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Cataclysm Beta Phishing June 15, 2010

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, entertainment, World of Warcraft.
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4 comments

After months and months of daily phishing attempts involving account security issue ploys, something new dropped into my mailbox this morning.

world of warcraft: Cataclysm Beta Test Invitation!

Get those opt-ins ready for the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm closed beta! The sundering of Azeroth is nigh, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold of Northrend when you could be enjoying the sun-drenched beaches on the goblin isle of Kezan. To ensure you’re opted-in and eligible as a potential candidate, you’ll need a World of Warcraft license attached to your Battle.net account, have your current system specifications uploaded to the Battle.net Beta Profile Settings page, and have expressed interest through the franchise-specific check boxes.

Get the Installer – Log in to your Battle.net account : [bogus URL]

Enjoy the game!

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Yes, the new lure, which I am sure we will see much more of, is an invite to the Cataclysm beta!

Official Logo!

And, as is so often the case, the best lies are the ones that have the most truth in them.

The phishing attempt is correct, the way you get into the beta is to opt-in via your Battle.net preferences.  Then it tries to sucker you with the promise of the download if you’ll just log in… and the URL sends you to a bogus site that will no doubt record your account information and give you a “server busy” message or some such until you go away.

And then you might end up having to file a request for removal of an unauthorized authenticator.

So be wary.  Read the Blizzard account security page and only attempt to log in at the sites they list.  Everything else is likely a scam.

Pokewalker Washout June 15, 2010

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in DS, entertainment, Nintendo, Pokemon.
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5 comments

There are relatively few instructions provided for the care of the pokewalker device that comes with Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.

The biggest picture on the guide… in fact the only picture on the guide… that comes with the pokewalker indicates that you should not immerse the device in water.

How not to clean your pokewalker

Okay, the message is a little confused.  I mean, the picture seems to indicate that you should place the pokewalker in the washing machine, a sentiment backed up by the phrase “Do Not Wash” which is inside a circle with a line through it.  In symbol logic, that means you should wash the pokewalker, right?

The peril of ending up with a double negative when trying to emphasize something I suppose.

Anyway, despite that, the message was clear: Don’t dunk your pokewalker.

My daughter’s pokewalker had gone unseen for a few days, as things of hers have a habit of doing.  No big deal.  These things always turn up.

Unfortunately, this time the pokewalker turned up in the washing machine.  My wife was emptying it and there, on the bottom, was the little red and white device.  A pokewalker full of water.

Wet Walker

Those lines you see on the screen, those are pockets of water that managed to work their way through the device.  The thoroughness of modern, front loading washing machines!  (Yes, that link goes to our model of washing machine.  It is a wonderful machine and you can play music with the setting buttons!)

I took the back off, removed the battery, and tried to see if I could take it apart to dry it out.  I was thwarted in this effort by some special tri-wing screw head, for which I do not have the appropriate tool.  So the pokewalker sits still out in the kitchen, water sloshing around in its display.

And while you can recover the Pokemon that was in the pokewalker, should something happen to it (my daughter was very concerned about this, but it is covered on page 52 of the HeartGold/SoulSilver instruction booklet) we were still down a device.

Nintendo, who obviously could foresee this eventuality, given their guide, allows you to purchase a replacement pokewalker through the Nintendo parts store online.  The device plus standard shipping runs to $15.

Since my daughter separated her own laundry and had been reminded to turn things right-side out and to check pockets, the incident was deemed to not be covered by the Daddy Universal Insurance plan.  She has to buy a new pokewalker out of her own money.

Of course, before you feel sorry for her, she just lost another baby tooth.  Proceeds from the tooth fairy, grandparents, aunts, and the like will more than cover the cost.  In fact, I had to break a double sawbuck for her.

Anyway, a new pokewalker should be headed our way soon.  In the mean time, check your pockets before you wash your clothes.

Blizzard Authenticator: New Tool for Bad Guys June 15, 2010

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, entertainment, World of Warcraft.
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16 comments

The Blizzard Authenticator is one method of making your World of Warcraft more secure.

Rather than depending on just user name and password to keep your account secure, the authenticator provides a code, which changes every 30 seconds, to put in as part of the logon process.  You just press the button, get your six digit code, enter it, and complete logging on.  Even if somebody has a keylogger on your account, the code is only valid for a very short period of time, so breaking into your account is made just that much more difficult.

Some Blizzard Authenticators

This is all good news for you, if you opt for the authenticator, either the key fob version or the mobile authenticator that can run on your phone. (It is not just for iPhones any more.)

On the other hand, if you don’t use the Blizzard authenticator, the hackers now have another tool in their arsenal to help them take over your account.

One of the stickied responses over in the Blizzard Support forum relates to how to request the removal of an unauthorized authenticator.

It seems that the hackers have bought into the authenticator scheme and now, when they hack your account they lock you out by putting their authenticator on your account.  Now you’re really stuck, since you cannot do anything with your account without the authenticator once it has been enabled.

And judging from the number of requests in the forums, this is happening quite a bit.

So beware of phishing email scams and the like, there are a lot of them going around.  I get at least one a day and often more.  Blizzard has a their own page on account security that lists out the only legitimate sites where you should enter your password.

As they say, two steps forward, one step back.