Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Authenticator - Disappointment

Account security these days is something of a hot topic. Seems like everyone is going around donning their +5 Tinfoil Hats of Increased Detection.

While World of Warcraft is no different than any other MMORPG as far as account thefts are concerned, its size does seem to attract a lot of.. Unwanted guests.

So it's no surprise that Blizzard devised a strategy to deal with the threat of account theft. Their solution? A $7 digital Authenticator (Or those with $300 phones, a free mobile application).

I won't go into the mobile app, because as far as I'm concerned, it's a very good app that does what it says it does. Plus, it's free. You can't argue with free.

My concern stems with the physical Authenticators, ones you have to pay for.

I could start by saying "I've never had my account hacked / I've been hacked", but that's just pointless. Suffice it to say, I take good care of my account security as best as anyone can.

Buying an Authenticator was basically for the peace of mind. And you know what they say, you can't put a price on peace of mind.

That being said, I will get to the bread and butter off this topic.

First and foremost, ordering an Authenticator was quick and easy. All my credit card info was already stored so all I had to do was click "Check out" and "Confirm".

It took them 4 days just to ship the item and another 3 days to arrive. But since my account is frozen, I didn't mind this.

The package was a simple bubblewrap-lined manila envelope from Activision-Blizzard. Nothing fancy. The Authenticator itself was in a tiny white box with no markings of any kind. A simple rectangular cut-out showed off the Authenticator's Display. The box was simple and cheap. Removing the Authenticator from the box, you will notice it is wrapped in a simple plastic film. Not very tough, but flexible. The film is unlikely to deter anything other than fingerprints to the display itself and I wondered what the reason was for even including such a item, but I digress.

The Authenticator is 2 and 2/16ths of an inch at its width and and 1 inch at its height. That is to say, it is very small and easy to misplace. It is rectangular in shape, with smooth; rounded edges. At the end of the Authenticator resides a very cheap, and poorly made keychain.

The Authenticator itself features a simple "World of Warcraft" logo, at a small angle. To the side, nearest the keychain is a Core Hound; which is the in-game pet you receive for activating the Authenticator itself.

Atop the Authenticator is a simple; large black-button. To the Right is the LCD display. Pressing the button generates a string of numbers that lasts for 10 seconds, at which point they vanish and you will have to generate another key.

The graphic on the Authenticator is a simple sticker, covered in a thin hard plastic, slightly harder than laminate and more resistant to scratches, but it still scratches fairly easy, especially if stored in a drawer with other items. Upon receiving my Authenticator, it already had a large; very noticeable scratch on it.

On the reverse side of the Authenticator and etched into the plastic is the manufacturer's Website address and name. It reads "www.vasco.com". Under it is the US patent number "4.599.489 & 4.609.777 respectively).

Adjacent from this information is a simple white sticker. On the sticker is your serial number which is used to register the Authenticator to your account (or remove it), a barcode, And a simple note stating "Made in China"

There's the basics of the Authenticator. All-together, not very impressive.

 

Now for the review.


  • The Authenticator is light-weight and small. It is very easy to misplace. Given the nature of the Authenticator, misplacing said item can be considered a very, very bad thing.

  • No built-in light or anything to make reading the numbers easier. As someone who plays the game at night, or in a dark room, you may find yourself fumbling around, trying to bounce enough light off your monitor to read the numbers, or find yourself turning a light on and off just to log into the game.

  • The keychain is weak and seems redundant. The Authenticator isn't made to share a spot with heavy keys which would easily scratch or damage the display.

  • There is no way to change the Authenticator's battery. Should it die for any reason, you will have to purchase another Authenticator. And if it should die, you will have no way to generate another key to access your account and remove it!

  • The plastic shell is fairly sturdy and feels like it could withstand a blow or two. You shouldn't fear dropping your Authenticator.

  • Given that many of the security risks come from China itself, it makes no sense to have such a delicate piece of account security manufactured there as well. I was very surprised to see such an insult plastered on my Authenticator and felt like I was paying the enemy.

  • The price of the Authenticator is ridiculous in comparison to its design. The cheap toy such as this can easily be found in those coin-opperated machines you see in your local grocery store, and the difference between this and those is that at least those have interchangeable batteries, and tell time!

All-in-all, The authenticator is a complete and utter failure. Blizzard could  introduce an on-screen keyboard with built in security code like virtually Every single Free to Play MMORPG ever made for free and just as easily cut down on account hacking. Not only does Blizzard Fail in this, but Blizzard Does not even allow you to have case-sensitive passwords, further compounding to the problem of account security related issues.


 


There's no excuse for the ridiculous price of the Authenticator. I can buy a Kingston 8GB SDHC card from Newegg for $20 and that includes Shipping.


 


All-in-all, you're paying for a piece of crap. But what you are really getting is the peace of mind. Knowing that you have a thicker layer of protection on your account is a nice relief to many out there fearful of their account being hacked, which is necessary considering you can't make case sensitive passwords.


 


So you have to ask yourself. Is $7 worth that peace of mind, or are you better off without?


 


That's my review. Thanks for reading.


 


 


 


~Miles "Tails" Prower out! Catch me if you can!

imageimageimage
image
Come Join us at www.globalequestria.com - Meet other fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!

Comments

  • Gymrat313Gymrat313 Member UncommonPosts: 152

    LOL its $7, I would say its worth it.  Considering people have been pouring years of their life into this game and it GREATLY increases account security. 

    image
  • expressoexpresso Member UncommonPosts: 2,218

    It's free on Android.

  • marinridermarinrider Member UncommonPosts: 1,556

    I have had my Authinticator on my keychain with 4-5 other keys for about 2 or 3 months now, ive used it to pull my keys out of my pockets (Which can be tight sometimes), and I've dropped it.  My authinticator still works fine and does not have a scratch, and the keychain is still good as new.

     

    Although I would agree, it does need a light.  But if anyone thinks this price is crazy, an authinticator from E-Trade (Supposing you don thave more than 60 trades that quarter) cost $25.  So I think you can do the math on that comparison.

  • PsychowPsychow Member Posts: 1,784

    FYI, it's the exact same security token used for FFXIV, with a different label on it.

     

    I have no issues with mine. I don't move it around since I play on a desktop computer, I just leave it next to my monitor for use when I log in. I can see mobility being more of an issue for laptop users who may be moving around.

  • Frostbite05Frostbite05 Member Posts: 1,880

    First off its free if you have pretty much any smarthphone. Secondly, its still a lot easier to hack a virtual keyboard then it is to use an authenticator that blizzard has. 

  • SenadinaSenadina Member UncommonPosts: 896

    It definitely needs a light, but then we would need to replace the battery ( which we cannot do), even faster. I agree it could have been better made but it  doesn't bother me enough to make a post like this. Chill.

    image
  • Miles-ProwerMiles-Prower Member Posts: 1,106

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    First off its free if you have pretty much any smarthphone. Secondly, its still a lot easier to hack a virtual keyboard then it is to use an authenticator that blizzard has. 

    That's debateable.

    Also, based on the price of a Smart Phone alone I'd be shocked to see them ask people to pay for the app, lol. Also, I'm not reviewing the mobil application, which leads me to believe all you read was the bulleted list at the bottom. That makes me a sad fox =(. I put a lot of effort in that, I did!

    It definitely needs a light, but then we would need to replace the battery ( which we cannot do), even faster. I agree it could have been better made but it  doesn't bother me enough to make a post like this. Chill.

    I'm not "Upset" if that's what you're implying. This was a simple review I did of the Authenticator. As I said numerous times within my post, that the Authenticator is worth it for the peace of mind.

    ~Miles "Tails" Prower out! Catch me if you can!

    imageimageimage
    image
    Come Join us at www.globalequestria.com - Meet other fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!
  • Frostbite05Frostbite05 Member Posts: 1,880

    Originally posted by Miles-Prower

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    First off its free if you have pretty much any smarthphone. Secondly, its still a lot easier to hack a virtual keyboard then it is to use an authenticator that blizzard has. 

    That's debateable.

    Also, based on the price of a Smart Phone alone I'd be shocked to see them ask people to pay for the app, lol.

    It definitely needs a light, but then we would need to replace the battery ( which we cannot do), even faster. I agree it could have been better made but it  doesn't bother me enough to make a post like this. Chill.

    I'm not "Upset" if that's what you're implying. This was a simple review I did of the Authenticator. As I said numerous times within my post, that the Authenticator is worth it for the peace of mind.

    ~Miles "Tails" Prower out! Catch me if you can!

    nah just pointing out two things that i disagree on is all. Never really thought you were upset. Granted at the start I did just from the length. It was a decent review though.

  • unbound55unbound55 Member UncommonPosts: 325

    Total failure on the part of the OP.  I've known a few people that are generally pretty good about security get a keylogger (why do you think the 2008 Java null pointer caught so many people...it was something new and unique).  Basically, it happens to even those that aren't complete idiots.  To the OP, spend some time educating yourself on security sites before you post something security related again.

     

    Could Blizzard sell them for cheaper?  Probably, but I haven't seen a corporation in the last 2 decades be generous with any product they sell unless they are looking for a tax write-off.

     

    Is it effective?  It's a very good security measure for a reasonably cheap price that is incredibly more effective than most techniques short of high quality biometrics.  It becomes a method of 2-factor authentication...the nonsense you see in many of the F2P games are the actual security blankets.  They make you feel better, but they aren't particularly effective.

     

    Can the authenticator be hacked?  Yes (it was earlier this year), but not very easily.  Can someone break into my house with my deadbolt locked?  Yes.  But it's a heck of lot harder with a deadbolt than just the lock in the knob.  Is it stupid to own a house and not have a deadbolt?  Absolutely stupid.  For the cheap price of a deadbolt, you'd be a moron not get one.  The authenticator is the same concept...it's cheap, simple and very effective.

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Member UncommonPosts: 2,662

    I think you're barking up the wrong tree here. Authenticators are not worthless no matter how much you think the hardware it comes on is. It's a one time fee of 7 dollars that could potentially protect up to 5 years worth of progress. I have mine on my cell, so is the worth of it somehow enhanced because it's housed in a more expensive shell? I think not. Plus Blizzard was thoughtful enough to throw a bone to those that enhanced their accounts with a authenticator by giving them a exclusive pet as well. A visual cue, if you will, to would be hackers of another wall to break through. All in all I think you need to determine if YOUR situation warrants another level of protection and if it's worth.

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • Miles-ProwerMiles-Prower Member Posts: 1,106

    Originally posted by unbound55

    Total failure on the part of the OP.  I've known a few people that are generally pretty good about security get a keylogger (why do you think the 2008 Java null pointer caught so many people...it was something new and unique).  Basically, it happens to even those that aren't complete idiots.  To the OP, spend some time educating yourself on security sites before you post something security related again.

     

    Could Blizzard sell them for cheaper?  Probably, but I haven't seen a corporation in the last 2 decades be generous with any product they sell unless they are looking for a tax write-off.

     

    Is it effective?  It's a very good security measure for a reasonably cheap price that is incredibly more effective than most techniques short of high quality biometrics.  It becomes a method of 2-factor authentication...the nonsense you see in many of the F2P games are the actual security blankets.  They make you feel better, but they aren't particularly effective.

     

    Can the authenticator be hacked?  Yes (it was earlier this year), but not very easily.  Can someone break into my house with my deadbolt locked?  Yes.  But it's a heck of lot harder with a deadbolt than just the lock in the knob.  Is it stupid to own a house and not have a deadbolt?  Absolutely stupid.  For the cheap price of a deadbolt, you'd be a moron not get one.  The authenticator is the same concept...it's cheap, simple and very effective.

    Failure? On my part? How? Did you not read the post where I stated that the Authenticator is worth it for the peace of mind? I bought an Authenticator. I intend to use it. I don't intend on removing it.

    You just came and posted after reading the title, didn't you? *sigh*


    I think you're barking up the wrong tree here.

    Authenticators are not worthless no matter how much you think the hardware it comes

    on is. It's a one time fee of 7 dollars that could potentially

    protect up to 5 years worth of progress.


     

    Another person posting without even reading my post.. Where you know.. I clearly state that the Authenticator is worth it for the peace of mind alone. You know.. Me agreeing with you.. Right?

     

     

    ~Miles "Tails" Prower out! Catch me if you can!

    imageimageimage
    image
    Come Join us at www.globalequestria.com - Meet other fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!
  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Member UncommonPosts: 2,662

    Then why make  a post about what kind of case it comes in? That was even more worthless than how you view the case that houses the authentication software. Why be disappointed about it not being in a metal titanium case trimmed in gold with a double enforced steel clamp to link it to your belt, when all it's going to do is dangle from a set of keys in your pocket for 90% of the time you have it and not something you'd be showboating in the first place? No I still think your reaching here.

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • Miles-ProwerMiles-Prower Member Posts: 1,106

    Originally posted by Ramonski7

    Then why make  a post about what kind of case it comes in? That was even more worthless than how you view the case that houses the authentication software. Why be disappointed about it not being in a metal titanium case trimmed in gold with a double enforced steel clamp to link it to your belt, when all it's going to do is dangle from a set of keys in your pocket for 90% of the time you have it and not something you'd be showboating in the first place? No I still think your reaching here.

    I wanted to contribute something to the community and having nothing else to review that I was familiar with, I chose my Authenticator that I just bought.

    I've already reported my thread as flaming. I'm hoping this thread gets locked, I shouldn't have posted it in the first place.

    All I wanted to do was give potential buyers a glimpse of what they were getting, but I see now that I wasted my time.

    Report this thread so it gets locked. The entire thread is just one big train wreck waiting to happen, and any mod should be able to see that.

    So if you, or anyone else cares about the integrity of these forums, I urge you all to report the thread.

     

    ~Miles "Tails" Prower out! Catch me if you can!

    imageimageimage
    image
    Come Join us at www.globalequestria.com - Meet other fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic!
  • ChirugaiChirugai Member UncommonPosts: 304

    Locked via request of the OP.

    Fortune favours the bold.

This discussion has been closed.