Weyoun writes "All those who play Diablo2 know that their characters on the battle.net 'Realms' servers are supposedly secure and unhackable. This has been the case up until a few days ago, when a group of crackers discovered a method whereby they could log on as any character. Since then, they have reigned over a virtual apocalypse as hundreds of the top ladder players have seen their items stolen (including that of one well-known Blizzard employee). Even worse, beginning last night one of the hackers began systematically murdering the top hardcore ladder players, by logging in as them and getting them killed (death is PERMANENT for them). As of yet there has been no official reaction from Blizzard, but the entire community is in a state of shock over this situation." Update: 01/02 04:30 AM by T : It appears that Blizzard has now corrected the problem. See below for more.
Gaile - DiabloII.Net sent this update: "Blizzard has posted their response to the Diablo II Realm Character losses on their Realm Status Forum. The losses have been stopped (as of this morning), and characters are secure once more on the Realms. In addition, dead Hardcore Characters will be restored automatically, on January 8th, as outlined here:
In addition, a mechanism is in place for the retrieval of items, as well. The Blizzard post is on the Blizzard Site. We'll have more soon in the DiabloII.Net Bug Bytes section, which is an overview of the current game build."[On] Monday, January 8, we will be reviving all hardcore characters who died between December 19th and January 1st. The restored hardcore characters will be revived with the experience, skills and items possessed as of Tuesday, December 19th. This restore will be automatic and players do not need to contact Blizzard to request that their character be restored. Note: Only dead hardcore characters that died between December 19th and January 1st will be revived.