Feeds

Diablo2 publisher hacked following ‘spyware’ outrage

All of Blizzard.com, Battle.net down

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Diablo2 maker Blizzard Entertainment has seen its Web sites, including Battle.net, disabled today -- an act curiously timed, since it recently altered its terms of service (ToS) to take full advantage of patch 1.06, which contains a mechanism enabling the company to monitor Battle.net users for duplicate items and disable them.

The legal move created a storm of controversy among German players, who claim the new ToS document violates German law. Players are equally ticked off about the actual technology in 1.06, which is believed to be capable of a good deal more system snooping than the company allows.

According to a German source, the tasks in 1.06 range all the way to scanning the complete hard disk and the registry.

This would of course be necessary to find evidence of cracks; what concerns players is what other uses the company might be tempted to apply the technology towards.

The only use for the spyware is to search for "a few very rare items" and eliminate dupes to make cheating more difficult, Blizzard told us.

Because users' games are saved on the company's network, players are questioning why Blizzard needs to be reading and altering files on individual machines.

Regardless of whether users agree to be monitored, the practice may not pass legal muster with European authorities. "The German bureau of data-security says that the current ToS is illegal, in Germany and most all EU-countries," German Battle.net gamer "Kublai-Khan" told The Register.

Blizzard "can say what they want; but if they leave the current ToS unchanged, it's possible they'll have a nice run in court. Even their European partner Vivendi is not amused about Blizzard's ToS," he added.

With this dispute as a backdrop, today's hack might strike some as more than a coincidence. ®

Related Link

Eurotux.de backgrounder (auf Deutsch)

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.