Monday, 9 September 2013

Square Enix Final Fantasy XIV Accounts Security Warning

Last week I posted on How to keep your Final Fantasy XIV Online Account Safe & Secure

Today (9th Sept), Square Enix posted an urgent security warning concerning account security for the game. Confirming a "third party" was using account names and passwords, which they believe to have been obtained from security breaches of other companys' online services.

Square Enix's advice mirrors my own, setup and use their one-time password system, or ensure your password is unique to your Square Enix account

Since my post I have been asked... 
Why would anyone be interested in hacking gaming accounts like FFIX?

1. For the Money. Rare in game items, which it can take many hours of gameplay and luck to obtain, can be sold off in game auction houses for a great deal of game currency. Players over the course of time built up lots of such items and lots of in game currency (gold/gill), these rewards for sometimes hundreds of hours of gameplay have a value. This in game currency can be transferred out of the character/gaming account and then sold on for real currency online. Some gamers buy in game money from third party operators, this is already available in FF14, just google it. Typically $8 will buy you 100K gill (in game money), $500 will buy $6M, the latter allows you to operate a reseller, using the in game chat systems to sell it. Yes this is strictly against the game rules, but it goes on in every game of this type. The bottom line, access to your gamer account = Cash to the bad guy.

2. Good old fashioned Revenge. People piss other people off within the game, as a way of getting back at a player, some will try to hack other player's gamer account. If successful, they strip the character of items, steal all their gaming money, lock them out from playing, and even delete their character.

3. Personal data is always of value, names, home address, email address, DoB, account password, password reset question etc.

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