I have had several posts up of late about accounts being compromised and phishing attempts I have received, all revolving around World of Warcraft.
It seems like a huge issue. But I have four accounts that belonged to friends compromised in the last few months (one of which was a double, two accounts with different user IDs and passwords compromised) and I get more than one WoW related phishing email per day, so it is something that is up in my face.
And things close to you gain exaggerated importance.
For example, that the police blotter in the local paper has shown that burglaries are up in my town has registered with me. The unemployment rate is 12% in California these days, and that sort of thing is a sign of hard times. But the fact that the house across the street was broken into suddenly makes it a serious issue.
So the fact that I have been close to a number of cases makes WoW account security seem like a big deal.
But the fact that I seem to be hearing a lot about WoW does not mean that WoW is the only one having this sort of problem.
On the other hand, I have seen almost nothing about account security issues when it comes to other MMOs. Once in a while something comes up around EVE Online. And there was that story back in July where somebody was phishing for EverQuest II accounts, which was notable mostly due to the fact that is was somebody other than Blizzard being targeted.
Certainly I haven’t seen any other MMO developers offer anything like Blizzard’s Authenticator for account security.
Plus, when it comes to phishing, the ratio of WoW to everything else is something on the order of 500 to 1.
For a while I was getting an Aion phishing email about once a month, but I haven’t seen one in a few months now. I also got phished for Star Trek Online and Warhammer Online a couple of times, but both games it was back at the product launch, and I haven’t seen anything since.
I think I got a phishing attempt for EverQuest II a few years back, but I wouldn’t swear to it in court.
And I have never seen any phishing emails related to Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Runes of Magic, or any of the SOE games besides EverQuest II.
This isn’t to say that I do not believe that each game gets their share of account security calls. People do goofy things all the time. People share accounts, fall out, and issues arise. We even had our own account security issue at my house with Club Penguin a while back.
But there does not seem to be the same sort of concentrated external effort to compromise and steal accounts in other games the way there is in World of Warcraft.
Or, maybe there is, but I am just not aware of it.
Is this happening to other games? Is there enough money to be made in other MMOs to draw attention to them in this fashion, even if it is in proportion to the relative subscriber base?
And what is current “next big MMO” Star Wars: The Old Republic planning to address this sort of thing?