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Joystiq's WoW Insider Puts On Fanboy Goggles, Claims Diablo 3 Public Games Are Safe
Well folks, the vitriol from the Blizzard forums have almost reached critical mass. Essentially, a lot of newbs bought the game, logged in, played for a bit, left, logged back in, found out all their stuff is gone and have become pissed.
The typical internet response is in favor of Blizzard, "Consumers should know that the internet isn't safe", that's fine and dandy but the last couple of games I bought with multiplayer didn't require authenticators and getting "hacked" never crossed my mind. Then again, every game I've bought allowed you to play single-player offline, which isn't an option in Diablo III.
The silly part about this whole thing is that WoW Insider, part of the Joystiq network, is rushing to Blizzard's aid. I came across the article thinking they uncovered some amazing thing about what's really going on. Some official response from Blizzard. Instead, it's just reiterating the company-safe responses from forum moderators with zero evidence whatsoever.
The article on WoW Insider points to Diablo III public games being safe from potential intrusions. They claim that "man in the middle attacks" or account spoofing is practically impossible because, well, some mod on the Blizzard forum said so, despite people still being hacked, even right now.
Now there have been many times where we reported on comments made by moderators, from Valve to EA. However, the difference is that in this case there is a security breach, vital end-user information is being obtained and Blizzard has never once explicitly explained how these attacks are taking place or what their procedures are. In some cases Blizzard has even confirmed they have no idea how the malicious attacks took place.
Plain and simple: at-risk consumers deserve to know.
When vital user information is at risk and all you're doing is logging into a game to play it, I think it requires more than just soothing words from a blue-text wielding forum moderator, who is obviously trying to keep the consumer flames low and the company execs pleased.
Joystiq's claim that public games are not hazardous in Diablo III points to this Battle.net thread as a measure of quelling misinformation and allegations, mostly fuelled from the Eurogamer article and the Examiner article, both cases which have yet to receive any kind of public resolve.
It's nice WoW Insider wants to play knight in shining armor, but if you have no clue how the hack attacks/account compromises are working, or how accounts are being infiltrated, why would you jump to the side of the publisher when they haven't revealed anything yet and consumers are still having their accounts breached? We don't know how the accounts were compromised, and it's ranged from keyloggers, to brute force allegations, to claims that it was because of vicious malware.
All of Blizzard's defenses completely deflect blame from themselves, which would be fine, but again, they have yet to reveal how the accounts were breached, and with consumers continually -- even to this very moment (check the D3 forums if you dare) -- claiming their accounts are being infiltrated it's highly unwise to simply take a less precautionary method to playing a game where eventually real-money will be attached.
I understand everyone enjoys being a fanboy for a company, but in this business where the consumer (and potentially their real-life money) is clearly at risk, Blizzard should be held under the utmost scrutiny until this situation is resolved. As Rock, Paper, Shotgun mentioned, keep shouting at Blizzard until you get a response and until it can be guaranteed, by fact, that you are secure DO NOT JOIN PUBLIC GAMES.
Update A previous post said that the editorial was published by Joystiq. In fact, it was written by WoW Insider, one of the blogs within the Joystiq network of blogs. The body and headline of this article has been edited to reflect this.
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