Players sue Blizzard for data hacks
November 12, 2012 // 8:11 a.m.
Blizzard Entertainment is facing a class action lawsuit from a pair of disgruntled gamers who claim that Blizzard has not done enough to protect player data.
Referencing Battle.net security breaches in May and August, they accuse Blizzard of making millions by selling account authenticators without properly safeguarding player information. They estimate that Blizzard has made approximately $26m through the sale of the authenticator key-chain.
The lawsuit is requesting damages and an injunction to prevent Blizzard from forcing players to create a Battle.net account to play its non-MMO games.
Responding to the lawsuit, Blizzard told Gamesindustry International that it was [i]'filled with patently false information'[i] and that there seemed to be some misunderstanding as to what the authenticator was for.
The Battle.net account authenticators help to protect players' account details outside of Blizzard's network infrastructure from things like phishing attacks, key-loggers and other forms of malicious code. They have nothing to do with the type of security breaches the company has faced earlier this year, referenced in the lawsuit.
The authenticator can be bought as a physical dongle for £8.99, or downloaded as a free app on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. It allows for a two-stage account verification process when logging in and is only a compulsory requirement if a player uses Diablo 3's real money auction house.
Blizzard states that it has committed to defending the lawsuit rigorously through the appropriate legal channels.
The fourth expansion to Blizzard's flagship MMO, World of Warcraft launched in September and has helped the eight-year-old online game's subscriber numbers rise again to just over 10 million.