Blizzard, developer of such popular brands of gaming such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo, is one of the most popular PC game companies. Its World of Warcraft MMORPG for instance still has nine million players that pay the company a monthly subscription fee to play the game.
A security update has been posted on the Blizzard website that is informing all customers of the company that it has discovered unauthorized and illegal access to its internal network. Blizzard noticed the break-in this week and has since then been working with security experts and law enforcement to investigate the hack.
According to the security update, the hackers managed to get their hands on the following data sets:
Investigators found no evidence that financial information, such as credit cards or real names, were compromised.
The attackers either were after North American user and account information, or managed to only get access to those. Since they managed to dump encrypted user passwords, it is likely that they have already started to use dictionary-based and maybe even brute-force attacks to decrypt those passwords.
Blizzard asks all North-American users to change their battle.net account passwords immediately to protect the account from unauthorized access. Users who have been using the same password on other services are asked to change the password at those web services to protect the accounts as well.
Blizzard lastly announced that it will prompt all players on North American servers to change their secret questions and answers in the coming days to block this way of accessing user accounts. The company furthermore will distribute an update for its mobile authenticator software.
Update: The attack was detected by Blizzard on August 4 according to a FAQ page.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.