As each week has passed since the launch of Guild Wars 2, players started noticing familiar things that are prevalent in most MMOs i.e. bots and hackers. Since the early stages of Guild Wars 2, Arenanet have had a very strong stance against illegal in-game activities.. In an attempt to discourage players from purchasing gold, Arenanet introduced the Cash Shop which allows players to buy gold by using gems.
But, in spite of this, particularly in the last two weeks, there have been an upsurgance of illegal in-game activities. Bots can be seen in game farming dynamic events by waiting for them to respawn, players are receiving spam mail from gold-sellers and players accounts are being hacked. Two of our own local players have been victims of hacking, which shows that no matter where you are globally, you can be a target.
In response to these actions, the Arenanet team has been working religiously to spot bots, track the original source of the spam mail and ban their accounts. This is why players do not receive 20 or 30 mail and may only see 1 or 2. Since playing I have only received 2 of these gold sellers spam mail. The hacking problem seems to be the larger problem as the Arenanet security team are still currently working on even further steps to help prevent potential hackers. Despite the email authentication (everytime a player logs into a new computer, the player will not be able to log in until they authorize it from an email sent to their email address), Arenanet are also asking players to create a completely unique password for their accounts. Arenanet President released a statement about Account Security
‘Since we’ve been observing hackers constantly scanning accounts that don’t even exist yet, waiting for someone to create those accounts, we obviously want to make sure that if those new customers do join the game, they don’t use the password that the hackers are waiting for. Thus we’re building a blacklist of all the passwords that hackers are scanning for — it’s already at 20 million passwords and growing — and we’re preventing new customers from choosing any of those passwords. (The blacklist contains passwords only, not account names.)
This system has substantially eliminated hackers’ ability to steal new accounts, as all new accounts now cannot possibly match what the hackers have been scanning for. The rate of account hacking was about 1.5% for accounts created before this blacklist was in place, and is about 0.1% for accounts created after’
Even though the rate of hacking was only 1.5%, the current Guild Wars 2 community is above 1 million players. This would mean that over 15,000 people have been hacked so far. By the rate of hacking dropping to 0.1%, players can breathe a sigh of relief. But one thing players have to remember is that while Arenanet is responsible for the security of player accounts, personal responsibility plays a major role. If you haven’t done so already CHANGE YOUR CURRENT PASSWORD IMMEDIATELY. Ensure it is unique, let it be lengthy (more than 10 characters) and including numbers.
Looking forward to seeing you in game