Archive for the “security” Category

A few days ago, a big red bar at the the top of my GMail reader informed me that somebody had accessed my GMail account from China. I was quite alarmed. Apparently, others have seen the same thing happen.

I’ve done a little digging and, while I don’t have a solution, I have some best practices you may wish to use.

  1. If you can block it, do so.
  2. Change your GMail password, but do it from a different PC than the one you normally use, such as your work PC, if your boss doesn’t mind.
  3. Change your WoW / BattleNet password. Let’s face it, the perps are most likely after your Professor Plums, to strip your account and sell its pieces to gold farmers working in sweatshops in Brooklyn or something. If you’re like me, it’s the only real asset tied to an email account. So protect it.  Also, change the password from a different computer – just in case!
  4. Get an authenticator. It’s seven bucks or something. Really! And if you have an iPhone or Android or any other number of smart phones, there’s an app for that, and it’s free. Doooo eeeeet.
  5. Install virus and malware protection. Ad-Aware is free. MicroSoft Security Essentials is free, and is actually rated highly by many in the know. Spybot Search and Destroy is free.
  6. Turn off your computer if you’re not using it. An idle IP-connected PC is the Devil’s workshop.

If the problem persists, you may also wish to disable any Firefox addons that access your gmail account directly. I’m not saying something’s fishy there, since when I updated them last and when the alert appeared were far apart in time, but you can never be too careful, and if doing that stops the problem, you have a starting point to troubleshoot.

If I knew for sure, I’d be certain to point fingers, but I’m not, so I’m just saying that this is a good place to look. I don’t want to sully the reputation of someone undeserving of such.

It’s been a few days, and so far I still have my stuff, and the notifications have stopped.


Good luck!

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We just had our third hack take place for the month.

After two guys got hacked, stripped, false authenticators attached to their accounts using stolen credit card accounts.


After all the bruhaha.

After Blizz made it part of the login process to see a notice about how aggressive hacks have gotten.

After all this, this guy, this raider guy, who has access to repair funds and guild bank, gets hacked.

Actual quote:

I’m a network security expert. I have a virus scanner. They must have hacked Blizzard.

That’s right. You got hacked, so it must be Blizzard that got haxxored, and after much fighting against the AI ICE programs, many which looked like Marlon Brando from Superman, they escaped Cyberspace with your credentials.

I mean …

Apparently, the above quote translates to:

Only idiots get authenticators. I’m too leet.


  • Just.
  • Get.
  • An.
  • Authenticator.
  • Please.

Or I will eat a kitten. I swear to Mammon.

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In the past week, we’ve had two accounts in our guild get hacked, four in the last month.  A lot of stuff that you would expect, happened. But there’s a new twist.

After they sell all your stuff off (including what you can get from the guild bank), and send your moniez off to some account no doubt in, shalwesay a galaxy far, far, away …. they keep you around to bot-farm. They don’t even gquit, at times.

And here’s the creepy part.  If you don’t have an authenticator – they get one for you, effectively locking you out of your own account.

We had one guy return from the dead – hadn’t been playing in months, and suddenly he was off farming in Storm Peaks. The GM called the guy up in Facebook chat and confirmed that he was still not playing.

His account had been reactivated and an authenticator bought so he couldn’t just call in to fix it.  Yes, the gold sellers are now paying to reactivate old accounts. They are using stolen credit cards to do so.

A few points I would like to present, in no particular order.

  • Inactive accounts should have all access removed by the GM.
  • If you see an inactive account go active, but the person won’t respond to gchat or /tell, be suspicious. If you have the means, contact that person in an alternate venue to find out what is going on with them.
  • If you have a phone with data service, chances are high that you have free access to an authenticator. Use it!  Don’t make people call you a newb!
  • If you don’t have access to a data phone, or just don’t like tying your WoW account to something you might lose, hork up 7 bucks for the authenticator itself. If you “can’t afford it”, take a month off from WoW to fund it. But dooo eeeet!
  • If you buy gold, you are funding these people, and are therefore part of the problem.

The most recent hacked account was active, and the owner caught them in the act. Even as he was talking to Mrs. Grimmtooth in guild chat, he received in the mail a Core Hound Pup.  He was lucky, he changed the PW before they got that attached.  But it was a close thing.

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Ever since we resumed after our short hiatus, Grimmtooth’s been doing all the raiding and I’ve been mostly taking a break – and we’ve been doing well.  Last week they took the first three bosses of ICC with little to no problem, but stalled on our progression boss.

Grimm’s been watching how the team performs and couldn’t help but think that he, being low DPS to the rest of the group, might be part of the problem. Saurfang is, after all, a DPS race more than anything.  So, we dropped him, dropped our holy priest, and he brought in his ICC-geared hunter and I took Grimm’s place.  That gave us an additional 1000 DPS, which is kinda like having two mages with Mirror Image up ALL THE TIME.

And he went down –  we even got the achievement for getting him down before we got two of those debuffs.

It was good to be back in the healing saddle again so as to not lose the touch. It’s even possible that I bring more to the table heal-wise than the other priest, but since there are no accurate meters for that, there’s no way to tell. Pure HPS he was ahead of me, but we all know how healing meters lie – even shiny new ones like Skada.


Last night, they introduced potential changes to priests in Cataclysm. I wish to share my thoughts on some, but not all.

  • [The new] Heal is intended to be the priest’s go-to direct-healing spell unless they need something bigger (Greater Heal) or faster (Flash Heal). That was already the case, but they did a bad job of it, and due to perversions of game mechanics, some of us don’t even touch the ‘heal’ family of spells except in corner cases.  For example, making lesser and greater heals consume equal resources is kinda dumb. Fix that or continue to see Disc priests do strange and daring things with the arsenal.
  • Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Dumbest. Idea. Ever. Let’s let alone whether or not it breaks aggro. Let’s not concern ourselves on whether its range is less or more than your healing ranges. The core concept is rescuing people from being stupid. If you’re a tank, I will die if I pull you. If you’re a DPS, JUST MOVE, KEH?, If you’re a healer, I might yoink you so I don’t have to do your job too, but otherwise this will never ever be on my action bar.
  • All HoTs and DoTs will benefit from Haste and Crit innately. I mostly like, but I have a question about whether the effectiveness will be reduced for higher frequency. Otherwise this looks like a Free Lunch, and there ain’t no such thing.
  • We want to bring back Shadow Word: Death as an “execute” — something you do when the target is at 25% health. Wanting isn’t doing. Make it happen, cap’n.
  • While we want to keep the priest’s role as a well-rounded healer, we also want to make sure the class is a viable tank healer, which is something priests moved away from a little in Wrath of the Lich King. EXCUSE ME?
  • Greater Heal will probably be the tank-healing spell of choice, though we’ve also discussed giving Discipline a second shield… – Something about a big shield for tanks, small shield for others. Listen … guys. I don’t shield people that don’t need it, and when they need it they really really need it. I won’t use a lesser shield any more than I’ll use Lesser Heal now, as things stand.
  • Mana will be a bigger consideration for all healers. We aren’t trying to make healing more painful; we’re trying to make it more fun. Because being impotent and useless at the end of a boss fight is my idea of fun, too.  Seriously, if one spec becomes better than another at mana regen or conservation, it will become the defacto standard. Period.
  • We want to improve Discipline’s single-target healing capacity. One key is to make sure shielding isn’t always a more attractive option than healing. Wanting ain’t doing … again. And, guys? Shielding is a trademark of this spec.  On the other hand it’ll make epeen meters easier to read.

Trying not to sound negative, here.  As before, the proof is in the pudding.  But mainly it looks like Discipline as we know it will be gone, and what we have learned in WotLK is mostly gone. Well, that is interesting, but I’d like to see improvement over reworking whenever possible. Reworking is kinda lazy.


Last night the sweetie’s account got suspended for spamming. She changed the password, but when she logged in, she was cleaned out, her toons deleted, and several new toons created on other servers. She may or may not bother to get Blizz to help her restore her account. I know the feeling – if the same happens to me, I might be tempted to call it quits, too. Meanwhile, I’ve ordered a couple of authenticators.  We’re pretty sure there’s no keylogger involved.

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When one is taking a break from the game, and is an officer in a guild, and has thousands of gold on his toons, and has an RSS link to his armory profiles because he is a vain motherfSHUTYOMOUTH, then this is exactly the sort of thing he doesn’t wan to see after a week and a day of not playing:

Grimmtooth@Alleria: There are no entries that match the filter parameters.

Well, what does that mean?


Let’s go look at my armory profile.

File Not Found

This character profile could not be displayed, possibly for one of the following reasons:
  • The character has been inactive for an extended period of time.
  • The character name was spelled incorrectly.
  • The profile is temporarily unavailable while the character is in the midst of a process such as a realm transfer or faction change.
  • Characters that have been deleted are no longer available on the Armory.

Now just a minute, there!

Quick email off to the GM to make sure I was demoted before the GB was despoiled (it wasn’t), and some thought about it, I decided to check a few other profiles that are NOT mine, and got the same thing.  So, it was a false alarm. The armory is glitching.

But BOY HOWDEE I am awake now.

Now, of course, instead of vanity, I can quote “security” as the reason I track my own achievements in RSS.

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