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Class action lawsuit targets Blizzard over security issues

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(Credit: Blizzard)

Three months after suffering a security breach that affected millions of players, Blizzard Entertainment is facing a class action lawsuit from users who say they should have been protected better.

Carney Williams Bates Pulliam & Bowman, PLLC, a law firm in the Central District of California, has filed the suit against the publisher on behalf of players. (It's worth noting that no user financial data was reported taken during the attack.)

The firm alleges that Battle.Net authenticators, which Blizzard sells to add a layer of security onto the online system, are a "deceptive upselling." They further accuse the maker of World of Warcraft and Diablo III of failing to maintain proper security protocols on the user information it stores.

"Blizzard should not be passing the costs of basic account security on to consumers after selling them these games," the firm said in a press release. "They need to be honest if they're going to saddle people with additional costs. They need to be up front about the level of protection they will provide to their customers, and they cannot be negligent in maintaining proper security protocols."

Blizzard responded in a statement to Forbes, calling the suit "without merit and filled with patently false information" and saying it "will vigorously defend [itself] through the appropriate legal channels."

Among other things, the suit is asking for damages, and that Blizzard no longer be allowed to force players to create Battle.net accounts to play its non-MMORPG titles, such as Starcraft and Diablo III.

Blizzard's user database is a substantial one. World of Warcraft alone has 9.1 million active accounts, and at least another 4 million players likely still have log-in accounts. An unknown number of other accounts were also likely affected for players of the company's other games.

Blizzard is one of many game companies who have been hit by hackers in the past year. Valve Software was hacked last November, as was Nexon. Bethesda and Epic also suffered breaches.

And, of course, Sony's hacking last May kicked off the flood. That attack reportedly cost the company more than $170 million.

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