Blizzard and the hackers

It seems that Blizzard’s World Of Warcraft (WoW) has very serious issues with account theft. Why would it be interesting to steal an account of a game? Of course, not to play on the behalf of the stolen gamer, but to steal his/her virtual belongings. There is a black market where you can purchase artifacts, and gimmicks. It is done with REAL money. (This is different from gold farming where somebody looks after your character on your behalf. You pay the farmer for him to increase the level of your character)

The hackers use the usual toolbox such as keylogger or phising. And of course, it works. Once your account stolen, you have two choices; either you expect Blizzard to restore your virtual belonging using backups. Unfortunately, there is a queue of several days (hard task for addicts) or you accept a standard care package.

Blizzard is already proposing a solution for gamers. it is the authenticator token, b a company named Vasco, that serves to log into youraccount. It is similar to the usual RSA ID token used for business VPNs. Of course, this makes the theft more difficult. The use of this token is not yet mandatory!

We see that online games become interesting targets for professional hackers. There is (a lot of) money at stake. Security of games will need to leapfrog.

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