Zeff mentioned to me he had to adjust to my pessimism when we got married. I am trying not to be disturbed by that statement. Of course, he is completely correct. If there is a glass in front of me, it’s isn’t half full or even half empty, it’s dry as a bone. Friday was one of those days when the glass wasn’t just bone dry, it had shattered into a bazillion pieces.
The Air Conditioning went out at the house, and we didn’t realize until bedtime. I will swear to you I saw heat waves at the top of my stairs when we climbed up. I got everyone moved downstairs to sleep. The beagle loved it. She has a thing for sniffing at the front door and barking every 2 or 3 minutes. It made for a great 6 hours of rest, not.
We all woke up around 6 am. First thing I do every morning is check my email on my phone. I saw I had several facebook messages, and clicked over to see what was up. There were several from both my Kin Leader and one of my favorite Kin mates in LOTRO. “If you see this, get online. You are being hacked.”
After my heart left my throat, I tried to repeat the information to Zeff. Between stammers, I noticed I had missed reading the beginning of the message thread.
I hadn’t been hacked, Zeff had.
He took the news better than I had for the previous 5 minutes. He checked the email on his phone and saw a message from Turbine that he had been perma-banned. We read in another message that at least two of Zeff’s character’s had been deleted. Our Kin leader had been fast on his feet. He watched Zeff’s officer character log on at 2:51am for a couple of minutes and then leave the Kin. Smelling something fishy, he put in a cheating/hacker ticket. The spawn of satan had time to delete one more character and was on his third when the GM locked things down.
We had a Kin Rift raid scheduled for 9 pm est Friday night. I figured there was no way the shattered glass could be glued together for raid night.
While I tried to figure out how to reconcile the news, Zeff dressed for work, poured his coffee and told me he would be sure to call someone about the Air Conditioning. He then kissed my forehead, and went to work.
After he left, I sort of stared at the door expecting him to come back in at any moment. I sure wasn’t feeling the TGIF! I spilled my drink all over my T-shirt, dropped my breakfast on the floor, and forgot to turn off the stove all before 8 am. Friday officially sucked.
After he got home, we started trying to figure out what to do next. Zeff called Turbine when the phone lines opened at noon, and after an identity check, they told him they would unlock his account within the hour. He would need to put in a ticket for each character that had been deleted, as well as a ticket for what items he could remember each character having.
I watched his face when he was able to log in, and saw the shock register when his character list came up and both his almost capped character’s were not there.
We rebounded and he started getting on with it. He put in the two missing character tickets, and started going through his other character’s to see if they had been touched.
Within another hour his two deleted characters were back. He began compiling the list of things he was missing. It’s going to be a long slog. While Zeff is rather organized, it’s hard to remember everything. It’s also hard to prove you had the items to begin with.
Turbine will try to replace things that they can prove you had. Items that were destroyed or sold can be tracked. Other things are too hard to pin down. They will try and give you a general reimbursement based on your character’s level at the time of the hack.
We noticed that the deleted character’s retained reputation, barter wallet items, and the equipped gear they were wearing. All his other Legendary Item’s on the two characters were wiped. EEEKKKK. Think twice before you log out with a fishing pole in your hand!
I have in the past complained about the bound higher end gear which was unable to be sold. I regret my verbal rant. The only things Zeff retained were bound items the Plat farmer bastage was unable to sell quickly for hard cash. I am really thankful for that. Getting the character back nekkid would have been horrible.
We are still waiting for the reimbursement package, but I think it will take at least a week. I think that’s smart of Turbine, by the way. I think Turbine is aware memory is triggered in dribbles. A player isn’t going to notice their XYZ with fire defense is missing until they go to run content which requires fire defense. It will take a few days for Zeff to have a more comprehensive list together.
How did they get into his account? We really don’t know. A TON of gaming sites have been hacked lately. Zeff isn’t sure if he had reused his game password on any of the sites, but he could have. We both spent hours Friday ensuring we changed password’s to be unique for the gazillion logins we use.
I have to a HUGE shout out to Turbine. They not only froze Zeff’s account DURING the hack, they were really quick to reassure him of the steps necessary to fix some of what had been taken from him. The customer service simply rocked. It’s scary to have your account information used by an outsider. Turbine did everything they could to make the situation more bearable.
Our Kin mates were smart. They knew Zeff’s habits and what was out of character. They ran to his house to try and get anything out of it they could before it was cleaned out or sold due to the character who owned it being deleted. They quickly demoted Zeff’s character’s to protect the kin chests. Most importantly, without their common sense, the hacker would have had time to further decimate the account. Zeff could have logged in to having zero characters.
I am grateful for a lot of things. My Air Conditioning is back working. My t-shirt wasn’t permanently stained. I remade breakfast. I didn’t burn the house down.
Zeff made the Rift raid, and it was the first win we’d had with an almost exclusive Kin group.
I won the housing item. It's one I have coveted in many a front lawn in my shire neighborhood.
My glass will always be empty. It is just the way I am built, but I can celebrate the moments of joy when they come my way. I can try to keep my eyes open to the good things, and be less quick to embrace the dark side!
Take the time today to look over your current security for logins, passwords, firewalls, virus protection and so forth. Don’t be the next victim. Every one of us who are derelict in our own safety feed the Plat Farmer monsters a little more. Don’t support them. Don’t buy from them. Don’t put other gamers at risk with your own laziness.
Basically, don’t be a tool.
I am inserting my favorite Plat Farmer video below for your viewing enjoyment.
If I ever meet the little prick in a dark alley, I am gonna kick him in the nut sack! Bloody Plat Farmer raping ass hat.
*mumbles to herself as she retreats away from her computer for a sanity check*