mindtangle

October 16th, 2005

Blizzard Breaks and Enters Onto Customer Private Property

World’s largest known computer intrusion, successfully subverting more than 4.5 million private computers, performed by software company Blizzard Entertainment against their own customers:

I watched the warden sniff down the email addresses of people I was communicating with on MSN, the URL of several websites that I had open at the time, and the names of all my running programs, including those that were minimized or in the toolbar. These strings can easily contain social security numbers or credit card numbers, for example, if I have Microsoft Excel or Quickbooks open w/ my personal finances at the time.
This discovery has keyed off a very interesting debate as to what the acceptable range of operations is for software you choose to install on your computer. Now that you’ve given this executable code the capability to access your private information, do the programmers now have the right to do with that information whatever they please? Apparently, many people believe the answer is “Yes.”

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