Like any industry, the world of video gaming is not without its high points and low points. At any given time, those with an interest in the industry will find themselves faced with not only the best of news, but also somewhat disappointing bits of information. This week seems to be littered with both the good and the bad, but as we know, it’s the bad news that sells; and it seems that even gaming moguls like Blizzard are none-to-immune. In an announcement made yesterday, the hot-shot developer made the public aware of an unauthorized access to their internal servers.
While there was no evidence that any financial information was amongst the compromised data (note: the company has yet to completely confirm the security of data such as credit cards, billing addresses, and the names attached to Blizzard accounts), Blizzard will be forcing all users to change their secret questions and answers. Despite this forced maneuver, Blizzard will simply be encouraging players to change their Battle.net passwords, as well as any accounts utilizing the same password. There seems to be little concern on the company’s part in regards to stolen passwords as the internal security utilizes an encryption method that is deemed “extremely difficult” to crack. In a post on Blizzard’s official site, the developer’s president Michael Morhaime states “this information alone is not enough for anyone to gain access to Battle.net accounts.
Blizzard is just one of many companies’s that have faced the wrath of malicious hackers in recent years. The most recent notable hack came at the misfortune of Playstation Network users worldwide. In April of 2011, Sony’s Playstation Network was the victim of a vicious intrusion that left many forced to file claims of fraudulent charges and cancel their credit and debit cards. The hack lead to an extensive downtime that hindered the launches of Mortal Kombat and SOCOM 4, but also rewarded Playstation 3 owners with their choice of free games and a free trial of the lackluster Playstation Plus. Amongst a list of the 11 worst online security breaches compiled by online tech website, Complex.com, the Playstation Network hack, which affected 77 million users, made the # 4 slot.
As with any online service, it is evident that online gaming is far from safe from the wrath of hackers. While Battle.net’s users may feel a little weary after this news, they can at least take comfort in knowing that they won’t have to go through the hassle of closing bank accounts, shredding debit cards, or even filing claims of identity theft. To prevent matters like this effective every aspect of your life, experts recommended using different passwords and user names for each site and avoiding having credit / debit card information stored by utilizing refillable or monthly access cards.