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. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadanon View Post
    Soooo... 5 days is right away...

    Ye right...
    6 times faster than Sony. It's a good start.
  1. morfraen's Avatar
    we'll prompt mobile authenticator users to update their authenticator software.
    That's kinda worrying.
  1. Tharkkun's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ZRebellion View Post
    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
    Less than a week. You don't notify your customers until you are 100% sure about the extent of the hack. Once you find an intrusion you research exactly what happened, what was compromised, etc. What's the point of alerting customers and then sending another notice saying oops, we discovered more was hacked.
  1. yuca247'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
    Everything on the D3 forums is a big pile of derp. On to the topic at hand, that's why it's better to use one email address for your battle.net account separate from your real or "main" email address. It's also better to have a credit card and not a debit/check card that has direct access to your funds on your bank account. You can do one better and use time cards instead.
  1. PenguinChan's Avatar
    I don't think people realize that Blizzard wouldn't have had any use of telling players right away, because if passwords were changed, security questions were updated, and countless other things we changed but the security hole wasn't fixed; The people who gained access to this information could've been mining it out again while Blizzard tried to patch the hole. Just a thought about it, but now I have to switch my password AGAIN.

    *Silent Rage*
  1. frequency's Avatar
    It's cute how full of arm chair net-ops and mis-information this thread is.
  1. Ryme's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Day View Post
    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.
    Yeah, I appreciate that. But that's a single user asking for authentication to their single account. To get access to so much information at once though, seems to be a much harder job?
  1. Tharkkun'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.
    They can blacklist all the current serials being used for the mobile authenticators. Then issue a software update which forces you to login to your account management page to receive a newly issued serial to plug into your authenticator.

    If someone does manage to crack your password before you reset it your authenticator number will be wrong when they try to login.
  1. Strakha's Avatar
    That's sort of scary.

    The best thing you can do is hope to update your password safely and then if they do bust the Auths they will run into a new password that they wont be able to access(hopefully).

    Going to be interesting how this plays out, very poor timing for Blizzard with the expansion just around the corner. Lots of people are not playing so might not even be aware this is occuring and if it plays out poorly, a lot of players could get their accounts taken.

    I hope nothing happens too bad, but it is worrying that even Blizzard who are quite meticulous about security are being invaded.
  1. risingforce's Avatar
    EU customers don't have to change passwords, correct ?
  1. Tharkkun's Avatar
    I also wonder which employee got infected with malware/rootkit and allowed someone to sneak into the network.
  1. Seiru's Avatar
    Not too worried. What are the chances that someone would both:

    1. Have my unencrypted password
    AND
    2. Have access to this mobile auth info, whatever it is.

    I could see people having my password, it's sometimes difficult to prevent keyloggers, especially from Java/Flash exploits. However, would those same people have access to this new mobile auth info?

    I'll just wait for the mobile auth update, and then I'll change my password.
  1. Articuno's Avatar
    You still can't use a password over 16 characters? I'm disgusted. Absolutely disgusted.
  1. Seiru's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Articuno View Post
    You still can't use a password over 16 characters? I'm disgusted. Absolutely disgusted.
    Yeah man, now it will take those hackers only 10 years instead of 100 years to crack your password!
  1. maldias's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tea View Post
    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 battle.net accounts change their emails? Even though Im not playing anymore why hand out characters for free :P
    getting hacked != your login system not even checking for passwords.

    blizz got hacked, all systems eventually break at some point.

    trion fucked up in coding and made an ineffective system.
  1. subanark's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormodes View Post
    Authenticators won't save your credit card numbers from being stolen
    A good company doesn't store your full credit card number, only the first 4 (which determines which company the credit card came from) and the last 4. Instead when you type in the credit card number, the company gets a merchant number for your credit card from the credit card company. This number allows them to charge your card while limiting the what and where charges to your credit card come from. Additionally, if a security breach occurs they can simply invalidate their own code which means you don't need to get a new credit card, you simply have to type in your card number again when you use it.
  1. Paultimate's Avatar
    From this, it sounds like they are storing

    • Email addresses
    • Answers to secret security questions
    • 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

    In plain text.

    Say it aint so.
  1. Albert the fish's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Paultimate View Post
    From this, it sounds like they are storing

    • Email addresses
    • Answers to secret security questions
    • 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

    In plain text.

    Say it aint so.
    you made an account just to say this?
  1. seryniti's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Paultimate View Post
    From this, it sounds like they are storing

    • Email addresses
    • Answers to secret security questions
    • 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

    In plain text.

    Say it aint so.
    • Email addresses Yes
    • Answers to secret security questions Yes
    • Information associated with the Mobile Authenticator No(hashed)
    • Information associated with the Dial-in Authenticator No(hashed)
    • Information associated with Phone Lock, a security system associated with Taiwan accounts only No(hashed)
  1. manniefaces's Avatar
    Everything eventually gets hacked change what you need to change and move on. Welcome to the interwebz.

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