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August 10, 2012

Blizzard Hacked, Emails and secret question answers stolen


We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of kids and adults who’s WOW (World of Watercraft) accounts have been deleted, they go MENTAL. Now imagine that you’ve spend hundreds or even thousands of hours building numerous characters etc and then finding out that your security details may have been stolen and what that could mean for your account.

Earlier today, Blizzard announced some unsettling news for users. The company’s security team found evidence this week that a security breach took place.

While the team was able to quickly close off access and has already contacted law enforcement and security expert agencies for assistance, the company states that some information was compromised during the breach.

At this time, the company hasn’t found any evidence that sensitive financial information such as addresses, names or credit cards have been compromised, but the investigation is ongoing.

As for what was compromised, the company states: “Some data was illegally accessed, including a list of email addresses for global 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 accounts”.

In addition to the emails and secret question answers, Blizzard states that cryptographically scrambled passwords were also taken. But the company says passwords feature an additional layer of security using Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP), making it difficult for hackers to extract the actual passwords without having to decipher each password individually.

Regardless, it is still suggested that players on North American servers change their passwords on and any other accounts with the same password. As the investigation continues, Blizzard will prompt its North American players to change their secret questions and answers through an automated process.

For more information on the hacking, read Blizzard’s official statement here, along with the additional FAQ page they have on the breach.

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Ryan Oneill

Editor In Chief

BeginnersTech was an idea I had one Sunday when I was bored. It is now not only a website but a successful YouTube channel that takes me all over the world. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you. Chase those dreams.