Diablo 3 Accounts Hacked
They’re the bane of any massively multiplayer gamer, and give the lie to Blizzard’s intrusive, always-on DRM scheme: hacked accounts. Already reeling from Diablo 3′s launch issue backlash, the powers that be at the Irvine, CA company must have been dismayed to see forum posts popping up that told tales of disappearing gold and missing items. One not-too-bright hacker even managed to get into the account of Eurogamer writer Chris Donlan.
Blizzard, by way of community manager Bashiok, did their best to be apologetic:
We’ve been taking the situation extremely seriously from the start, and have done everything possible to verify how and in what circumstances these compromises are occurring…Despite the claims and theories being made, we have yet to find any situations in which a person’s account was not compromised through traditional means of someone else logging into their account through the use of their password.
The company also released an official statement:
We’d like to take a moment to address the recent reports that suggested that Battle.net and Diablo III may have been compromised. Historically, the release of a new game — such a World of Warcraft expansion — will result in an increase in reports of individual account compromises, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing now with Diablo III. We know how frustrating it can be to become the victim of account theft, and as always, we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to help our players keep their Battle.net accounts safe — and we appreciate everyone who’s doing their part to help protect their accounts as well.
Characters are being rolled back to restore missing loot, though this solution is not perfect. As Bashiok makes plain above, it pays to be very careful with your Battle.net password. Game Front contributor Jim Sterling speculated on Destructoid that the recent rash of hacking might involve Battle.net accounts that were compromised months ago and only now exploited. Keyloggers might also be in play. Regardless of the explanation for the recent issues, using Blizzard’s various authentication tools to ensure account security is probably a wise move.
The irony of this situation is pretty striking, however, given the aforementioned outrage about the game’s aggressive DRM policy. It also raises questions about the game’s controversial, real-money auction house, which is due to launch next week. Will Blizzard be able to protect people’s cash? The current, gold-only version of the auction house is currently down for maintenance, suggesting that Blizzard is putting some emergency security measures in place. We’ll keep an eye on the situation as it develops.