By Sumit Passary | Oct 09, 2012 10:01 AM EDT
Hackers have sent a shockwave across the virtual world as gamers' virtual characters are massacred in certain realms of one of the most popular online game - World of Warcraft (WoW).
Virtual character in WoW's virtual cities like Stormwind, Orgrimmar, Tarren Mill, Ragnaros, Draenor, and Twisting Nether were killed mysteriously all of a sudden.
"Earlier today, certain realms were affected by an in-game exploit, resulting in the deaths of player characters and non-player characters in some of the major cities. This exploit has already been hotfixed, so it should not be repeatable. It's safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth," reported Nathaera, a community manager on WoW's support forum.
Nathera further indicates "As with any exploit, we are taking this disruptive action very seriously and conducting a thorough investigation. If you have information relating to this incident, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We apologize for the inconvenience some of you experienced as a result of this and appreciate your understanding."
A hacker called Jadd has taken responsibility for the alleged hacking. The hacker indicated on Ownedcore Forums that he thought it was "funny."
"We didn't do any permanent damage. Some people liked it for a new topic of conversation and a funny stream to watch (sodapoppin), and some people didn't. The people who didn't should be blaming Blizzard for not fixing it faster (4 hours of obvious use is sad). It's not like I added 20000000 gold to everyone's inventory, and broke the economy," he added.
More than 10 million worldwide subscribers play WoW and almost half of the subscribers are believed to be in China. An online game like WoW with high popularity attracts genuine gamers and at the same time also attract hackers. Even though the latest hacking may not cause financial distress to users but many subscribers have their vital details like credit card information, billing addresses, or player's names on the game server, which may be exposed to hackers if the security system of the game server is breached.
It is anybody's guess if the game server will see tighter security features put in place in the near future to stop hackers from manipulating games.
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