Posted on January 31, 2008, Chris Square Enix Responds to Final Fantasy XI Account Phishing
Recently, a fairly large number of Final Fantasy XI players have been causing a fuss over their game accounts being stolen. As someone who had his Diablo 2 account hacked and looted (three accounts, in fact.. with quite a lot of level 90+ characters… but I digress), I know how awful it is to lose something that you’ve invested so much time and effort in. Of course, it pales in comparison to any losses suffered in real life, but in the gaming world, it’s tragic.
Not satisfied with the ‘Special Task Force Report’ posted on PlayOnline’s website, 1UP’s resident hardcore FFXI enthusiast, James Mielke, hunted down Square Enix Global Online Producer Sage Sundi and North American Online Producer Yasu Kurosawa for some answers that go beyond the copy/paste PlayOnline statement.
1UP: People are all nervous that their accounts, which have been vulnerable to keylogging programs, are at risk. Besides the blanket statement that SE issued shortly after a virus was discovered on FFXI fansite somepage.com, what can you say to reassure gamers that their log-in info is safe?
Square Enix: We understand that several players have had accounts compromised recently. As announced earlier, we have already begun working to return the compromised accounts to the rightful owners. Also, for the numerous callers that previously reported similar matters to us, it is now possible for us to return the accounts to them as well. We will also continue to work with our community to ensure that issues, such as the somepage.com fansite incident, are addressed.
1UP: Would you say that one effective precaution would be to check FFXI-related info sites on a separate computer than the one used to play FFXI?
SE: Although this would be an effective precaution it may not be feasible for all users. We recommend that only trusted sites are visited, such as those listed on our Community Sites link, as well as ensure that the latest virus protection software is installed and active. Please remember, however, that Square Enix cannot ensure that any websites not owned and controlled by Square Enix are 100% protected from malicious hackers.
1UP: Lastly, what sort of security advice do you have for players concerned about future login-info hacking.
SE: Again, we recommend that only trusted sites are visited and that the latest virus protection software is installed and active while browsing the internet. If you feel that a site is phishing for your user information or is installing malicious software on your machine please report it to us at https://secure.playonline.com/supportus/index.html
They confirmed that players on Xbox 360 and PS2/3 aren’t at risk, and this only is something PC players have to worry about. Read the full interview over at 1UP for more information regarding the situation, and just ensure that you’re careful with what websites you visit.