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. Gorsameth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryme View Post
    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.
    Not possible. the game needs acces to all stolen information in order for you to log in. Therefor it can be acces from the outside.
  1. Acry's Avatar
    It seems that the authenticators will infact be useless if you had a mobile one.
    Blizzard states it here

    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.
    This means if they unencrypt the passwords, and then use a legitimate 3rd party authenticator like Winauth, they could plug in the serial number of your Auth and gain access. Simple as that after they break the encryption to the passwords.
  1. reemi's Avatar
    Think I'll just report my mastercard as stolen, and I'll get a new one!
  1. Jess Day's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryme View Post
    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.
    For that network to allow you to login it has to have some remote access capability. How do you expect to be able to use your password to login if the server can't access your password to validate it?

    They can't do more than they are doing. All data has to be read at some point so it needs to be readable some way or another. It's encrypted as well as it can be to still be usable. However, someone has to write the encryption in the first place; And if one person can write it, someone else can crack it.

    That's just how it is.
  1. Uselessrouge's Avatar
    Grats Us , world first !
    well yes the only got EU e-mails ..

    sorry i had to

    on the other hand , well it can happen , sony was /is not a small company and it happend to them too.
    Blizz makes a ton of cash normal that they are being attacked too.
    First time they had a probleme of this kind in 7 years? i dont see a big probleme they got my mail so what?
    i can change my pw , my secret questions and evrything no big deal ^^
  1. Tea's Avatar
    Well, considering how many people bashing when it happened to rift... usually with "would never happen to wow", well... I knew it then but perhaps you all now that it could happen to anyone :P

    Should EU battlenet accounts change their emails? Even though Im not playing anymore why hand out characters for free :P
  1. KClovesGaming's Avatar
    Blizzard is a massive company, so things like this can happen. There's no point in whining about it. Every large company has problems like this once in a blue moon. But at least Blizzard is informing us asap and telling everyone exactly what to do and what they're going to be doing. That's always a good sign.
  1. Jess Day's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaeh View Post
    It seems that the authenticators will infact be useless if you had a mobile one.
    Blizzard states it here



    This means if they unencrypt the passwords, and then use a legitimate 3rd party authenticator like Winauth, they could plug in the serial number of your Auth and gain access. Simple as that after they break the encryption to the passwords.
    By the time they've unencrypted it the software update will be out and make it all a null point anyway.

    There is a reason banks use the same system. It takes ages to crack and by the time it is the breach has been detected and a fix applied. Breaches will obviously happen, they'll just very very rarely involve anything useful being obtained before it's been made useless by updates.
  1. Jarlathe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lordcalin View Post
    for those asking / saying the authenticators can't be compromised, blizz already said in the FAQ section they were, all it takes is knowing the mobile authenticator serial number which is why / how windows desktop authenticators exist even tho blizz never wrote them. And the hackers got em, so yeah, in this instance, authenticators mean shit.
    Don't waste your breath. I've been trying to explain that to people for years now and they still don't listen. They just spoat the same old same old about banks using them and that they are infallible ect.ect. The system Blizzard uses and the system the banks use are two different beasts. Last company I worked for I installed an RSA authentication system. The moblie device apps do not use a simple serial number to sync them with the main server unlike Blizzard. If I have your Bnet authenticator serial number, I pretty much have your authenticator.

    This was bound to happen at some point.
  1. Kaelynath's Avatar
    I'm actually very impressed at how the community is handling this. WoW Players seem to be generally alright with it, and accept that things like this happen. However, if you go to the Diablo III forums it's just one big pile of 'derp' over there.

    Good job, everyone. At handling this situation like adults. I'm so proud. <3
  1. Tharkkun's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Muezick View Post
    Authenticator doesn't mean crap if they got the serial numbers for each account(Which they did) and the algorithm for the random number generator that the battle.net authenticator uses.

    With this information your authenticator will be USELESS, since they can write third party software, plug in Serial numbers and just get the same code your authenticator would produce.

    basically, go unpair your authenticator, generate a new serial, repair it and change your pass word

    and then go to EVERY SINGLE WEBSITE you use your battle.net e-mail in association with that uses the same pass word and change all THOSE pass words too
    Says only software authenticators, aka mobile authenticators. So all it requires is an update, change the algo and it's good.
  1. Tanoh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lordcalin View Post
    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.
    It depends. The passwords must still be hashed in a predermined form, you can't have "foo" and "FOO" and expect them to hash to the same (which they won't). So they internally convert it before storing the hashed password. The problem is that no one else knows how they convert it, chances are they convert all password the same though (all upper/lower).. which would be bad as there would be a lot less combinations, also once you found out one you could more easily find out the rest (probably).

    But if they've been smart about it and based the conversion on something non-static, maybe an internal number (every X chars should be upper case) that varies for different accounts they can still maintain almost the same level of security from a hacking point of view as case sensitive passwords.
  1. Deadanon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelynath View Post
    I'm actually very impressed at how the community is handling this. WoW Players seem to be generally alright with it, and accept that things like this happen. However, if you go to the Diablo III forums it's just one big pile of 'derp' over there.

    Good job, everyone. At handling this situation like adults. I'm so proud. <3
    Maybe that has to do with the fact that REAL MONEY is involved in D3 - not in WoW....
  1. Tharkkun's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    Authenticators won't save your credit card numbers from being stolen
    No credit cards, billing info, personal information was stolen. So they have email addresses and an encrypted password database which will take quite some time to crack each individual password. I think Blizzard covered their ass pretty well with technology here.

    By the time they are able to start compromising accounts, forced password changes will happen. That's assuming they don't have an authenticator which means they are sol.
  1. Jess Day's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarlathe View Post
    Don't waste your breath. I've been trying to explain that to people for years now and they still don't listen. They just spoat the same old same old about banks using them and that they are infallible ect.ect. The system Blizzard uses and the system the banks use are two different beasts. Last company I worked for I installed an RSA authentication system. The moblie device apps do not use a simple serial number to sync them with the main server unlike Blizzard. If I have your Bnet authenticator serial number, I pretty much have your authenticator.

    This was bound to happen at some point.
    And the problem can be fixed before anything valuable is lost. That is the point. They're not infaliable, nothing is. The idea behind having encrypted passwords on the level they have is they take so long to crack the problem gets fixed before anyone loses anything.
  1. Irony's Avatar
    Surprised it took this long for someone to get in. At least unlike Sony they told us right away.
  1. Jervaise's Avatar
    It's OK Bliz,

    just use the web form "i'm hacked".


    Jokes aside, the value of the email database for advertising cannot be measured, millions and maybe more, for gaming companies....


    let teh *yes, teh, spam begin.
  1. seryniti's Avatar
    You need more than the serial number. You need the 40 character token secret, which is generated when you request a mobile authenticator and saved on the servers and your phone. The serial number alone is useless.

    Now if both of those items were indeed breached, then yes. Unlink your authenticator and generate a new one!

    In fact, I'd do it anyway. All you need to remove an authenticator from someone's account is their secret word, and the serial to the authenticator. Now, you just crack that password, and now you have their account.
  1. knightpt's Avatar
    It can happen to the best companies in the world. In fact no one is protected or can even say they are "immune" to this.

    On the safe spot, everyone should realy do what blizzard recomends now, even if you think you are not on the affected group of people.
  1. Deadanon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Irony View Post
    Surprised it took this long for someone to get in. At least unlike Sony they told us right away.
    Soooo... 5 days is right away...

    Ye right...

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