Blizzard Entertainment has informed gamers regarding a security breach in its gaming service, Battle.net.
The video game developer and publisher has notified players of World of Warcraft and Diablo III that hackers accessed email addresses and hashed passwords, but clarified that they do not contain financial information. Now it urges users to update their accounts and modify passwords.
According to Blizzard’s post on Battle.net, hackers infiltrated its North American servers, which cover several regions that include North America, Latin America, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Here’s a summary of the data that we know was illegally accessed:
North American-based accounts, including players from Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia
- Email addresses
- Answers to secret security questions
- Cryptographically scrambled versions of passwords (not actual passwords)
- Information associated with the Mobile Authenticator
- Information associated with the Dial-in Authenticator
- Information associated with Phone Lock, a security system associated with Taiwan accounts only
Accounts from all global regions outside of China (including Europe and Russia)
- Email addresses
However, Blizzard cleared the air by saying cryptographically hashed passwords, not plain text passwords, got stolen alongside personal user security questions. It firmly believes hackers will not have the ability to access accounts using that user information only.
Regardless of the mishap, the game developer has highly recommended that players of its games change their Battle.net passwords, together with all other similar passwords for other services.
Blizzard has shut down the unauthorized access and is now cooperating with authorities to hunt for the perpetrators.
Battle.net currently caters to millions of players, 10 million of which play on the World of Warcraft series.
Blizzard CEO/president/co-founder Michael “Mike” Morhaime apologized in an open letter addressed to players, saying,
We also know that cryptographically scrambled versions of Battle.net passwords (not actual passwords) for players on North American servers were taken. We use Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP) to protect these passwords, which is designed to make it extremely difficult to extract the actual password, and also means that each password would have to be deciphered individually. As a precaution, however, we recommend that players on North American servers change their password. Please click this link to change your password. Moreover, if you have used the same or similar passwords for other purposes, you may want to consider changing those passwords as well.
In the coming days, we’ll be prompting players on North American servers to change their secret questions and answers through an automated process. Additionally, we’ll prompt mobile authenticator users to update their authenticator software. As a reminder, phishing emails will ask you for password or login information. Blizzard Entertainment emails will never ask for your password.
We take the security of your personal information very seriously, and we are truly sorry that this has happened.
Morhaime said that the stolen encrypted passwords have Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP) protection, which he claims will make them very hard to crack.
Image: Juan Pablo Olmo via Flickr (CC)