Its been happening a lot lately, and now according to BBC News, it has hit the Gaming empires once again, and this time Blizzard. The problem with this is that they did not only get access to the world’s largest MMORPG, World of Warcraft, but they gained access to the soon to be World’s Largest MMORPG, Diablo III.
Blizzard have admitted that over a million people have been affected after an email list was obtained by hackers. The usual protocol is in effect; “Change your password immediately”.
Blizzard told the world about the hack in this post on their Battle.net site.
They stated that as of yet it was not confirmed whether or not any credit card details were obtained during the hack. These are usually stored in a secure format and redone as hashes, such as in MD5, however for some reason big companies seem to enjoy having usernames and passwords stored in normal text format, so once they are obtained they can simply be read and then used to gain access to the accounts. The other issue that lies with a hack such as this is that people use the same passwords for other things. Email addresses were gained with the leak, so that means if you use the same password on your Battle.net account that you do on Facebook for example, then both can be access, so it is recommended that if you have a Battle.net account and do use the same passwords on anything else, you go round and get them changed, especially if they are obvious targets for hackers such as Gmail, and social networking sites.
Some passwords in the North America region have apparently been scrambled, so the hackers will have a hard time being able to unscramble them if ever possible. It is unlikely this applies to the entire world, as well as older accounts.
Infomation about the Security Questions and Answers was also leaked, so it has been recommended that they are changed too.
Blizzard has stated that the passwords will not be leaked, so lets hope they are not one of this big companies who have been storing them in text format, and that the whole world has actually been protected from this hacking attempt.
It is also worth noting that you stay clear of phishing emails. This hacking attack has caused a whole new wave of them to be sent, claiming to be from Blizzard and requesting that you change your passwords due to the hack. If you click these links, you go to a site that looks the same, but will steal your information as soon as you type it in, and even install malware onto your computer system when you access the site. It is much wiser to go directly to battle.net and login, and then change your password from there to avoid and confusion with this scamming emails.