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. Navitas's Avatar
    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.
    Maybe you do but many, many people don't. Yep, a drool cup, that's why banks give them out for customers to use when setting up payments to other accounts. Drool cup indeed.
  1. Godspeed's Avatar
    I'm wondering if those hackers got any Titan information, that would be the only good thing out of this hack
  1. Navitas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Difuid View Post
    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.
    You think there is a list of authenticator codes attached to each account?!? Would it not be a randomly generated number based on a code made by Blizz that uses information from your account to generate. Pity indeed.
  1. Pickynerd's Avatar
    I cancelled many moons ago, I hope they didn't keep my numbers around for ha-ha's.
  1. Limpy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Navitas View Post
    You think there is a list of authenticator codes attached to each account?!? Would it not be a randomly generated number based on a code made by Blizz that uses information from your account to generate. Pity indeed.
    Keep in mind, that login information to get access to your ingame account is not the only valuable information I could find, if I had direct access to blizzards databases. Despite the obvious payment data, even contact data, such es name tied to email address and real address, maybe even phone number sell for a good amount of money. Stealing those information might not harm your character or your bank account, but it harms your privacy.
  1. Remilia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Serissa View Post
    Sony with their 1 or 2 months of silence says "hi" :P
    That was PSN Offline. Response time was about 4-7 days or whatever.
  1. Karizee's Avatar
    Now we know why 16 mil users accessed their battle.net accounts this last month XD
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by -Dalliah- View Post
    I love how people bash Sony or any other company when they are hacked but as soon as Blizzard gets hacked it's "Yeah, it's bound to happen. It's alright."


    4-7 days is 6 times faster than 5 days?
    I was under the impression it took them about a month to actually come clean?
  1. Pickynerd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    Now we know why 16 mil users accessed their battle.net accounts this last month XD
    Rofl... /sigh... Probably true...
  1. Narthul's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Backoffpup View Post
    Ugh, what an inconvenience. Thanks blizzard for letting us know. <3
    That was sarcasm, right? Right?

    Your security sucked (somewhere, somehow) and undoubtedly a very large number of email addresses was stolen. But you told us, so thank you Blizz!!

    And yes, that thank you is sarcasm.
  1. Remilia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerraw View Post
    I was under the impression it took them about a month to actually come clean?
    Here you go.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/22680..._timeline.html
    So, 4 days.

    If there's a hack, why is battle.net still up?
  1. schippie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Remilia View Post
    Here you go.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/22680..._timeline.html
    So, 4 days.

    If there's a hack, why is battle.net still up?
    Since unlike sony this leak has already been closed. Whereas sony took over a monthy to fix there stuff.
    And it took sony not 4 days >.> it took them 7 days to openly admit something happend.
    Besides that point sony new they were in deep trouble since nothing was properly encrypted so all the sensitive data was up for grabs without any sort of protection at all. Blizzard in this case has protected it probably with a hash encryption using the SRP protocol. And no names, credit card information etc where lost as it looks now.
  1. Remilia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by schippie View Post
    Since unlike sony this leak has already been closed. Whereas sony took over a monthy to fix there stuff.
    And it took sony not 4 days >.> it took them 7 days to openly admit something happend.
    Besides that point sony new they were in deep trouble since nothing was properly encrypted so all the sensitive data was up for grabs without any sort of protection at all. Blizzard in this case has protected it probably with a hash encryption using the SRP protocol. And no names, credit card information etc where lost as it looks now.
    Far as I know, Sony did state that their password was hashed.

    Also, first thing when they realized that they were hacked from day 1, whether or not they actually had something compromised, they should have taken the server offline. This is the most basic thing you should do in all cases. Afterwards its scrubbing.
  1. Tharkkun's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nogard64 View Post
    haha last summer I was hacked, I was playing on a brand new computer, win 7 64bit. Haven't even had time to surf porn and get trojans and malware.

    I suspected there was a compromise at Blizzards end, because no matter how much the blizzard Fan-BEEPS (can't even use that word) defend blizzard, they are not invincible.

    About the same time last summer watched as other people also get hacked at the same time as me.... 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??????

    yeah sure put my tin foil hat back on right, you DELUSIONAL blizzard FAN-BEEPS!
    Out of the box with SP1 Windows 7 has close to 100 security updates (windows updates). You plug it in with no firewall by default without updating immediately and you'll be hacked.

    Same goes for XP. There's over 250 security fixes since SP3. You will compromised in less than a minute if you plug into the internet without a firewall. There are compromised machines scanning networks non-stop.

    ---------- Post added 2012-08-10 at 09:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by -Dalliah- View Post
    I love how people bash Sony or any other company when they are hacked but as soon as Blizzard gets hacked it's "Yeah, it's bound to happen. It's alright."


    4-7 days is 6 times faster than 5 days?
    It took Sony 18 days to disclose the issue and they still hadn't patched the security breach. When the PSN network came back online, they were still vulnerable.
  1. Drilnos's Avatar
    Blaming Blizzard for this is like blaming a bank for getting robbed. It looks to me like they are handling it well. Neither I nor any of my guildies have been hacked since the 4th, and I have not noticed any evidence of a hacking epidemic on my realm or in the forums. Granted this is anecdotal, but if there was a truly catastrophic breach and Blizzard's security team were a bunch of bumbling idiots, I think there would have been at least some noticeable effect within five days.
  1. mmochamp7280's Avatar
    this isn't the first time this has happened
    when they started offering authenticators
    they had just hired 2 people who specialized
    in dealing with internal fraud. all the evidence suggests that an employee was selling
    information and blizz covered this up while generating 70% profit on every authenticator
    they sold

    this is common, happens to all businesses eventually and contrary to popular belief, nobody has to tell you

    http://daeity.blogspot.com/2010/07/w...know_1916.html

    the fact that they volunteered this info means it's a pretty huge breech
  1. Inora's Avatar
    looks like Blizzard had no Authenticator - they should buy one^^
  1. Seegtease's Avatar
    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.
    Yeah, Blizzard, and any other major companies who have been hacked are obviously full of incompetent fools, since they got hacked. They certainly don't have any training in network security. Blizzard should have had a drool cup.

    But since you seem to be the pro when it comes to this, why don't you get a job there and fix their systems so they will never get hacked again? I'm sure they'd pay you well. Oh, you couldn't? That's a shame.
  1. Bahska's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Narthul View Post
    That was sarcasm, right? Right?

    Your security sucked (somewhere, somehow) and undoubtedly a very large number of email addresses was stolen. But you told us, so thank you Blizz!!

    And yes, that thank you is sarcasm.
    If you don't want that to happen don't use the internet. Cause at some point no matter what service you use there will be a security breach its just a matter of time.
    If there is money to be made someone will figure it out.

    So emails were stolen what does that do? they cant get into your account all they can do is spam you maybe you can try not clicking the key logger link?
    It was obviously pretty good security if the hacker got into there system yet didn't actually get much (Im sure the hacker thought he had more than he actually did)

    If you look at other recent company's for example Sony or the worse but not as well known Valve breach. You know it took Valve 4 weeks to tell people that there credit card info was "probably" stolen? lol
  1. Pyridoxine's Avatar
    How long has this compromise been in place? How many accounts have been compromised because of this neglect of Blizzard Entertainment?

    Back in August of last year my account was hacked while being inactive for 6 months. I immediately got my account unbanned and noticed there was no time on my account which would make it impossible for someone to log in. Blizzard INSISTED that my end was compromised and not theirs. Regardless of the fact that my Mac, that I play on, is clean of any viruses and I use WPA2 Enterprise wireless security at home. After sending them pictures of my account being logged in after it was banned and calling them multiple times the only thing I would get is the generic "It's your fault" response. Any who this entire ordeal took a month to fix, due to some problem with our Guild Bank being inaccessible to everyone in the guild.

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