The recent attack on Blizzard Entertainment's web sites, including battle.net, has been linked with changes in the Terms of Service implemented since patch version 1.06. These changes allow the monitoring of battle.net users for duplicate items.
The message awaiting visitors to the Blizzard sites during the hack read "The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or it just may have been hijacked by our force of trained cyber monkeys and underground gnomes who wish to rule the world."
The first complaints concerning the T.O.S. changes were voiced by German gamers who claim that the alterations violate German privacy laws. The snooping abilities of version 1.06 are extensive and it is believed that the information which it can abtain about a users computer includes:
- complete registry and hard disk scans
- recent documents
- my network places
- recycle bin
- browser history and more...
While some of these processes may be necessary for the search for duplicates it is unlikely that anyone wants Blizzard obtaining such information about their computers.
Firewalls offer no protection since the data is transmitted through the connection to battle.net.
What Blizzard may plan to do with such information, remains unknown but it is certain that legal action against the company will soon be taken. Even Blizzard's European partners, Vivendi, are attempting to distance themselves from the changes.
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