Feeds

WoW players learn value of Windows updates

'Vuln left me naked and penniless'

Top three mobile application threats

Subscribers playing World of Warcraft on Windows machines continue to find their accounts stolen more than eleven months after hackers first began targeting them using a Trojan attack, according to posts on the game's official website.

The perpetrators are employing sophisticated techniques that involve hundreds of booby-trapped sites that in some cases use the ANI cursor vulnerability that Microsoft patched last week.

According to an advisory by McAfee, some ANI exploits are being carried out by the same malicious hackers who commandeered the Miami Dolphins football stadium just in time for the Superbowl. The Trojan unleashed in that attack sat dormant on compromised machines until users opened the WoW client, at which point a keylogger captured login credentials, according to the BBC.

The booty can bring in good money on the black market. According to Symantec, WoW account logins are worth about $10, more than the going rate of $6 for verification details on credit cards.

WoW attacks work when users visit hacked websites that exploit Windows machines that have not been updated to fix the ANI flaw or other vulnerabilities. The sites, many of which are related to the popular online game, silently install keyloggers. Once an account is hijacked, the attackers collect the user's points and assets and then sell them. Reports of such attacks date back to at least May of 2006.

The account hijackings are causing considerable consternation among WoW users. "I logged in to my account last Wednesday morning to a naked and penniless Grajtik and associated bank alts," a player who goes by that moniker wrote in an online forum. Many victims have learned of the hijackings only after finding that Blizzard, which publishes WoW, had canceled their accounts, presumably because the hackers have violated WoW rules.

While some of the hijackings were carried by exploiting flaws ahead of an official patch, plenty of exploits have been carried out well after Microsoft issued updates, suggesting some players of WoW still haven't learned the most important and basic security measures.

An official Blizzard posting is urging players to promptly apply security updates and to take other measures to ward off attacks. The company also provides a console called Blizzard Launcher, which scans players' computers for malware. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.