Cyber Security Awareness Tip #27: Online Games and Virtual Worlds

Published: 2007-10-27
Last Updated: 2007-10-28 01:18:15 UTC
by Joel Esler (Version: 2)
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Today's Cyber Security Awareness tip is for Online Games and Virtual Worlds.


Quick story, then I want to hear your comments. 

I recently quit WoW (World of Warcraft for those of you that haven't used a computer in the past couple years ;).  Just didn't have enough time.  Spent awhile getting my character (Human Warlock) up to level 70, and found out, that basically..  I just spent the whole time getting /ready/ to play the game.  The game doesn't start until you hit the highest level.  Then it's all about honor, keys, and instances.   WoW in particular, like alot of online MMORPG's, consumes a lot of free time.  I recently watched a CSI: NY where half the story took place inside of "Second Life" and the other half took place in "Real Life"  (or RL).  This raises security implications and personality implications.


What happens when what you do at home (in the game), comes out to real life?  What about the other way around?


Like to hear what you guys have to say!  Write into us here at the Storm Center at the Contact Link at the top or the bottom of the page.

(I also installed OSX Leopard yesterday, and will be posting some thoughts about that a bit later, stay tuned, I'm still playing)

Joel Esler


UPDATE:  We've had lots of people write in telling us experiences about how to separate RL and Game.  People use separate credit cards, never reveal who they are in real life, and even going on to send us stories about Child Pornography in games and exploits against the games itself.

It seems strange that in the world we live in, that there is money to be made in the collection and exploitation of machines to do nothing else but steal registration keys and passwords for game software.  There are multiple pieces of malware, viruses, and trojans that make use of exploits to collect these items.  Heck, there are whole economies out there built to make "RL" money off of game items and money.  Websites that sell WoW and EQ items and Gold.

Basically, as with everything online, venture at your own risk.  Just remember to try and keep work and game separate, and remember...  It's only a GAME.

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