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Blizzard Sued Over Battle.net Authentication

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the did-you-try-googling-your-problem-first dept.

Security 217

An anonymous reader writes "A man has initiated a class-action suit against Blizzard over a product used to shore up Battle.net security. Benjamin Bell alleges that Blizzard's sale of Authenticators — devices that enable basic two-tier authentication — represents deceptive and unfair additional costs to their basic games. (Blizzard sells the key fob versions for $6.50, and provides a free mobile app as an alternative. Neither are mandatory.) The complaint accuses Blizzard of making $26 million in Authenticator sales. In response, Blizzard made a statement refuting some of the complaint's claims and voicing their intention to 'vigorously defend' themselves."

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217 comments

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Surprised? (-1, Flamebait)

emkyooess (1551693) | about 2 years ago | (#41945421)

They don't even have case sensitivity on their passwords. Compromised accounts drive additional sales, including the fobs.

Re:Surprised? (1, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41945527)

Its been a while since I logged into battle.net, but I am almost POSITIVE the passwords are case sensitive, as case sensitivity has caused incorrect password entry several times.

They allow passwords to be MUCH more complex than many other websites / services. This case is complete BS.

Re:Surprised? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945571)

Re:Surprised? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41945903)

... and yet if i change the case on my password, either in game or on the website, I get an authentication failure. Hell, that was true back when Diablo 2 was around

Fact seems to disagree with you.

Re:Surprised? (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41945911)

Actually no, i'm wrong. What the hell?

Re:Surprised? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945991)

The stupid, it burns

Re:Surprised? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946047)

Clearly they are the stupidest person on earth for not knowing off hand the password mechanics of a shit mmo.

Re:Surprised? (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 2 years ago | (#41946345)

And what's more, this article talks about how they don't know the password mechanics of a good MMO either!

Re:Surprised? (5, Informative)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#41945573)

No they aren't I just checked my copy of Diablo 3 (which was a total waste of money) and my password worked regardless of what I capitalized.

Re:Surprised? (1)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about 2 years ago | (#41945623)

Funnily enough, I only found out that passwords were case insensitive in 2010.

Re:Surprised? (4, Informative)

TuringCheck (1989202) | about 2 years ago | (#41945657)

You know, there are plenty of WoW server emulators that had to reverse engineer the client authentication.
Both the username and the password are converted to uppercase before being SHA-160 hashed and fed into the SRP6 authentication algorithm.

This is ridiculous (5, Insightful)

synthparadox (770735) | about 2 years ago | (#41945427)

Not only does the $6.50 help cover postage and pay for the dongle, its completely optional and Blizzard makes the app available to as many platforms as they can. You can even install the authenticator on a Android simulator on a computer.

I'm in shock as to how entitled this person is. I honestly just can't fathom how he can claim that Blizzard "makes money" off these authenticators.

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945489)

They made $26 mil so far from these.

Re:This is ridiculous (5, Insightful)

synthparadox (770735) | about 2 years ago | (#41945523)

Right, because the keyfobs and shipping are free to Blizzard.
How does this guy know that Blizz made $26 mil from them? Does he have access to the sales reports? Remember, "the complaint accuses Blizzard of making $26 million in Authenticator sales." Accusing someone of making money and them -actually- making that much money is two completely different things.

Re:This is ridiculous (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about 2 years ago | (#41945597)

Blizzard already claims to do this at cost. That would mean no profit. Wonder where he's getting his $26 million profit statement from. It might be a cost instead of profit, but either way, his lawsuit is b.s. as the security fob is an optional and non required item, and the software version is free, that guy is an idiot trying to get a payday from Blizzard settling rather than paying to take it to court. I hope Blizzard takes the high road and fights him all the way.

Re:This is ridiculous (3, Funny)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | about 2 years ago | (#41945739)

Zomg, a company makes money off of sales of something that you don't need to play the game? Travesty! That has to be illegal!

Re:This is ridiculous (3, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41945583)

Income is not the same as profit. They sold for $6.50 but it cost Blizzard much more to purchase and ship them. From a financial statement point of view making no profit from a sale is bad for the company yet Blizzard is still doing it to support their customers.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#41945639)

Income is exactly the same as profit. I think you are confusing income with revenue in your post.

Re:This is ridiculous (5, Informative)

synthparadox (770735) | about 2 years ago | (#41945681)

If you really want to be correct, income can be either net or gross. Gross income is revenue. Net income is profit. Because he didn't state what kind of income, he's technically still correct. </pedantic>

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945755)

Pedantry is only acceptable when it's used to shove something up the ass of other pedants. Well played.

Re:This is ridiculous (5, Funny)

mat.power (2677517) | about 2 years ago | (#41945769)

He's technically correct, the best kind of correct!

Re:This is ridiculous (1, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41945933)

Technically correct is best correct.

gross income is NOT revenue (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#41946057)

No, gross income is not revenue. It is revenue - cost of goods sold

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945711)

The term income by itself is vague.
Depends on if it is Gross income (Revenue) or Net Income (Profit).

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41945963)

Net Income (Profit).

Close but not quite. Positive net income is profit. Negative net income is loss. Income is the amount of money coming into the company regardless of how much money is going out of the company (expenses) and is synonymous with revenue. When one qualifies it with "net" then it changes meaning. The terms "negative profit" and "negative loss" are useless as there are much matter terms available.

To me using the term income implies gross income. It is like asking someone how much their wages are. We assume they will talk about before tax wages and not after tax wages.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#41946065)

wow... really? you wrote all that and you couldn't be bothered to look up the definition of gross income?

gross income = revenue - cost of goods sold

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41945859)

Ever heard of an Income and expense report the balance of which is either profit or loss? In a number of dictionary entries income and revenue are synonymous.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#41946109)

Yes, I have seen an income statement. Here's blizzards:
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=ATVI [yahoo.com]

Notice it has separate lines for
Revenue, gross profit, and net income

That is because they are DIFFERENT

"Different" is when two things are not the same.. like how revenue and gross profit are not the same.

Re:This is ridiculous (3, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 years ago | (#41946209)

A good chunk that (if not almost all) goes for shipping, as well as to Vasco DigiPass GO6 which then is rebranded (adding extra cost).

If Blizzard wanted to make money from these, they could do very easily [1]. However, they don't.

I'm normally a critic of Blizzard, but IMHO, this is one area where they are doing something right, because two-factor authentication is a significant improvement in security.

As far as I know, this lawsuit is pointless. If one doesn't want to give Blizzard cash for an authenticator, the app that does the exact same thing is free on iOS and Android.

[1]: Phase out the apps, then require the physical authentication token to be attached to the account in order for the user to use the AH or trade with other players.

Re:This is ridiculous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945505)

I'm in shock as to how entitled this person is. I honestly just can't fathom how he can claim that Blizzard "makes money" off these authenticators.

And I'm in shock that you think a business would embark on a project like that, at a loss. Use your head.

One way or another, this creates revenue for Blizzard. If that is the (likely) case, then the man, however entitled he may come off, has a point.

Re:This is ridiculous (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41945543)

Theyre optional, and completely unnecessary if you use a good password. That they offer an ADDITIONAL paid service that competitors do not does not in any way obligate gamers to use the authenticators.

If they want to sell guides for creating strong passwords at $10 a pop, and they end up making $500 mil on it, who cares? Its a service that apparently people want. The man doesnt even seem to allege that the device was ineffective-- simply that it was unnecessary and he for some inexplicable reason bought it anyways.

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945655)

Theyre optional, and completely unnecessary if you use a good password. That they offer an ADDITIONAL paid service that competitors do not does not in any way obligate gamers to use the authenticators.

If they want to sell guides for creating strong passwords at $10 a pop, and they end up making $500 mil on it, who cares? Its a service that apparently people want. The man doesnt even seem to allege that the device was ineffective-- simply that it was unnecessary and he for some inexplicable reason bought it anyways.

Organization purposely creates a primary authentication system that allows extremely weak passwords (sorry, there's no business excuse you can give me for this. None).

Accounts get hacked as a result of this.

Since two-factor authentication remains "optional" as many have repeatedly pointed out, it tends to lay serious question as to whether consumers really wanted this service, or were coerced into buying it due to ridiculous security policies (or lack thereof) on the primary authentication mechanism.

If Blizzard made a profit on that action, I'd certainly question their motives. Are they really trying to help by continuing to allow weak passwords and optional two-factor authentication, or are they merely perpetuating or creating new revenue streams? I'd say the latter rules almost every time in business.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 2 years ago | (#41946211)

But there's free options for authenticators. You can use a phone app. If you don't have a smart phone, the phone apps work on the iPod Touch, the iPad, or any Android tablet or "smart" MP3 player; they even work in the phone simulators that Apple and Google provide for free with their developer kits. Granted installing a phone simulator to run an authenticator is a pain in the ass, but it is free.

Re:This is ridiculous (2)

synthparadox (770735) | about 2 years ago | (#41945547)

Hacked accounts are a loss for Blizzard. Not only do they have to staff GMs to handles these requests, they have to restore items and more often than not they can't remove the stolen items. I firmly believe the $6.50 pays for the keyfob and the postage, and that's it. If they can break even, its a net gain for them since they can reduce the GM ticket queue and free up these expenses and time for other things. Remember how they laid off 600 employees in April? (http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/04/27/the-lawbringer-autonomous-systems-deal-with-customer-service-pr/) That was a reduction in operating costs for supporting these types of requests.

Re:This is ridiculous (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41946133)

You have to be incredibly dense not to see why they would do this. It costs them less to sell authenticators at cost than it is to constantly have staff fixing hacked accounts and having people quit over hacks.

One time fee; Consistently recurring subscription
--or--
Player hacked, costs CS manhours to fix, player potentially quits.

Which one do you think a smart business is going to choose?

Re:This is ridiculous (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945531)

Shouldn't the $60 purchase price and (possible) $15 monthly fee "help cover postage and pay for the dongle"?

It's not "completely" optional, use of Diablo 3 RMAH requires it and/or the mobile app, and if you don't have a phone that can run the mobile app, then the authenticator is the only way to use an advertised feature of the game.

Blizzard does profit, however little, from the authenticators. Do you really think that they take a loss on them? Or that $6.50 is the magical round number that represents exactly their cost? No, of course not, Blizzard is rounding up to cover their cost (assuming there is no intentional profit margin built in) and they make money from it, period. The real issue though is the fact that they are forcing users to pay for the game's security, profit or no profit. It's a hidden cost of being able to enjoy the product you already paid for.

Re:This is ridiculous (2)

synthparadox (770735) | about 2 years ago | (#41945567)

You don't need a phone to run the mobile app. The fact that you can run android apps on a SDK on the computer has been known for a while now. See: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/713865-How-to-get-Battle-net-Mobile-Authenticator-COMPLETELY-free [mmo-champion.com]

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945673)

Well, that's a "solution" that only a slashdotter would consider valid. The price of the authenticator is not the issue -- for $6.50 it's probably worth it to not have to install and then run an Android emulator every time you want to login. It's the principle of making the customer pay for this after the fact. If the game requires authenticators to use its features, it should come in the box.

Re:This is ridiculous (5, Funny)

yndrd1984 (730475) | about 2 years ago | (#41945779)

It's the principle of making the customer pay for this after the fact. If the game requires authenticators to use its features, it should come in the box.

I'm billing Ford for my gas, oil changes, and regular maintainance. I'm also suing because the advertisements showed an attractive woman in the car, and mine didn't come with one - I had to buy one separately from some "RussianBride" company. What a rip-off!

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

synthparadox (770735) | about 2 years ago | (#41945849)

Thanks for the car analogy. I had this long-winded post written up about the "entitlement" of receiving the authenticator with the game, but I think your post responds in a much better manner. :)

Re:This is ridiculous (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41945611)

There are three way to run authenticator;
$6.50 hardware device
App on a smart phone
App on an android simulator on your computer.
There are three ways to run it; two of which are free. The only reason to buy the dongle is for convenience.

Re:This is ridiculous (4, Informative)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#41945699)

there is a 4th way, its Called WinAuth. A problem you can run on your computer to generate the code. Its FREE as well. http://code.google.com/p/winauth/ [google.com]

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946061)

When I got my authenticator years back when they first came out, the package it came in had the postage price of $6.50 stamped on it. I would say that yes, Blizzard actually is selling them at a loss.

Re:This is ridiculous (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41946045)

Not only does the $6.50 help cover postage and pay for the dongle, its completely optional and Blizzard makes the app available to as many platforms as they can.

Their authentication software is available for the two dominant phone os platforms, Android and iOS. That's it.

Just to put things in perspective, the Google authenticator, which is open source (Apache license), uses open authentication standards, and which could be used for free by Blizzard, can also be run from the command-line on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows, in addition to iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

You can even install the authenticator on a Android simulator on a computer.

How convenient.

First of all, Android doesn't really have a simulator, it has an emulator. It's slow. It's heavy-weight. It's not much of a solution for the average joe. Speaking as someone who works with it daily, I don't think the Android emulator is something that should be required for a consumer who wants to play a game he supposedly just purchased.

The only point of contention is whether, or not, this authentication system is really required to play the game. Right now, according to the companys' response, this new authentication is completely optional, but for some reason that consumer believes it was required, or that it will be required even for users that are not on the system right now.

Either the consumer doing the suing is an idiot, or perhaps Blizzard implied that it would indeed become a requirement, and recently backpedaled as the lawsuit emerged. Either way, this issue seems to be moot right now.

The only (non-legal) questions remaining are: Why aren't they using open standards for authentication? And why are their passwords not case-sensitive? Are they converting them to all lower-case before doing the hashing? Or are they storing their passwords all in plain text?

Going nowhere... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945433)

Question #1 will be : "Did blizzard make you buy one in order to play the game, and are there any consequences to not doing so?"... "No, and No"...."Case dismissed"

Re:Going nowhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945475)

not necessarily, he can always say that it wasn't well indicated on the box or website when he bought the game. So this can be applied under "false advertisement" since it doesn't tell him that he must pay additional money.

Re:Going nowhere... (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41945511)

not necessarily, he can always say that it wasn't well indicated on the box or website when he bought the game. So this can be applied under "false advertisement" since it doesn't tell him that he must pay additional money.

But he doesn't have to buy it -- he can pick a secure password and protect it (and protect his computer against keyloggers and other malware). When I buy a car the dealer doesn't tell me that I have to buy a car alarm with it at extra cost. Because I don't. It might be prudent, depending on where I park the car, but it's not necessary.

Re:Going nowhere... (2)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | about 2 years ago | (#41945585)

You can also for free have them set it up so that they do phone authentication when you login from a different IP address.

Re:Going nowhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945895)

not necessarily, he can always say that it wasn't well indicated on the box or website when he bought the game. So this can be applied under "false advertisement" since it doesn't tell him that he must pay additional money.

But he doesn't have to buy it -- he can pick a secure password and protect it (and protect his computer against keyloggers and other malware). When I buy a car the dealer doesn't tell me that I have to buy a car alarm with it at extra cost. Because I don't. It might be prudent, depending on where I park the car, but it's not necessary.

Actually your car analogy doesn't work here. When I bought my car, the dealership installed another car alarm system for higher revenue on the sale.

Re:Going nowhere... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41946011)

not necessarily, he can always say that it wasn't well indicated on the box or website when he bought the game. So this can be applied under "false advertisement" since it doesn't tell him that he must pay additional money.

But he doesn't have to buy it -- he can pick a secure password and protect it (and protect his computer against keyloggers and other malware). When I buy a car the dealer doesn't tell me that I have to buy a car alarm with it at extra cost. Because I don't. It might be prudent, depending on where I park the car, but it's not necessary.

Actually your car analogy doesn't work here. When I bought my car, the dealership installed another car alarm system for higher revenue on the sale.

The analogy still applies - the car dealer installed an alarm system that you wanted, and you paid for it. If you didn't want the alarm system, you wouldn't have paid for it. The dealer may have said "Oh, too late, it's already installed, you have to pay for it", and if you don't want it, you just say "No problem, I'll buy the car at another dealer, and suddenly you'll find that the "non-removable" alarm system can suddenly be removed, or that the $499 alarm system is yours for free. They aren't going to let you walk over an alarm that cost them less than $100 to install.

This is like Blizzard saying "Do you want the $6 token to make your account safer? If you want it, you pay the $6, if you don't, you say "No thanks".

They May Be Evil... But No One's Car Lot Evil! (1)

nick_davison (217681) | about 2 years ago | (#41946019)

"When I buy a car the dealer doesn't tell me that I have to buy a car alarm with it at extra cost."

You've not bought a car from a dealer lot recently, have you?

Expect to find LoJack (even in markets where the local police have bought zero units), alarms, windshield VIN etching, clear paint protectors, sealants, rust proofing, teflon upholstery protection and a wide variety of exciting floor mats pre installed and added on to the price of every actually available car, taking them way above and beyond the "Starting From..." low, low advertized MSRP on the banners around the lot. Listen to the radio commercials where whichever "mile of cars" with "over X thousand vehicles to choose from!" has "three at this price."

The difference between Blizzard and a car lot is, if Blizzard were a car lot, they'd be telling you, "We're sorry, the only copies we've got on hand today already have their accounts hooked to a validator and we can't remove it. We could order you a copy without a validator in 8-12 weeks or you can pay the premium to take a copy home today."

Re:Going nowhere... (5, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41945549)

You have to sign into battle.net to order one, which indicates right away that you do not need one to sign into battle.net. That someone could be confused by this is absurd.

Re:Going nowhere... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41946105)

You have to sign into battle.net to order one, which indicates right away that you do not need one to sign into battle.net.

That's not how authentication usually works. As an admin, I also require my users to use to 2-step verification, but 2-factor authentication requirement doesn't kick in until the second time they log-in.

Re:Going nowhere... (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41945569)

Question #1 will be : "Did blizzard make you buy one in order to play the game, and are there any consequences to not doing so?"... "No, and No"...."Case dismissed"

No, and Yes. An authenticator is required for some aspects of some of blizzards games, such as the real money auction house in diablo 3. This requirement most certainly was not advertised during initial sales, but the real money auction house feature was advertised during initial sales as a selling point. In fact, you will find slashdot articles about the real money auction house prior to the games release.

Re:Going nowhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945841)

Not if you use paypal. I've used the RMAH and never used an authenticator. Haven't played D3 in months though.

Re:Going nowhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945633)

To use the diablo auction house you NEED to buy one. Or... Have a smartphone that can run the app (yet another aditional cost, not everyone has or wants a smartphone). Or they need to run the auth app on an emulator on their pc. Which has plenty of problems itself. Either way at the very least you can say that it is an extra hoop to jump thru to play a pc game that you paid for that was not really told to you upfront. And that hoop has a sliding scale of costs from actual real money to just yet another hassle that puts some of the onus of securing a GAME on the user because the company that sold you the game is lazy and cheap and greedy and this was the best they could do and didn't wanna throw the damm dongle into the already high cost of the $60-$70 game.

I remember when we used to get full color cloth maps and plenty of stuff in a game.... They really can't just throw the fucking fob in anymore? come on now...

I don't know if its enough to sue over.. But it sure is fucking stupid. And if blizzard is doing it AND making a profit doing it... It's really kinda scummy greedyfuck bullshit too.

I don't like it. How about you?

Re:Going nowhere... (1)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | about 2 years ago | (#41945707)

1. No
2. You cannot use the Real Money Auction House.

Re:Going nowhere... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945743)

Hey, cool, for $24,000 I will sell you a device that will give you a more attractive personality. Except it doesn't do anything beside sit in your drawer and funnel money my way. I won't tell you that but it will be true, I'm sure the courts will dismiss your and everyone else's class action suit because it caused you no harm and it did not prevent you from being a nicer person.

Free mobile version is free (2)

Firehed (942385) | about 2 years ago | (#41945445)

Like TFS says, the mobile version is free. Just another moron trying to make a quick buck.

My concern with blizzard's authenticator is that they seem to have rolled their own implementation rather than adhering to an open, defined spec (HOTP/TOTP). And like so many of these services, there's no good way to move it to a new device without disabling 2FA temporarily. People do upgrade their phones, after all.

Re:Free mobile version is free (4, Informative)

synthparadox (770735) | about 2 years ago | (#41945479)

They introduced a "restore" feature a while back that allows you to migrate devices without removing two-factor authentication. Basically, you enter the restoration code into the new phone/device and both devices will continue to generate the same seeded code. This can also be used to extend the authenticator to multiple devices like having a smartphone and a tablet both generate the same code. This is just an ease-of-use feature, especially when sometimes you can't find one of the devices you installed your authenticator on.

Re:Free mobile version is free (1)

Roogna (9643) | about 2 years ago | (#41945501)

Not sure about if it's their own implementation or not, but it IS very easy to move to a new device.

They provide a serial number in the app, and a recover code. Simply entering both on the new mobile device and you've got a clone of the original.

Re:Free mobile version costs $500 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945575)

...if you don't already own a smartphone that can run their app.

Re:Free mobile version costs $500 (1)

eht (8912) | about 2 years ago | (#41945733)

Not true, you can run it in an Android development emulator.

Re:Free mobile version costs $500 (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41945783)

How big is that to download (especially on a capped plan), and how much RAM does it use (in addition to the RAM your game uses)?

Re:Free mobile version costs $500 (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about 2 years ago | (#41946059)

" (in addition to the RAM your game uses)?"

Who cares? it's not like you have to leave the authenticator running while you are playing

How exactly does it work? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41946147)

But you still have to have both the game and the Android simulator open while you're running the authenticator to get the code to type into the game. The only way I can see otherwise is if one would start the Android simulator, run the authenticator, close the Android simulator, and then start the game. This is possible only if the authenticator needs no information from the game and the game tolerates a delay of up to a few minutes between running the authenticator and running the game. Is this the case? I can't try it myself because the last Blizzard product I bought was the first StarCraft.

Re:How exactly does it work? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 2 years ago | (#41946265)

So your computer is so close to minimum spec that you can't run the login screen for a game and the simulator simultaneously? I mean, sure, a lot of these games are somewhat resource intensive during actual play, especially if you have the settings turned way up, but if you can't run the login screen at the same time as an Android emulator, chances are the game will be unplayable anyway.

Re:Free mobile version costs $500 (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#41945831)

Also one called WinAuth, no emulator needed. http://code.google.com/p/winauth/ [google.com]

Re:Free mobile version is free (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#41945687)

I forgot site off hand but there is software based one you can run on your computer as well that is free, no need to buy a keyfab or a phone that can run the app. software has optional lock down to 1 computer and password option's

Great! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41945457)

If they win this suit, I'm going after Google to pay my phone bills since they give me the option of using SMS based authentication to protect my Gmail account.

Idiot? (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about 2 years ago | (#41945463)

He seems to be an idiot to me. The authenticators were created to protect a community that is targeted regularly from their own stupidity. Basically, it's to protect from phishing and keylogging. Blizzard is just offering them an additional method to secure them, for a negligible cost. As for the issue with the hack on their servers, they made sure to alert their users via their registered accounts. Any legal requirements, anything else in regards to their quality of security... I can't speak for.

Idiot. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41945491)

It's not mandatory, and it's a game. A service provided to you, and a limited version that's free to use. The security problem is inherent to all MMOs -- and Blizzard is providing a way for people concerned with hacking to protect their investment in the game, at a reasonable rate. These authenticator tokens often cost a lot more than the cost of a meal at mcdonald's in other industries. The guy doesn't have a leg to stand on. He max-leveled in idiot.

Re:Idiot. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946245)

I don't even care at this point. Blizzard is such a shitty pro-DRM company that they deserve to be sued into oblivion.

Not that they will be.

Authenticator is not a Blizzard product... (5, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#41945507)

It is made by Vasco and is sold in large quantity orders for around 6.50$, which is the same as what Blizzard charges for it. The idiot in question is basicly claiming Blizzard sold 400,000 Authenticators at a 100% profit margin.

Re:Authenticator is not a Blizzard product... (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41945559)

at $26 million, that would be 4,000,000 at 100% margin, which stretches the bounds of credulity.

Re:Authenticator is not a Blizzard product... (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41946441)

Authenticator is not a Blizzard product... It is made by Vasco and is sold in large quantity orders for around 6.50$, which is the same as what Blizzard charges for it

1) The subject line is not part of the comment body...

2) Do you personally know what Blizzard is being charged for what they're reselling? And if not, why are you coming on like you do?

Good for people with multiple computers or friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945517)

This is good, as if you log in to Battle.net from another computer, you need to reset your password. That's completely stupid and practically forces you to get some form of authenticator, if you don't want to jump through hoops every time you switch computer.

Let's shut down these greedy bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945521)

Warcraft should be free, and Blizzard should become a charity.

Sometimes free (4, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41945553)

A friend of mine got hacked three times. Blizzard sent him an authenticator for free. It costs them less to send the free authenticator that keep fixing his account.

This is just someone trying to make money on a frivolous law suit.

Re:Sometimes free (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41945629)

A friend of mine got hacked three times. Blizzard sent him an authenticator for free. It costs them less to send the free authenticator that keep fixing his account.

What you are saying is that if they got $6.50 out of him instead of giving him the device for free, that it would have been an additional $6.50 in pure profit?

Think about that for a moment.

Re:Sometimes free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945675)

I thought about it for an entire millisecond, and realized that it is virtually impossible for them to sell a physical product for $6.50 and make $6.50 in "pure profit."

Unless, of course, they have a wizard conjuring the things out of the ether. A wizard who works for free and doesn't eat.

Re:Sometimes free (1)

maxdread (1769548) | about 2 years ago | (#41945737)

A wizard who also happens to have a buddy at the USPS willing to hook him up with free shipping as well.

Re:Sometimes free (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#41945761)

No... what they were saying was that fixing the account and ensuring a continued revenue stream of $15/mo was favourable to him cancelling the account for want of a $6.50 one-time cost.

While this is true for every account, and is an argument in favour of simply giving the things away, most accounts never get hacked, and they *do* simply give the things away to anybody with a smartphone. When they do get hacked, the labour costs for fixing the account are what makes sending the authenticator an option.

It's not rocket science, people.

Re:Sometimes free (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 years ago | (#41945815)

No,what I am saying is that Blizzard decided decrease their losses by spending $6.50 + S&H instead of spending much more every time he was hacked.

The only way it would have been pure profit is if the got $6.50 out of him without sending the device. If the device was sent the profit would be $0 ($6.50 income - $6.50 cost of goods sold).

People really need to understand the terms income, expense, cost of goods sold, and profit. It is a simple equation profit = income - (expenses+cost of goods sold).

Starcraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945565)

'vigorously defend' themselves.

Sounds like a Terran turtle.

Battle.net (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945631)

The end of the article indicates he is suing to not require a battle.net account just to play a game, which seems reasonable to me.

Re:Battle.net (1)

cob666 (656740) | about 2 years ago | (#41945759)

I hope you're being sarcastic. How are you supposed to play an online game without having an account? That would be like wanting to play Mafia Wars on Facebook without having to log into Facebook. I'm not a big fan of Blizzard but this lawsuit is total bullshit.

Re:Battle.net (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945905)

I hope you're being sarcastic. How are you supposed to play an online game without having an account? That would be like wanting to play Mafia Wars on Facebook without having to log into Facebook. I'm not a big fan of Blizzard but this lawsuit is total bullshit.

You cant play starcraft or diablo 3 single player? I was under the impression that players must log in to play both single and multiplayer.

Re:Battle.net (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41946079)

How is it reasonable to play an MMO without an account?

Going back to the old standalone account system isn't any better than Battle.net. You can also have multiple Battle.net accounts, so it's not like you have to link every Blizzard game you buy to a single account.

Personal Responsibility (2)

cigawoot (1242378) | about 2 years ago | (#41945659)

Instead of taking personal responsibility for the security of their own account, they instead sue Blizzard. Blizzard CANNOT control the end user's computer (not as much as they wish they could, at least). Therefore, the security of your login credentials are the sole responsibility of the account holder. Blizzard can't keep your computer from getting infected with malware, falling for a phishing scam, or sharing your credentials with your little brother.

Easy Solution (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41945741)

1) Raise the price of the game client by $6.50.

2) Include a "Free Authenticator!" in every box, or mail one to people who opt to download the client.

3) Profit.

Re:Easy Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41946025)

They literally can't do this. Vasco can't manufacture that many authenticators.

And in return he expects to get...? (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#41945781)

Suing over $6.50.... even with a complete victory he would probably end up with something like $.50 after the lawyers get their part. This must be somebody with too much time to waste.

Re:And in return he expects to get...? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#41945981)

you forget, its a Class Action suit, so he might not even get that much.

Re:And in return he expects to get...? (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41946091)

He's the actual plaintiff. If he wins (he won't) he'll probably get some ridiculously high number while everyone else are the people who gets nothing.

Then again, he's not going to win this so it's irrelevant anyway.

Required for the RMAH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41945809)

The key fob is required to use the RMAH in Diablo 3.

No, it does not tell you this on the physical boxed copy. You think you are getting something when in fact an additional purchase is required.

Re:Required for the RMAH. (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#41946001)

Its right to require one on real money auction. Since its real money involved gotta take extra security on that. But with that said this guy apperently is to stupid to realize the 2 other FREE options. The Phone app and program called WinAuth that will this stuff for FREE.

Re:Required for the RMAH. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41946097)

Wrong. It is not required to use the RMAH. It's required to link a PayPal account to the RMAH or keep a RMAH balance. Buying things is easily possible without one.

There are also free alternatives to the actual keyfob.

*STOP BATTLE.NET REQUIREMENT* (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 2 years ago | (#41946159)

I support it simply for this:

He also seeks to stop Blizzard from requiring players to sign up for a Battle.net account.

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