WOW bandits and dragons Auction House
The Auction House Web app is now up and running again, but the mobile app remains offline. “At this time we have no reason to believe that accounts currently using an authenticator are at risk,” wrote Blizzard in its latest forum update.
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Adventurers in the online game “World of Warcraft” generally have to worry about bandits and dragons, but their most dangerous threat this week comes in the form of gold-hungry hackers. By exploiting the Web and mobile applications for the game’s Auction House (which allows players to buy and sell items), malefactors have stolen millions of gold pieces, but players who use two-step authentication are relatively safe.
For those who have somehow avoided almost every form of pop culture for the last decade, “World of Warcraft” is a massively popular online game from developer Blizzard that casts players as heroes in an intricate high fantasy world. As players complete quests and triumph over mythical beasts, they gather in-game gold pieces, which they can use to buy supplies and equipment.
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An authenticator is a piece of mobile software that users can install to give their Blizzard accounts two-step verification. Each time a user attempts to log into a Blizzard game, he or she must fill out a secondary code that gets sent to a mobile device.
The mobile Auction House should be back up within a few days, users lost no real money and Blizzard will probably restore players’ lost gold. As hacks go, this was on the fairly harmless end of the spectrum, but if hackers have figured out a way around two-step verification, “World of Warcraft” may be in for bigger problems in the future.
Even this measure may not protect the Auction House hack victims, though. Abidah was quick to point out that he did use an authenticator, and still lost hundreds of thousands of gold pieces. However, his settings required secondary authentication only once a week instead of for every login.