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Blizzard forum goers will soon no longer have to fear the dreaded internet troll.  (Source: Amazon.com)
Changes will first go into effect on Starcraft II forums, WoW forums likely next

Internet trolling charitably could be referred to as a pop culture phenomena.  People online seem often to develop proclivities for trying to get under each others' skin and in the most extreme cases a troll is born.

But trolls days of lurking around internet message boards may be limited -- at least if Activision Blizzard can help it.  The company, which makes the best-selling
 World of Warcraft and Starcraft franchise has announced that it will be forcing players to use their real names on online message boards.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
, will be the first game to enact the new rules when it releases on July 27.  Those changes will quickly be rolled out to other games -- likely including World of Warcraft, the world's most popular paid MMORPG, with over 11.5 million subscribers.

The company is offering players the option of putting their in-game handle next to their real world name.  However, it will not currently force players to do this.  It says that players choosing to do so will be helping to create a more positive environment.

It says the changes in generally should cut down on trolling and nasty behavior in the forums.  

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says such erasures of privacy are nothing new.  He points out that the world's largest social networking site, Facebook, recently switched to requiring real names, and that businesses are typically well within their rights to demand such provisions.  

That said, he said such moves are disappointing as part of the magic of the internet is anonymity and alter-egos.  He states, "Part of the fun of the online gaming would was the sense that you could construct a character different form who you were in the real world."



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RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By Lerianis on 7/7/2010 5:31:40 PM , Rating: 1
Did you ever think that the problem with having those accounts hijacked is that people are using too weak passwords that are EASILY guessed?
That is what the security officials in the world say it is from.

Putting your real name on these things is something that I will refuse to do (and it actually might be illegal to require that).

However, saying that Blizzard doesn't care about account security because of this goes way too far.


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By Reclaimer77 on 7/7/2010 5:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't say they "didn't care". They are simply not doing enough. And steps like this prove it.

I hate to sound like a doomsayer, but I fully expect to read a story one day about how some nutjob got someones home address because of this and did who-knows-what to them. It's happened before hasn't it??

quote:
Did you ever think that the problem with having those accounts hijacked is that people are using too weak passwords that are EASILY guessed?


Not all of them. That's simply not possible. You can't explain away the huge volume of compromised accounts with that. It even happened to me once, and I assure you my account isn't shared with anyone, my system is secure, and my password was impossible to "guess".

People might not be aware, but WoW Gold and Item selling is a million, maybe BILLION, dollar industry. These people are highly motivated, funded, and skilled in doing what they do. If it involves computers or networks, people WILL find a way in. It's that simple.


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By Myg on 7/8/10, Rating: 0
RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By Suntan on 7/8/2010 11:13:36 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
This can only be a good change.


Not really. Because it is entirely too easy for anyone with an index finger and the ability to spell “google” to see a large portion of your private life. Even parts of your private life that you may have no shame of, but you just do not want certain people to be aware of every detail.

My boss is close to 60. He likes to shoot animals and pull heavy loads with his oversized SUV. He has no understanding why anyone would ever want to play a video game, let alone talk about them on the internet, and if he knew I played video games, or did anything that wasn’t considered “manly”, I would receive less respect in the workplace and it could “unofficially” hurt my career, even though it occurs in my personal life and has no bearing on my professional life.

Now it’s easy to sit in your parent’s basement and think the world doesn’t work that way, or that my boss “sounds like a jerk” and I should just get a new boos. But the reality is that you portray different parts of yourself to acquaintances based on the relationship you have with them. Web archiving+easy searching of all that online data+easy way to link it to your real life relationships circumvent this social norm that has been around for centuries.

I think anyone posting anything on the internet that can easily be pulled up on google and linked to them is just asking for it to be unfairly used against them at some point in their life.

-Suntan


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By sviola on 7/8/2010 10:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I hate to sound like a doomsayer, but I fully expect to read a story one day about how some nutjob got someones home address because of this and did who-knows-what to them. It's happened before hasn't it??


Yup...recently a french nutjob who was stabbed in a CS match found out who was the player who stabbed him, went to his address and , surprisingly, stabbed him...

Oh the humanity...


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By rcc on 7/8/2010 11:04:11 AM , Rating: 2
Chalk a good percentage of it up to players stupid enough to fall for phishing attempts, or downloading keyloggers.

So, has anyone heard of an account with an authenticator being hacked? Just curious.


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By HostileEffect on 7/8/2010 8:19:01 PM , Rating: 1
I have indeed read about one incident where an account with an authenticator was hacked into, the computer has to be actively monitored for the authenticator code though. I don't know if the method was ever patched.

One incident still counts as successful.


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By zonkie on 7/8/2010 11:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'll start. My real name is Harry Whiteflanks


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By Proxes on 7/7/2010 5:54:16 PM , Rating: 3
By them forcing the display of real names this just gives hackers more information to use to gain access to accounts.

I don't use email addresses like luvs2spooge@hotmail.com as primary contact information. Mine is firstname.lastname@whatever.com.

So displaying my name is just one less thing they need. I don't even use my real name in facebook.

One of the CM posted his name on the board just so show everyone that it's not a big deal. Within 5 minutes people had his phone number, where he lived, and personal pictures. Blizzard had a policy of even the CM's real names showing, they've now changed that because of security concerns.

I think that part should have been mentioned in the article.

For people with common names that's not a big deal. My first and last name are common, but they are different enough to where being put together I'm almost 100% sure I'm the only person in the US with that name. My last name is common and a few actors have it but the spelling is different than the popular version.


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By Pjotr on 7/8/2010 7:14:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did you ever think that the problem with having those accounts hijacked is that people are using too weak passwords that are EASILY guessed?


The password is only one of two tihngs you need to hack an account. The other part is the username. Before battle.net linkage, WoW accounts had an arbitrary username that you never had to type if you checked the "remember username" checkbox. This made it impossible for keylogging viruses to find out your username!

After Blizzard linked WoW account to battle.net the username is no longer used, instead you have to use your e-mail address. Now this is a lot easier to know. For one it's one of the ways you actually got the virus to begin with, so it can be known from that. Secondly you are likely to type your e-mail address in other applications and a keylogger will find this.

With real names posted on forums, a google search might now reveal likely e-mail addresses to check for.


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By omnicronx on 7/8/2010 12:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The password is only one of two tihngs you need to hack an account. The other part is the username. Before battle.net linkage, WoW accounts had an arbitrary username that you never had to type if you checked the "remember username" checkbox. This made it impossible for keylogging viruses to find out your username!
If a keylogger/virus is logging everything on your machine, then your security is bound to be compromised at some point anyways, regardless of whether or not one application has the 'remember username' checkbox on.

If its a virus designed to say specifically go after certain things in certain conditions, (such as a login screen), a virus for example could just as easily know what to log, including the username your are submitting, regardless of whether you've typed it or not.

So in reality good security practice should solve your problems, which chances are, you have not been doing if you have key loggers or viruses on your machine.. Seems like a Chicken and Egg non problem to me.. You can't really be compromised unless you are already compromised ;)

If someone can take your name and email address or name and figure out how to access your machine, you've done something wrong..

Now of course there are real life issues such as someone trying to find someone in real life that they have a grudge with, but thats a different issue ;)


RE: Long Time Player's Opinion
By ssjwes1980 on 7/10/2010 3:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
It doesnt matter how secure your PW is on wow log in mine is always max amount used like 15 characters. I have letters numbers and symbols in mine and its still been compromised. Its cause of keyloggers . I think that it does help buy you time but in the end if you got a keylogger a crazy PW wont save you. I just randomly change my PW once a month and dont have problems anymore. You have to also watch what sites you visit and check your computers anti virus and such like you should anyways just most people dont want to bother with all the steps you can and should take to protect your info.


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














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