Thankfully, not me, but a good friend of mine from way back in my start in MMO gaming. It's the holidays, and I don't remember seeing much of him, but then, noone has really been on a whole lot lately. Pie>WoW, after all. So, late, late last night, verging on early this morning, my hubby is hanging out in our Ventrilo server with a friend who only can play while his family is unconcious, and another who like to hang out late night, just because he can. Graham mentions that my friend is on, and that he is in the Shadow Labyrinth. He says he tried talking to him in guild chat, then in whispers, but all he got in response to "How are you?" was "hi". I was just getting ready to turn in from a long session at Rock Band, soloing my way to stardom (who needs a stinkin' band anyway?), when he said this, so I logged in to see what I could do.
It started out with the obligatory, "Hey man, how are you tonight?", which, after several minutes, I finally got a "hi"back from. My friend is no one word wonder. He is intelligent, and knows how to carry a conversation. So I shoot back,"What, don't you know how you are tonight?". This time the reply is much faster,"?". I know I am definitely not dealing with my friend, so the whispers stop. I go to the guild page, and remove him from the guild. Oh, that sparks more than a single character response! But it is garbled. Almost as if someone was typing in their native tongue into a Babelfish type translator. I reply to the idea of "Why did you kick me from the guild? Can I come back now?" with,"Until the owner of this account logs into the ventrilo server and asks to be reinstated, no.". Then I open a ticket. Now, I know in the past there really hasn't been much the GM department can do of suspected hacking, but
I figured, it was worth the time it took to type out. As I waited for an answer back, I grabbed my friends e-mail address from the site contact list and sent him an explanation. In retrospect, I should have marked it URGENT! I'm going to do that now....
Alright, task accomplished. Now, today when I logged in, my ticket had been escalated. Still no more than the "we have flagged the account" kind of action. But, better than nothing. Hey, if it gets caught fast enough, my friend could very well be a wealthy man!
On a slightly similar note, A level 74 of the Horde faction was yelling in Dalaran today, in rather garbled engrish,"Port to Shaatha, 5 gold, hurry!" or something along those lines. Sounds like another hacker. Believe it was a shaman. Not surprisingly this comes so shortly after Blizzard warned everyone in a game wide in game mail to do what you can to make your information secure.
Authenticators are inexpensive. Less expensive yet are the safeguards you can employ, for free, to keep your passwords safe. Run a not so ordinary browser, like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. Block Java and scripts from sites unless you are 100% sure they are safe. Keep your information to your own computer ONLY...you don't know where those other computers have been! And, for heaven's sakes, don't buy gold or use leveling services! The price you pay up front is only a small amount of the cost.
I'm anxious. No new word from Blizzard or my friend. I have to log into game now. Please, heed this piece of advice. Lock your system up tight!