World of Warcraft.
What I know about it is that it is a multiplayer online role-playing game and… yeah, that’s basically it.
I’ve never been much of a gamer, unless you count the short stint I had years back playing Mario being a gamer but that’s really it. Since I have no knowledge whatsoever on online role-playing games like World of Warcraft, I had no idea that they suffered from the same problems of Internet security such as hacking.
That is, until I watched this particular episode of The Big Bang Theory.
In this episode, Sheldon’s World of Warcraft account was hacked and he reported it to the police, as all crimes should. Unfortunately, however, the police could not do anything about the situation since the crime isn’t really “real” – it happened online.
What got me thinking was whether there have been real cases of hackers of online role-playing games that have been arrested by the police.
Turns out, there are.
In 2009, a 23-year-old man was arrested for hacking hundreds of accounts on the medieval fantasy game, Runescape, to steal the players’ weapons and virtual money. A year later, a 17-year-old was arrested for hacking into Call of Duty to boost his own score.
These are just a couple of examples of how hackers of online games can still suffer real-world consequences due to their virtual criminal acts. Although there are many hackers out there who are clever enough to get past any kind of Internet security and hack a player’s account, there are still certain methods to reduce the chances of it happening.
Game developers and third-party software developers have created a few anti-cheating software in an attempt to prevent hacking. For instance, Warden is an anti-cheating tool integrated in many Blizzard Entertainment games such as Diablo II and World of Warcraft. Another example of an anti-cheating tool is HackShield – a set of anti-hack toolkits that are used in games like Combat Arms and MapleStory.
If all else fails, and your World of Warcraft account still got hacked, this is always an option.