Blizzard Entertainment’s update to the mega-popular Diablo game franchise hit a major snag over the weekend, after users started peppering support boards and the company with reports of raided accounts, missing virtual “gold” and mysterious new friends.
The reports began on Saturday, just four days after the new game was released to ravenous fans who made the game the most pre-ordered game title in history. Hundreds of users have registered complaints about raided accounts and the theft of hard-won virtual goods in forums on Blizzard’s Battle.net gaming site. Many report being the victims of account takeovers while they were online, suggesting that hackers may be taking advantage of a vulnerability in Blizzard’s software or Battle.net gaming platform.
Online forums on Blizzard’s Battle.net online gaming site soon filled with comments from players in the U.S. and Europe. One, titled “I lost all my money and items?” logged hundreds of comments from Diablo III users whose accounts were pilfered, often while they were online playing.
Comments left on Sunday from a player using the handle “Tactics” were common.
“I was playing with 2 friends and we all got disconnected, as it happens once and a while. After we logged back in, I got booted out of the game by a duplicate login. I’m not sure of the order of when this happened, but I got an email around this time (phone notification) and didn’t pay any mind to it. It was a notification about my password being changed.”
Others have called out a number of suspicious user accounts added to their list of Diablo III friends after they regained control of their account.
“SOME GUY NAME leiyong IS IN MY FRIENDS LIST. IT’S A HACKER ALRIGHT,” a user with the handle Silversoul wrote on Sunday.
Blizzard has posted generic information for Diablo III users to regain control of their account, but has not addressed the specific attacks against their newest game. However, the company took its gaming servers offline on Sunday for around four hours, according to a report on Eurogamer.net, whose editor Chris Donlan was the victim of an account takeover on the game.
Blizzard offers its users an Authenticator application for an additional factor to prevent account takeovers.