Friday, October 2, 2009

Hacked: What if it was all gone?

How would you handle it if your account was hacked? You log in to find your character guildless, nude, without bags, emblems, or gold. You check all your other characters and find the same thing. Your personal guild banks are disbanded or empty.

It is an interesting experience as I just found out yesterday. I log into wow to do my quick ah posts of the morning and my pally is wearing that flaming skull helm from the Haloween boss in SM and is in a set of armor that matches. This is from the character select screen and its just strange. I highlight my priest and his gear looks a little off and he has the lance equipped.

I selected my pally and logged in. I was wondering if I was dpsing in the wrong set last night. I don't pally him much and used the equipment manager to get his gear last night. But I remember my dps was good. It still has not clicked with me what happened as I wait for Dalaran to load. It could just be a display bug.

I get into the game and pull up the character screen to find him in that helm and in my PvP gear. I for a moment thought it was someone playing a trick on me, but nobody else has that account info. I looked to my bags and I had none, just a hearthstone in the backpack. It was at that point it started to sink in. I checked my guild tab to see that I was not in one.

My first though was my main personal bank. I logged in to my scribe and he was also without bags and a guild. But wait, he was not the GM. I logged in my GM of that guild and he was also without a guild. That was a 5 tab bank with over 100,000G on it. One tab was full of herbs to be milled. When I am in high production, I use all 5 tabs but at the moment only had stuff in 2 of them.

I bounced to another banker of mine and he also lost his guild. That was a 3 tab bank containing about 22 Tankard's of Terror. I usually keep my long term investments in there but at this time it was fairly empty of anything worth much. A handful of epic gems, a few flasks, and probably 60 netherweave bags.

I jumped to my last banker with a guild and he still had it but it was empty. Both tabs were full of stuff. One was all ink of the sea stacks and the other was mostly bolts of netherweave. I had a little bit of the expensive cloths and mats for more cooldowns.

I got onto my main so see what was left. Any gear that could be sold was sold. I did have several tier pieces left. I was sitting at 2700 spellpower as shadow last night and had 1200 today. The gear on this character is the most important to me as he is my raider. wow-heroes had me ranked 2-3rd in the guild and 8-10 on the realm as a healer. My shadow rank was high among shadow priests, but that was mostly do to my healing pieces in the mix. Everything max gems and enchants. I had a trophy and was close to getting the emblems for my 4th t9.25 piece.

Then I thought about the guild's bank. I was an officer rank on 2 characters so they were able to take anything of value and another 10,000G. We were just starting to hand out crusader orbs to guild members. (We sold them as we got them and then restocked recently when the prices dropped). I hate how this is going to impact others.

I am going to start a new series on this topic over the next week.


  1. I'm really sorry to hear of your most recent plight Kevmar. I too know what it is like to have my account hacked - and fortunately, I got everything back that I had lost... though I didn't have nearly as much as you.

    It was after this experience that I promptly got both myself and my girlfriend authenticators. The $6 + shipping on the item is WELL worth the piece of mind I get from it.

  2. Kev:

    I really hope you will recover everything.


  3. It sucks. I know what you mean, already experienced it, but Blizz will return the stuff to you, maybe without gems and enchants... but we are rich... right?

    I have a security measure up in case it happens... I bought a 2nd Vanilla WoW just for the experience bonus and thought... What if I create a guildbank and put a limit to my real account? This way now I have a unpaid account with the GM of the guild and I'm only able to rack 5k/day from it. In case I get hacked they only can nake my characters and rack a bit of stuff.

  4. Ouch, that must be tough for you. Hopefully you'll be able to get your stuff back (though I'd love to see the face of the GM you report it too)

  5. Wow, that sucks.

    I got an authenticator the day I decided to play the AH game more seriously, I didn't want to have my efforts washed out so easily. I don't regret it.

  6. Hope you recover everything. But why, given the amounts you're dealing in and the publicity a Blog brings didn't you have one of the authenticators?

  7. Sucks to hear. I hope you get some stuff back and that blizzard returns at least the gold. Good luck.

  8. Ouch. I experienced this a long time ago (back in vanilla) when the process of recovery took far longer than it does now. Of course at the time I didn't lose anything near what you have. From knowing several folks that have been in a similar situation, you will most likely get the majority of your stuff back. It's still frustrating and unpleasant, but hopefully it won't have too much of a long term affect on you or your guild.

    I see now what you were referring to as interesting timing on my comment yesterday, but as competitive as most of us probably are, I like to think that few would stoop to a level similar to this. Good luck on a fast recovery.

    p.s. I'll follow everybody else and suggest an authenticator. Cheap with free shipping. It's not a perfect solution but it adds some safety and a lot of peace of mind.


    i recently lost stuff from my banker's guild bank when my brother's account got hacked. luckily the little banker of his that i allowed access could only remove 250g/day and 2 stacks per tab/day. so they only got 12 stacks of goodies and 250g. we got it all back in 2 days. and his banker, which i frankly forgot had access from a previous business venture, is no longer in guild.

    he *swears* he doesn't look at porn or anything where he could've gotten a worm/trojan/key logger. and he *swears* he didn't input his username/password anywhere - like a fake starcraft beta key page. so if he's not lying to me, he basically got bull rushed hacked with log in attempts?

    what/where/how do you think you got it? i mean, you put yourself out there WAY more than my brother does with the blog, the add-ons, etc.

    sorry to hear for your losses. i'm not going to say, "get an authenticator" like everyone else, but if there's anything that you can remember or gleen from your story that might help others protect themselves, do share.

  10. well all i can say is dont stress a lot, my account was haked a few months ago and the GM's gave me everything back, thank god for the logs :)..
    hopefully they will be able to return ur stuff back

  11. just... wow, the guy that hacked probably sold the gold and got some nice money -.-

    sucks for you, but a GM really should be able to reimburse everything(they should be able with guild tabs aswell correct me if i'm wrong) they have log files of what u used to have (or they should )

    a guildie of mine got hacked and the hacker used the account as a gathering bot, when the account got retrieved, an item reimbursement followed but this reimbursement also gave back al the herbs/gems/ores that the farmer had farmed and sold.

  12. First of all, Sorry to hear you've been hacked. I know it sucks, and it may take them longer then normal to restore your account. When the GM of Fusion was hacked it took them over 8 days to restor his account because of all the gold and Raiding mats in the Gbank. You may have a similar situation given all of your guild banks.

    I will give you one ray of hope though. One of my guildies was recently hacked and blizzard returned to him twice the amount of gold he had before the hack.

    @Telburn & HokieJayBee

    The fact that KevMar writes a blog and a couple of addons likely had no impact on the fact he was hacked.

    The hackers don't go after wow bloggers or even gold bloggers. They go after WoW players. I don't really understand how it works, but I'm told that the keyloggers are picked up from websits around the web and most are probably wow Related.

    KevMar's account was definately a big find for them, but lets face it. Its probably more profitable for them to hack for quantity rather than quality. Much like the Inscriptions business.

  13. Sorry to hear about that Kev. Best wishes!

  14. Had the same problem with a guildie recently. We were able to recover the entire guild bank contents, and _think_ he recovered most of his stuff, too, after investigation. Guess it might depend on who/how you where hacked, though.

  15. Kev, I'm really sorry to hear the news... I hope that you recover everything that you've lost... I stand by the authenticator comments above, but remember, if you have an iPhone, there's a mobile one out for free...

    Had a guildie hacked recently as well and Blizz recovered everything back for him in a few days as well, so there is still hope!

  16. @Graylo. If Blizzard is giving you back more gold than you got before its probably better to be upfront about it and open a ticket about it. Offcourse if you don't know the exact amount you had its hard to do anything. Just look at that "Karatechop" guy who got the GM weapon. Offcourse Karatechop should have known better, but he got most of his guild banned due to it.