so get to changing your password
In yet another example of why you really, really should be using multiple, secure passwords and every security feature you can get your hands on, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime announced today that Blizzard's internal network has been illegally accessed. While he says it's not possible to access anyone's account solely with the information Blizzard knows for sure was taken (security question answers, unspecified mobile and dial-in authenticator data, encrypted passwords), he recommends that North American players change their passwords immediately. That's good advice.
So, how bad is it? It's bad, but not that bad. If you move to change your Battle.net password now, and any sites where you used the same combination of email and password, based on what we know now (and assuming Blizzard has told us everything) it appears unlikely you'll suffer any ill effects. Except the hassle of having to memorize a new password, of course.
And so far, Blizzard's been relatively forthcoming, putting up a detailed FAQ to address most of the major questions. Notably, Blizzard has known about this intrusion since August 4th, and waited to announce it until after they'd both made sure no one else could get in by the same means and discovered exactly what was accessed. Those seem like legitimate reasons to me -- to do otherwise would both declare open season on attacking their servers and cause panicked speculation that billing information might've been taken.
The most troubling thing here, and the reason you should run, not walk, to change your Battle.net password, is that Blizzard has decided not to immediately disable the secret security question system after the answers were compromised, or shut down the authenticator system. The logic there is that believing that even now it provides a layer of security against the horde of lesser but still dangerous hackers who didn't get their hands on the stolen data -- which is true. After all, if someone steals the key to your house, you don't remove the lock before you get a new one. But you d@mn well better change that lock ASAP.
Here's the full text of Morhaime's post:
Mike Morhaime: Players and Friends,
Even when you are in the business of fun, not every week ends up being fun. 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.
At this time, we've found no evidence that financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised. Our investigation is ongoing, but so far nothing suggests that these pieces of information have been accessed.
Some data was illegally accessed, including a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users, outside of China. For players on North American servers (which generally includes players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) the answer to the personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators were also accessed. Based on what we currently know, this information alone is NOT enough for anyone to gain access to Battle.net accounts.
We also know that cryptographically scrambled versions of Battle.net passwords (not actual passwords) for players on North American servers were taken. We use Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP) to protect these passwords, which is designed to make it extremely difficult to extract the actual password, and also means that each password would have to be deciphered individually. As a precaution, however, we recommend that players on North American servers change their password. Please click this link to change your password. Moreover, if you have used the same or similar passwords for other purposes, you may want to consider changing those passwords as well.
In the coming days, we'll be prompting players on North American servers to change their secret questions and answers through an automated process. Additionally, we'll prompt mobile authenticator users to update their authenticator software. As a reminder, phishing emails will ask you for password or login information. Blizzard Entertainment emails will never ask for your password. We deeply regret the inconvenience to all of you and understand you may have questions. Please find additional information here.
We take the security of your personal information very seriously, and we are truly sorry that this has happened.
Sincerely, Mike Morhaime
While it's easy to point fingers and accuse Blizzard of being negligent with security, the real takeaway here for me is that if Blizzard can be hit, anyone can. Don't trust anyone. On a related note, here's a handy story we recently did on how to protect yourself from leaky game companies.
- Brigadier General
- Posts : 10459
Join date : 2008-11-10
Age : 29
Location : El Paso Tx
GamerTag : S7 Sticky
I've been getting email messages from "Blizzard" for a couple months telling me my account is locked and to change my password/security, but I figured it was just a phisher. Makes me wonder now. Could have been the ex-wife trying to get to my 80s and gold, or just a random attack, or like I thought just a phishing attempt. Since I don't play WoW anymore I don't think I will bother with this.
- Posts : 5771
Join date : 2010-02-25
Age : 36
Location : Oklahoma City
GamerTag : S7 Coolhand
HOnestly i would go with phising coolhand, there isnt a day where i havn't gotten one of those emails. Now am i worried about my password and stuff being taken, not really...unless they were somehow able to hack authenticators or something XD I guess all i can say if my sh1t does get hacked is, well at least blizz has decent / good customer service when it happens.
- Master Sergeant
- Posts : 299
Join date : 2010-04-14
Age : 31
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S7 Skandelous wrote:HOnestly i would go with phising coolhand, there isnt a day where i havn't gotten one of those emails. Now am i worried about my password and stuff being taken, not really...unless they were somehow able to hack authenticators or something XD I guess all i can say if my sh1t does get hacked is, well at least blizz has decent / good customer service when it happens.
the answer to the personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators were also accessed.
So yes, authenticator data was accessed.
Change your pass.
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