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. Chronalis's Avatar
    Regardless of what's happened, this is a good time to change your password. Better to be safe than sorry. You shouldn't be doing this, but if you're using it for anything else, change it, change them all, and then use different passwords. That's generally good advice anyway, but now is a good time to bring it up again.

    One thing to remember is that everywhere you create an account is a potential weak spot. If the database of a site is accessed, it's very easy to perform a "dump" of the database which gives the attacker access to everything. In the event this isn't possible, copy+paste or saving the page itself usually works and printscreen certainly will (along with basic OCR software to extract values). If you're using the same password across multiple services, and one of those services get's hacked, then you're pretty SOL. All those random forums you register on, each one is potentially a point they'll access. This is why it's important to use unique passwords, or even a tiered system that's both secure and easy to remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neteyes View Post
    Incoming large amounts of phishing emails to your WoW email accounts... Crap.
    I'm not worried. They're all too obvious and i'm completely oblivious to the existence of any of them in my mail as it is. I only scroll past them to mark them as read (as it can be done with a single key and as such i don't have to stop being lazy to mark them).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tauror View Post
    The attacks are from Mars.

    Sneaky sneaky Curiosity.
    I see what you did there, but i retort with this; blog.cloudflare.com/mars-attacks
    So really, the attacks COULD be coming from "Mars" (though the definition of that isn't what you'd automatically assume).

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadanon View Post
    They got enough to bombard you with emails and fake battlenet sites to get the password.
    Bombard me with as many email as they want, my junk folder feeds on fail. It's starting to grow limbs, starting to mobilize, and almost has it's own sense of self-awareness. It sometimes wake up at 3am from the sound of it nomming on new spam mail. And just to clarify, brute forcing the passwords doesn't work against any system where there's a timer-based lockout and dynamic keys in play (which is a fairly simple system to design, difficult to protect, but extremely difficult to crack). If they get lucky and crack it before the lockout occurs (e.g. the first 3-5 attempts), then that's another story, but the chance of that is ridiculously low.

    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.
    Not to mention that saying it right away before they've fixed it up and/or brought in law enforcement could have 2 implications;
    - Let's the world know they have a vulnerability
    - Gives the attackers more time to cover their tracks

    It's not really to be all "Let's try and hide it from people", but more as a precaution on several levels.
  1. TOM_RUS's Avatar
    Good job for hackers who did that
  1. Scubascythe's Avatar
    The implications of this are huge.

    Your blizzard account may be safe for now but this opens a huge potential security risk for certain people.

    They obtained your email address and secret question answer. If you use the same email address and similar question/same answer on ANY other website, you're opening yourself up to be hacked.

    Go change security questions+answers now on other websites.
  1. Sensa's Avatar
    5 freaking days before they notified their players that their accounts were compromised...pathetic and irresponsible
  1. Halidax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sensa View Post
    5 freaking days before they notified their players that their accounts were compromised...pathetic and irresponsible
    It took Cryptic more than a year to even realize they got hacked, and longer to notify their players. Welcome to the internet. Its all pathetic and irresponsible.
  1. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sensa View Post
    5 freaking days before they notified their players that their accounts were compromised...pathetic and irresponsible
    I hardly ever say this on a forum, let alone Real Life, but... geez take a chill pill. Five days is actually pretty dang good, especially compared to other significant security breaches with other companies in the past.

    And of course they'd fix security first. Think about it: Would you announce to the world that you've got a hole in security that is still open? If you did, they may as well just say "Come on in, we want all the hackers in the world to basically rape us of our data."

    Sounds stupid, doesn't it?
  1. Zauber's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sills View Post
    Love the openness here. No sugar coating, no diverting the issue. Blizz is straight up with us about the issue and what we can do to protect ourselves. As a consumer, I really appreciate this. Authenticators ftw indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tauror View Post
    This is how a company should handle with a hacking problem, be completely honest with their consumers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elynis View Post
    Thank you Blizz for being upfront and informative, most of us really do appreciate it
    Quote Originally Posted by sTyLnK View Post
    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.
    An example of true Faith for all you infidels out there. Amen.
  1. Aliok's Avatar
    Password Strength (site: xkcd.com)

    There y'all go.
  1. Prode's Avatar
    Love how alot of people choose to just line up reasons why there is nothing to fear.

    Get that, we are talking about changing a damn password/e-mail address. If you don't think this worths the 5 minutes in a situation like this then bear the possible consequences as well.

    Also think I just add this here too:
    People should get that "At this time, we’ve found no evidence" doesn't mean that no other information got hacked.
    (my experience shows that alot of people don't realize this)
  1. Franknol's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zauber View Post
    An example of true Blizzdrone
    Fixed for you
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Synthaxx View Post
    I'm not worried. They're all too obvious and i'm completely oblivious to the existence of any of them in my mail as it is. I only scroll past them to mark them as read (as it can be done with a single key and as such i don't have to stop being lazy to mark them).
    I find it amazing that they force us to use a mail address as user name and then fail to encrypt it, quite annoying even as I use a game account only mail for an added layer of security and it's now been spam free for 4 years+.
  1. Frostyfire14's Avatar
    Good thing my Debit Card was stolen 2 days ago, and cancelled the following hour after so. ^-^ (Sour bout the stolen' card tho) Only thing I'm worried about is the address tied to the card, but ehhh.
  1. Zoneseek's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by manniefaces View Post
    Everything eventually gets hacked change what you need to change and move on. Welcome to the interwebz.
    lol

    sorry gotta laugh, when this happened to Trion at the end of last year I read dozens of posts by people mocking them for being a crap company with bad security policies

    happens to blizzard - "eventually everything gets hacked, welcome to the interwebz"

    LOL jokes
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    Is this only happening in the US? I've changed my password just to be sure, but I'm EU
  1. Jaese's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gourmandises View Post
    Not that authenticators would have helped... they're easy hackable aswell
    You know nothing of RSA key fobs.
  1. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by McNeil View Post
    Is this only happening in the US? I've changed my password just to be sure, but I'm EU
    For EU, all you really need to worry about is seeing a sudden uptick in phishing e-mails in your inbox. Still, changing your password was a good cautionary action.
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alayea View Post
    For EU, all you really need to worry about is seeing a sudden uptick in phishing e-mails in your inbox. Still, changing your password was a good cautionary action.
    Yeah, we may never know if the hackers reach the EU aswell. They could be hacking me while I'm asleep. Which will be now, good night everyone!
  1. Zauber's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoneseek View Post
    sorry gotta laugh, when this happened to Trion at the end of last year I read dozens of posts by people mocking them for being a crap company with bad security policies
    Truth to be said, Trion actually did something back then and even now, I guess, apart from just informing to prevent account hacking
  1. Snoffa's Avatar
    Im srsly glad that my bank provide me with ecard instead of a physical card
  1. Masqerader's Avatar
    China Unaffected... can't imagine why...

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