Blizzard Entertainment has warned customers its internal network was breached. This exploit exposed user email addresses and the passwords (scrambled) of online gamers.
According to IDG News Service (courtesy Computerworld) hackers stole passwords, answers to secret security questions, and email addresses from customers across the globe, including users in North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia. Chinese-based accounts were not affected.
Additionally, some information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators was accessed.
Blizzard president and co-founder Mike Morhaime said that the company's security team found unauthorized access and "quickly" closed off the access and secured the network. The breach was discovered on August 4, 2012, and announced publicly on Aug. 9.
The passwords that were exposed had been scrambled using Secure Remote Password protocol (SRP), Morhaime explained, but recommends users change passwords as a precaution. The information taken is reportedly limited, and the personal information stored in Battle.net accounts is believed not to be accessible by the exploiters.
Blizzard Entertainment said in a statement on its website:
At this time, we’ve found no evidence that financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised. Our investigation is ongoing, but so far nothing suggests that these pieces of information have been accessed.
While the data compromised contains scrambled passwords that would be difficult to decipher, the company is advising users to change their passwords anyway. A concern is that users may receive phishing emails from the hackers trying to nab information from the email addresses that were exposed. Blizzard also warns users that may employ the same password across multiple sites to consider changing the passwords to those websites as well.
Currently, the company says it is working with law enforcement and security experts in an investigation.
"We take the security of your personal information very seriously, and we are truly sorry that this has happened," Morhaime wrote.
Blizzard has posted an FAQ section that answers additional questions about this data breach.
The company is the maker of popular online games such as World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft.