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. jeanbono's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by skitzin View Post
    The sad part is many of these hackers live in regions of the Earth where the are either no laws or the local authorities do not care as long as they aren't targeted, making it impossible in many cases to fully punish these people by legal means.
    The batman has no jurisdiction.
  1. Serissa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nogard64 View Post
    ever noticed the hacks come in waves? like all the sudden you see a few thousand people get hacked in a week, then its quiet for a month, then it happens again, hmmmmm....... almost like some one is getting a HUGE LONG list of screen names and passwords from a special source of screen names and passwords??????
    Yea, shit happens every time new trojan released :P
  1. MacHaggis's Avatar
    Good morning, pretty big news today.

    Well, at least Blizzard is being completely open about this. We've seen a lot worse from other companies
  1. Howard Moon's Avatar
    Good thing I don't use my WoW password for anything else!
  1. CashME's Avatar
    and Blizzard didn't say anything for 4-5 days....lovely....
  1. Serissa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CashME View Post
    and Blizzard didn't say anything for 4-5 days....lovely....
    Sony with their 1 or 2 months of silence says "hi" :P
  1. shadowmatrix's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CashME View Post
    and Blizzard didn't say anything for 4-5 days....lovely....
    What exactly would they say? Handling this type of issue isn't as simple as just running up and yelling THE SKY IS FALLING, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! We want to know which part of the sky is falling. The point is that you need to have your information ready to handle the people who will be ready to jump up and say their credit card information got stolen so they are going to sue. When it comes to people on the Internet "Expect the worst but be prepared for the best".
  1. razski's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CashME View Post
    and Blizzard didn't say anything for 4-5 days....lovely....
    There have been companies, MMO's in particular, who didn't say anything for months. Blizz has probably taken the last 5 days finding out exactly what got compromised to let us know what we need to do.
  1. QzwN's Avatar
    Lolol Blizz hacked again. Remember 2007? Have they even fixed this Velizy Villac -problem? Google it if u don't know about it.
    Friend lost 100 euros about 2 years ago because of Blizzard somehow managed to lose his credit card info. A credit card gotten 2 days prior to only buy WoW subscription time online, from Blizzards website. And there's people that lost several hundreds, even thousands of dollars/ euros because of Blizzard. The money is used for server transferring if you lost money, the money going directly to Blizzard, so propably they haven't done anythinge because of the $€$€$.
  1. Navitas's Avatar
    There should be an option when purchasing MoP where you can add an authenticator for something tiny, like £1/$1/1Euro for those morons who haven't already got one.

    Personally I've been using the free app for ages and have never had a problem.

    "But it's too much hassle, wah, wah, wah" - Bollox is it. It's an 8 digit code that changes every 30 seconds. If you can't type an 8 digit code into a computer in 30 seconds then having your account hacked is the least of your worries.
  1. Collected's Avatar
    Wonder if the hackers got access to Titan code. Probably not.. sounds like a battle net hack rather than a full network hack.
  1. MacHaggis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by CashME View Post
    and Blizzard didn't say anything for 4-5 days....lovely....
    So Blizzard should have yelled "we are hacked! we don't know yet what exactly is compromised" as soon as they found out?
    Because the Blizzard fancrowd would never dare to wildly speculate and make up stories that start leading their own life.
  1. Thagoblin's Avatar
    People and companies still using the creditcard method? Hello 70's and 80's. Using a creditcard is like the most unsecured way of a payment method. I do sympathise with the people that are affected by this hack in any way!
  1. Seegtease's Avatar
    Eh, anything will get hacked if somebody has the skills and motivation. Nothing is truly secure unless it's not online.
  1. UnstoppableErasor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer View Post
    5 year free gametime please.
    Wishful thinking... Would also like some
  1. Difuid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Navitas View Post
    There should be an option when purchasing MoP where you can add an authenticator for something tiny, like £1/$1/1Euro for those morons who haven't already got one.

    Personally I've been using the free app for ages and have never had a problem.

    "But it's too much hassle, wah, wah, wah" - Bollox is it. It's an 8 digit code that changes every 30 seconds. If you can't type an 8 digit code into a computer in 30 seconds then having your account hacked is the least of your worries.
    So me having an authenticator protects me how when the crackers have direct access to Blizzard's database? OH wait is doesn't! I pity people like you who lull themselves into the delusion that a secure connection to a vulnerable server will make your information secure.
  1. Limpy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Serissa View Post
    Sony with their 1 or 2 months of silence says "hi" :P

    Other companies handling it worse is no excuse for handling it bad! Just sayin
  1. Saffa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmbringe View Post
    I understand that there are so few EU players left relative to NA and Asian players, that I am guessing that the hackers didn't consider hacking that data noteworthy. So the answer is "no".
    Rofl Rofl Rofl Rofl

    Considering the majority of people who stopped subscribing were asian where do you get your ideas from - under your pillow?
  1. Coldhearth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Navitas View Post
    There should be an option when purchasing MoP where you can add an authenticator for something tiny, like £1/$1/1Euro for those morons who haven't already got one.
    Maybe some of us "morons" know how to properly secure our computers without it. If you get hacked, it's your own fault. An authenticator is like a drool cup for a majority of the wow population.
  1. Granyala's Avatar
    Nice Work Blizzard. Open and professional report.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coldhearth View Post
    Maybe some of us "morons" know how to properly secure our computers without it. If you get hacked, it's your own fault. An authenticator is like a drool cup for a majority of the wow population.
    Heheh, nicely stated.

    I'm just glad EU wasn't affected.

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