Friday, April 13, 2007

I apologize in advance about two World of Warcraft posts in a row, but this one features almost no in-game references.
So, one of my co-workers has characters on the same server as me.
Late last week, after experiencing some weird error on the laptop he normally plays on, he trudged upstairs and tried to log into WoW on his desktop computer.
In the middle of the log in process, he noticed a bunch of pop up ads and (since he never uses this machine) realized the virus definitions were out of date.
As any skilled tech tends to do, he immediately set about formatting the hard drive and re-installing Windows from the ground up.
While this went on, he played WoW on his laptop.
Last night, he tried to log into World of Warcraft again from his laptop, probably intending to get some things in order for our overnight at the datacenter monthly maintenance window and LAN party.
But his password didn't work.
And it didn't work on the Blizzard website, either.
So he called support, verified his identity a dozen different ways and had his password reset.
When he logged in, as he'd feared, he found that his characters had been completely stripped of all material goods and left, mostly naked, somewhere near an in-game mailbox.
One character was left with 20 copper, not even enough for in-game postage to mail anything else to whoever the rest of the stuff got mailed to.
So, sometimes a computer virus will steal even non-banking personal information. Sometimes all the virus writers want is access to a person's WoW account for a few hours.
"At least," he said, "I didn't sleep with anyone to get all that stuff."
How messed up is that?

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