One of the interesting announcements that came out of Sony Online Entertainment’s Fan Faire was the addition of two factor authentication options for your SOE Station Account.
Basically, you can have an authenticator just like Blizzard offers. (Or a an app for your smart phone at some point soon.)
I am sure there is something that could be said about this showing up more than two years after Blizzard made such a device available. But it could be that account hacking isn’t as big an issue at SOE as it is at Blizzard. The price of popularity.
And SOE is still ahead of most other companies on this front. I am surprised that CCP has not adopted this system for EVE Online yet.
The physical authenticator you can purchase (or could purchase if the Station Store was working) looks to be the same model of Vasco Digipass model that Blizzard uses.
Picture above “borrowed” from the EQ2 Wire article on the subject.
Since both companies appear to be using the same authenticator from Vasco with the same 10-digit number on the back, my first thought was about compatibility.
It sure would be nice if I could use just one authenticator across multiple games. SOE would get the same benefit, another user with a secure account, without having to ship me a unit that is probably a break-even proposition at best. And it would save me $10.
(SOE is selling them for $9.95 compared to Blizzard’s $6.95, which I am going to guess is based on the number of units each company ordered. Having an order of magnitude more users in the US gets you a discount I bet.)
However, the SOE Authenticator FAQ is unsurprisingly quiet on the subject of compatibility with Blizzard.
I guess I will just have to try registering my Blizzard authenticator on my Station Account to see. The 10-digit serial number might be generic across the Vasco product line… or it might be specifically tied to the authentication backend service SOE has licensed.
We shall see.
In further surprising proof that a wide range of people read this blog, I received a note from Will at VASCO Data Security, the makers of the authenticator fobs and the creators of the back end security infrastructure for them, regarding compatibility between SOE and Blizzard authenticators.
I can also state that the devices used by the different partners out there are currently not interchangeable. They are owned by their respective companies and there is currently no way for them to be shared between them.
That said, he does feel the pain of having to have multiple devices on hand.
As an avid gamer and a lover of security, the ability for one device to be used across multiple providers is something that I am strongly advising for and hopefully is something we will see soon.
See, gamers are everywhere.
And, he also added in that CCP has actually signed up to offer authenticators, something I totally forgot about.
I am happy to point out that CCP is also a VASCO customer and has also announced their usage of the DIGIPASS at their fan faire earlier this year.
He even provided a link to a video of the CCP Security session at their fan event which sparked the “Oh, yeah” moment for me.
Thanks to Will for this information!