The worst possible thing to happen to a MMO player is getting their account hacked. All the work that you put in to your account can be gone and the process of getting your character and items back is a painful and long process. Companies of course take steps to protect customers like Blizzard’s Authenticator for World of Warcraft but recent events show that even these aren’t fool proof.
The Authenticator for WoW has a reputation for being hack proof and because of that a lot of people own one. Basically what it does is it gives you a set of random digits that you put in with your original password. So every time you log in to your WoW account you get an extra random password that only the owner of the Authenticator can know.
From what I know there hasn’t been a case of an account that used an Authenticator getting hacked but that changed today. There is a virus going around that can hack the World of Warfcraft Authenticator. The virus intercepts the Authenticator code when you log into WoW and sends Blizzard a wrong one (which is why you can’t log in since you will get a “Wrong info” error) and then the people behind the virus have a few minutes to log into your account with the real Authenticator code. A Blizzard employee said this about the recently hacked WoW accounts that used Authenticators.
So the Authenticator is not a fail safe way to keep accounts safe but it is still a very good investment. If you want to check to see if you have the virus just search for the file “emcor.dll” on your computer. If you have it then your account most likely has already been hacked.
Tools like the Authenticator can only do so much. It is really unfortunate that people are getting hacked even with this security measure but it all comes down to the user. Safe browsing habits, a good anti-virus, common sense (against phishers) and things like an Authenticator can make your account virtually hack proof.