, Diablo 3. They could also add them to existing products (World of Warcraft, WOW: The Burning Crusade) when they need to produce more copies. The device costs $6 on Blizzard's Store, but I know the item probably costs them like 50 cents.  
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1. Re: Blizzard Discouraging WoW Account Restorations, Considering Mandatory Authenticators Jan 8, 2010, 14:49 DG
 
gg Blue for a much more accurate heading than TFA's "Account Administration told not to restore hacked characters".

It can be viewed two ways: WoW are offering an alternative to waiting for restoration, something that costs them money despite "gold sellers and keyloggers" making it sound awfully like it's your own fault.

Personally, while I don't play an MMO, I'm quite sure I'd be wanting the full restoration. Seeing as there's no indication that WoW are deliberately increasing the wait in order to push people onto this alternative, I don't see the problem. Oh noes I haev a choice!!11

Instead of offering players a care package, Blizzard can employ more staff, and as we will discuss in a later post, train those staff in better ways to prevent account compromises and exploitation.

Shouldn't that be train users in better ways to prevent account compromises and exploitation?

character restoration queue that is consistently several days to weeks long

that isn't very consistent. Several days seems quite reasonable for fixing something that is not their fault (several weeks, not so much).
 
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17 Replies. 1 pages. Viewing page 1.
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