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Blizzard: Now With Added Creepy

By Leigh Cobb12-09-2012

Blizzard; love them or hate them, you can't deny their popularity in the industry. What you might find questionable, is how Blizzard has been including decryptable pieces of personal info, in screenshots people take of World of Warcraft.

Screenshots taken using Blizzard's official method, not fraps for example, contained vaguely visible watermarks that, when decrypted, reveal personal information. A user over at Ownedcore discovered Blizzards' 'addition', saying:

"The secret watermark which is being intentionally embedded inside WoW generated screenshots below top quality, DOES NOT CONTAIN the account password, the IP address of the user or any personal information like name/surname etc. It does contain the account ID, a timestamp and the IP address of the current realm. It can be used by hackers to link alt. characters to accounts and target specific spam or scam attacks, and it can be used by Blizzard to track down private WoW servers."

So, crafty Blizzard are up to some dastardly tricks. I'm sure they use this information to target private servers and other such hackers, by identifying screenshots and getting their account name, but this also raises a question of personal intrusion on normal users. By the users calculations over at Ownedcore, this has been going on since 2008! There also seems to be evidence that Blizzard is breaching its own Terms of Service by doing this. It's not as if your account is in danger, it's just generally shitty of Blizzard.

Don't lock you children and hide your wife just yet, maybe just use fraps or something and badmouth Blizzard, now that's a pastime we can all get behind.

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Posts: 1548

I'm sure they will come up with some stupid excuse but its just plain intrusion of privacy.