MMO-Champion - Important Security Update
Important Security Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
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

Important Security Update FAQ
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Is there anything that players need to do right now to protect themselves?
While there is currently no evidence that any of the password or player data has been misused, we encourage our North American players to change their passwords. Click here to login and change your password.

In the coming days we will implement an automated process for all users to change their secret questions and answers, as a precautionary measure. We'll also prompt mobile authenticator users to update their authenticator software.

Additionally, while Blizzard has no indication that any of your information was shared with any other unauthorized parties or that there has been any unauthorized use of your data, we urge all members of our community to closely monitor all of their online accounts.

Players should also be wary of fraudulent emails (phishing). Unfortunately, because email addresses were exposed, it is entirely possible that this could result in an increased, targeted phishing campaign being sent to our users. Check this page for tips on how to spot and avoid these types of fraudulent emails.

What data was affected?
Here's a summary of the data that we know was illegally accessed:

North American-based accounts, including players from Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia:
  • Email addresses
  • Answers to secret security questions
  • Cryptographically scrambled versions of passwords (not actual passwords)
  • Information associated with the Mobile Authenticator
  • Information associated with the Dial-in Authenticator
  • Information associated with Phone Lock, a security system associated with Taiwan accounts only

Accounts from all global regions outside of China (including Europe and Russia):
  • Email addresses

China-based accounts:
  • Unaffected

At this time, there’s no evidence that financial information of any kind has been accessed. This includes credit cards, billing addresses, names, or other payment information.

What information related to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators was exposed? What about Phone Lock?
With regard to Dial-In Authenticators, hashed (not actual) phone numbers were accessed. This is phone data from the relatively small number of people who opted into the program.

With regard to Mobile Authenticators, information was taken that could potentially compromise the integrity of North American Mobile Authenticators. We have no evidence that other regions were affected. We are working quickly to provide software updates to users.
Additionally we believe the integrity of the physical authenticators remains intact.

The information relating to Phone Lock represents a small number of hashed (not actual) phone numbers from Taiwanese players who opted into this service and had a North American Battle.net account.

Was the physical authenticator compromised?
We believe the integrity of the physical authenticators remains intact.

How did this happen?
Like all companies doing business online, it is not an uncommon occurrence to experience outside parties trying to illegitimately gain access to the operation’s structure at some level. We are continually upgrading our security technologies, policies, protocols and procedures to protect our customers and our games against the threats that increasingly arise in today’s online world.

When did Blizzard learn of the unauthorized access?
The trespass into our internal network was detected by us on August 4, 2012.

Why did Blizzard announce this on August 9?
We worked around the clock since we discovered the unauthorized user to determine the nature of the trespass and understand what data was accessed. Our first priority was to re-secure our network, and from there we worked simultaneously on the investigation and on informing our global player base. We wanted to strike a balance between speed and accuracy in our reporting and worked diligently to serve both equally important needs.

What action has Blizzard taken?
Upon learning of the unauthorized access, we worked quickly to re-secure our network. Afterward, we immediately notified law enforcement as well as security experts and launched an ongoing investigation to determine what had occurred. We also took steps to notify players, which happened in a matter of days from the time we discovered the illegal access.

Was any personal or financial information accessed?
At this time, there is no evidence that financial information was affected or accessed. There's also no evidence that personal information such as real names or billing addresses were accessed.

What can you tell us about the scrambled passwords that were accessed?
Cryptographically scrambled versions of passwords for North American players were accessed, protected by Secure Remote Password (SRP) protocol. This information alone doesn't give unauthorized users the actual passwords -- each password would need to be deciphered individually. The added layer of protection from SRP makes that process computationally very difficult and expensive.

Why not immediately invalidate the secret questions and answers that were compromised?
This was a difficult decision to make but in the end we believe that keeping the secret questions and answers in place still provides a layer of security against unauthorized users who don't have access to the compromised data. In the meantime, we are working quickly to create a mechanism for players to change the secret question and answer on their account. Our customer service staff will also know to use additional measures to verify player identities and not rely solely on secret question and answer.

Why not immediately revoke the mobile authenticators?
Similar to the decision surrounding secret question and answer, we still believe that keeping mobile authenticators active provides a layer of security against unauthorized users who don't have access to the compromised data. In fact, the mobile authenticator information by itself won't grant access to a Battle.net account -- that still requires the actual password as well. We are working quickly to deploy new mobile authenticator software and will notify players to update as soon as it's available.

Are you taking additional security measures as a result of this occurrence?
We are continually upgrading our security technologies, policies, protocols and procedures to help protect our customers and our games, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Teams have also been working around the clock in an ongoing investigation with law enforcement and security experts, to gain a more detailed understanding of what happened. As we conclude the investigation there will be lessons learned that can help strengthen our security going forward.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Important Security Update started by chaud View original post
Comments 217 Comments
  1. Muezick's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Joán View Post
    I hope you have a source for this remarkably outrageous statement. If they had gotten over private authenticator keys and serial numbers they would not be saying:



    Stop with this nonsense FUD.
    You should re-read. All they need to do is crack the pass words right now to gain access. It says right in the statement the north american bnet authenticators on smart phones *may* have been compromised. Read as: was. Company like blizzard does nothing off the cuff, they had 5 days to prepare this statement, it's laced with policy and politicking.

    A few days from now it wont matter though, since a software update will fix it, i doubt they will be able to crack the scrambled pass words between now and then.

    Reading between the lines is hard.
  1. Throrion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gourmandises View Post
    they're easy hackable aswell
    Quote Originally Posted by Gourmandises View Post
    easy hackable aswell
    Quote Originally Posted by Gourmandises View Post
    easy hackable
    Quote Originally Posted by Gourmandises View Post
    easy
    Always adorable when people who haven't a clue about something try to make it out otherwise. FYI, authenticators are extremely difficult and time consuming to hack, and the only known "hack" requires a great deal of timing and far more information than an ordinary account would. It usually just isn't worth the effort, and it's not like someone can target your account and go "herp derp, he has nice stuff, I want to hack his authenticated account". It's an EXTREMELY specific and unlikely series of events that has to transpire, with you giving the hackers the exact info they require to do the hack, before it's even possible for them to do.
  1. lordcalin's Avatar
    Look at it this way, they didn't get passwords from the blizz hack, but they did get authenticator info. Back during the D3 Hack craze farmers openly admitted they hacked fan sites to get login details for thousands of accounts without authenticators.... well guess what, now it's thousands with authenticators who used the same password in both and are at risk.
  1. Malcor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacM View Post
    I wonder if credit card info was compromised too and they're still keeping it a secret.
    It would be Illegal for Blizzard to hide information like that. It is their JOB to let you know if anything like that happened.

    However on-topic.

    It was bound to happen. Xbox,PSN and the Millions of other web-sites,communities that were hacked. It was only a matter of time until someone targetted Blizzard.

    A shame they told us about this a week later after it happened, Right away would have been nice.
  1. Joán's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Muezick View Post
    You should re-read. All they need to do is crack the pass words right now to gain access. It says right in the statement the north american bnet authenticators on smart phones *may* have been compromised. Read as: was. Company like blizzard does nothing off the cuff, they had 5 days to prepare this statement, it's laced with policy and politicking.

    A few days from now it wont matter though, since a software update will fix it, i doubt they will be able to crack the scrambled pass words between now and then.

    Reading between the lines is hard.
    If you read the line

    With regard to Mobile Authenticators, information was taken that could potentially compromise the integrity of North American Mobile Authenticators.
    And translate it to

    All authenticators are now useless but Blizzard doesn't want to say it and we have to "read between the lines".
    Then I believe you will find a remarkably large number of interesting theories about the "truth" of the world out on the internet. This is the kind of selective and intentional misinterpretation that is responsible for every conspiracy theory out there.
  1. jsz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcor View Post
    A shame they told us about this a week later after it happened, Right away would have been nice.
    Why would their first reaction to a big breach of security be "better quickly write up a tweet saying 'we got hacked lol'" rather than spending the time to fix the fucking issue good and proper.
  1. Calene's Avatar
    Now Blizzard should realize that case-sensitive passwords is a must.
  1. lordcalin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Calene View Post
    Now Blizzard should realize that case-sensitive passwords is a must.
    that was my first thought when they mentioned hashed passwords, without case-sensitivity decrypting is not as hard as they make it out to be, the possible characters are much more limited.
  1. ZRebellion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jsz View Post
    Why would their first reaction to a big breach of security be "better quickly write up a tweet saying 'we got hacked lol'" rather than spending the time to fix the fucking issue good and proper.
    yeah cause warning people is really gonna take a lot of time huh?
    I do think its insane they waited an entire week ,wtf Oo
  1. Moosie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alenarien View Post
    Nice to know our subscription fees are going toward good security as opposed to beer/pot/hookers/dividends.
    No amount of money can stop hackers, if they want it, they will get, this is not blizzards fault and they have dealt with it in a good manor.
  1. Muezick's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Joán View Post
    If you read the line



    And translate it to



    Then I believe you will find a remarkably large number of interesting theories about the "truth" of the world out on the internet. This is the kind of selective and intentional misinterpretation that is responsible for every conspiracy theory out there.
    Believe what you like. I've no interest in changing your opinion or proving you wrong.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    GG for making us use email as user names and then not encrypting those with the passwords, that's an hour or two I won't get payed for changing my game mail.
  1. darkelephunk's Avatar
    So on the server "terenas", there was a guy selling Reins of the Crimson Deathcharger x 5.....i'm just wondering if it was something he got from blizzard during this security breach? and whoever buys them, will they get banned?
  1. Talon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryme View Post
    Well dang, I wish I knew how they've managed this, out of curiosity more than anything.
    I can answer this question with a high degree of confidence.

    Reused passwords from a breach in another service was used to access an account on Blizzard.

    Access into the admin systems were gained, and seed information for the authenticators was stored there and accessed as well.

    This was most likely not a 'hack' per se, but rather that one (or multiple) employees were simply insecure and the system was breached through the front door.
  1. daltron's Avatar
    This is more worrysome to the Diablo 3 players who have their Paypal info attached to their battle.net.

    They got access to our email, security answer, and for those using a mobile authenticator, the serial #.....
  1. Caseyzissou's Avatar
    I bet it was that fucker James Holmes.
  1. Elynis's Avatar
    Thank you Blizz for being upfront and informative, most of us really do appreciate it
  1. Jetstream's Avatar
    Meh. If they thought Credit Cards had been breached they'd be on the horn with all the banks right now saying "these are the cards that have been compromised, issue new cards."

    In fact, when another website I did business with got hacked a couple years ago that's exactly what happened. Bank of America sent me a new card without me even knowing something had happened.
  1. Ryme's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Talon View Post
    I can answer this question with a high degree of confidence.

    Reused passwords from a breach in another service was used to access an account on Blizzard.

    Access into the admin systems were gained, and seed information for the authenticators was stored there and accessed as well.

    This was most likely not a 'hack' per se, but rather that one (or multiple) employees were simply insecure and the system was breached through the front door.
    All of the data that was stolen is accessible remotely? I would have thought that information of this level would have been stored on an internal network.
  1. Kaelynath's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gourmandises View Post
    Not that authenticators would have helped... they're easy hackable aswell
    Yes, Genius. And I'll bet that's why banks use the exact same Vasco Security to protect the funds of millions.

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