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Blizzard's hacked, millions affected

Blizzard suffers data breach of account details, potentially affecting millions.

Millions of individuals have had their personal details compromised following an attack on video game developer Blizzard's account management service

The creator of games such as StarCraft, World of Warcraft and Diablo has urged all individuals in North America with accounts to change their login detail immediately.

Although there is no evidence that any confidential information, such as credit card details or billing addresses, was taken during the attack, which was discovered on August 4th.

"Our investigation is ongoing, but so far nothing suggests that these pieces of information have been accessed," said Blizzard co-founder and president Mike Morhaime.

However, it has been confirmed that email addresses and encrypted passwords of global users (except for account holders in China) were accessed through the internal network by the perpetrators. Answers to personal security questions and Mobile and Dial-In Authenticator data of North American accounts, which include players from Latin America, south-east Asia and Australasia, were also obtained.

"Based on what we currently know, this information alone is NOT enough for anyone to gain access to accounts," Mr Morhaime added.

A cryptographically scrambled list of North American accounts was also taken, but due to the effectiveness of the security technique, it is very hard to unscramble.

In a blog post about the attack, Paul Ducklin, researcher at security firm Sophos, explained that the data breach is probably not the end of the world, although it is "painful". He assured users by saying the way that Blizzard keep confidential information means that the impact the thief can cause is limited.

"We take the security of your personal information very seriously, and we are truly sorry that this has happened," Mr Morhaime concluded.

This episode will no doubt bring more criticism to Blizzard for making games like Diablo III only playable by accessing the internet, despite the fact the game can be an entirely single-player experience.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801426818-ADNFCR