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Origin hacks: EA’s security checks lock users out of their own account – source

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 13:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Origin has been hit by a string of hacks recently, according to threads of disgruntled games on EA’s forum claiming their their account has been hijacked and that they can’t regain access due to the publisher’s iron clad security policy – specifically their date of birth password reminder system. One user has told VG247 all about his ongoing attempts to get his stolen account back.

Our source – a gamer who had his account hijacked by who he believes to be a hacker in Belarus – told us that his account had been stolen and his security question answers altered to prevent him from reclaiming it.

He has since phoned EA repeatedly only to be stonewalled when asked for his date of birth – which the hacker has now changed. He told us that it felt like he was “Talking to machines,” and that despite providing receipts of every game purchased on his account, further identification, proof of address and game activation codes, he still cannot get his account back without providing the altered date of birth.

It’s a common issue it seems, as one look at EA’s Origin forum will uncover reams of threads dedicated to the same issue. NeoGAF has many of the most prominent threads compiled here.

One forum poster said of the issue, “I was shocked when advisor said that my date of birth is wrong. This just can’t be right, because my date of birth is my date of birth and me is me, how could my date of birth be different from what I know?

“There must be error in your database, or it was hacked or i simply made a mistake entering date of birth during registration, but letting the hacker just feel free to use/resell my account with games for which I paid money when i still can provide you tons of information is spitting in my face.”

Our source went on to echo the forum user’s sentiment on the matter, “A paying customer loses access to all eight of his games on Origin – bought for over a hundred pounds – and has no way of getting them back because of EA’s ludicrous ‘security’ policies, while some hacker in Belarus gets to play them without being questioned at all.”

VG247 asked EA for a comment on the matter last week, and while they were happy to take our sources details and resolve his issue, they have yet been unable to provide us with a statement or reason for Origin’s hijacking problems.

Eurogamer reported today that the same thing has been happened with Origin user’s email addresses, and that authentication could not be passed for similar reasons.

The solution on the Origin forum as proposed by EA is always the same – to contact Origin support – although as one user replied to the suggestion by saying that they had tried this, but with no success.

“I spoke to a live advisor this morning, but unfortunately he could not verify me because I couldn’t remember what date of birth I entered in my profile. My worry is that there is now no way for me to verify my account and I will no longer be able to access the games that I have purchased.”

It’s a valid concern and although it’s clear that some users are getting their Origin accounts back after a lot of phone calls, forum posts and stress, the issue doesn’t seem to be resolved fast enough in some instances.

The same forum user above posted their full account of the process they went through to get their account back:

“I’ve managed to get my account back today – 6 days after it was hacked. The first thing I did was contact EA LiveChat on the day of the hacking and spoke to someone to try to retrieve my account. They located my account via one of my game keys which I provided.

“However, they couldn’t verify me because I didn’t know what date of birth I used when I registered my account (it transpired that this was because my Origin account was either an old EA profile account which got converted to Origin or was created via Xbox Live, neither of which require a DOB when you first register).

“They insisted that they couldn’t do anything without the DOB. Because there was no way I could ever produce the DOB I asked them to escalate the issue to someone else – the LiveChat person was happy to do so, but still insisted that whoever it was escalated to would also need my DOB. This made me worried that I could never get my account back but was worth a shot because I had no other choice.

“About 4 days later I was contacted by someone from EA Customer Relations who arranged a phone call with me. When we spoke, they could see that the account had been hacked and verified my account by asking what my shipping address was and what games and game keys I had on the account. I had previous dates and order numbers ready from my purchases in case they need that info. After that they could get my account back.

“I’m really glad to get the games I’d paid for back and once I’d gotten through to someone from Customer Relations I was impressed with how quickly and efficiently they could resolve the issue.”

While the user above championed EA’s quick response, six days is a long time for someone to have access to your credit card details and game library. Again, the EA forums are a source of similar tales, suggesting that more must be done to safeguard Origin accounts.

We will continue to ask EA for a comment and update the story when we can.

Have you been affected? If you would like to get in touch with us to tell us your Origin issues then you can do so via our contact form.

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10 Comments

  1. AlchemyFire

    Origin support is a joke. I was charged twice for the same online purchase. After composing an e-mail with all my details, attached receipt of purchase etc, I received a generic reply asking me to submit pretty much exactly what I had originally. A month later of backwards and forwards e-mails, with quite clearly people who actually no clue what they were doing, I lodged a dispute with PayPal. Nearly 2 months later, I received my refund.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Mike W

    Damn

    #2 2 years ago
  3. OlderGamer

    I never liked Origin, at all. What pisses me off the most with EA is that seemingly everything they sell has to be tied into Origin. I can’t just buy a damn game and play it. They want as much info from me as they can get. And they want me going online all of the time.

    And I am not even talking about the PC store/game client, I am talking about XB360 games where they want me to log on a PC/Mobile link my game and account and update info that they don’t even need in the first place and if I do it, they give me an in game “unlock”. I can think of several EA games like that, NCAA, BF, Madden, SSX. Of course you don’t always have to do that, unless that is you want to play your newly purchased game online.

    Mark my words I will NEVER use Origin the game selling store online. Bad enough I am jumping thro their hoops with a console game as it is.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    Yeah, I wish GamersGate or GOG would come up with a client, I’d actually be inclined to use those.

    Origin is just a mess. Instead of having an interesting selection like GamersGate, they just take their games off other services. I think Warfighter sold something like 5 copies, great job!

    Instead of making it worth peoples while like Steam, they hike prices, and apparently none of those healthy profits are going into training their cheaply outsourced support staff.

    And of course there’s the knowledge that every time you buy something you’re conveniencing EA by sending an additional 30% toward helping them fund their next big “SOCIAL” “MOBILE” gaming adventure. Like Simcityville. I can’t have that on my conscience. 70% is bad enough.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. ScaryWorld

    LOL, GUYS! Today I finally got through tech support EA and returned my account. Before that, I waited 42 DAYS from the moment I created ticket on the page help.ea.com with no answer! Then I tried to call them 6 DAYS! And today, when I get through, they answered me “Please calm down!” I hate these freaks!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    @5 However frustrating EA’s inepitude might be, that doesn’t give you the right to lash out at other human being, especially the support people trying to make up for EA’s mistakes.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. no_end

    I’m glad I have hundreds of non-EA games to play while they learn how to not suck, plus Tomb Raider, GTA5, Hitman, Bioshock Infinite, Farcry 3, Metro Last Light, etc. to keep me busy in 2013. No EA = No problem.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    @6: I could understand somebody getting put out after that period of time (ridiculous) without access to an account in which they’ve put time and money. You don’t know there was lashing out, viciousness on Scary’s part. Might have just been stressed/exasperated, and taken a piece of advice offered in a clumsy tone as an insult.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. AlchemyFire

    @6 When you have to explain the same thing, over and over and over and just get generic copy and paste replies, by someone who clearly hasn’t taken the time or is incapable of understanding a single question/problem in English, then the frustration builds up.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. dkolev80

    I am 100% sure EA were hacked. I am one of the victim. I realize this few hours ago.
    In the begging of September I got an email, telling me that telling that EA/Origin is aware with the problem of missing games. The seems to be send from support[at]ea.com and gmail did not recognize the email as span.
    Today, after another chat with the support, I asked again about this email. The support guy (who was very fiendly) told, that EA never send such email. Just after this I saw the message header – the email was send through script hosted in webi.ru
    As I understand I am not the only one, as EA try to convince me. My email changed to nistersn01[at]gmail.com and I do not know the birth date linked to the account
    I asked a friend of mine to post in the origin forum. Here is the thread: http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/9054163.page

    #10 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

    The early 90′s are alive and well in a new bid to bring back Toejam and Earl. Toejam and Earl released for Mega Drive (Genesis, Americans) in 1991, and the eponymous characters went on to count among Sega’s best-known characters. They appeared in a platformer, a light gun shooter and finally a 2002 Xbox game […]

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

    Wander is a collaborative, non-combat MMO in which you can take on a number of unique forms. Wander players begin as an ambulant tree called an Oren and can progress through several different bodies as they explore the environment, learning its secrets. One of these, which we’d not seen before this trailer, is the amphibious […]

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

    SOMA, the new horror game from the Amnesia: The Dark Descent crew, is getting close to playable. Frictional Games has apologised for its recent silence over the project, but said it’s focused on reaching beta. Sorry all for the silence! We're closing in on Beta and everyone's working hard to get there. Once that's done, […]

  • Square Enix does not condone Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest HD Remaster

    Square Enix has said it’s not involved with a fan remake of Final Fantasy spin-off Mystic Quest. 1992 SNES game Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is being remade by Dark Design as Mystic Quest HD Remaster. The developer is even taking pre-orders for the project. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in no position to be […]

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

    LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers Tarsier Studios have released a teaser trailer for Hunger, which was announced in May 2014 at the Nordic Game Conference. The game has been rumored to be the firm’s unannounced Sony project since 2010. Platforms are still to be announced, but the studio became a first-party SCE developer a few years back, […]

  • Here’s two Mario Party 10 overview videos, one featuring amiibo

    Overview videos for Mario Party 10 and the amiibo which work with the title have been released by Nintendo Japan. Obviously each one is in Japanese, but you get the gist all the same. Mario Party 10 releases on Wii U March 20 in North America and Europe. Thanks, AGB.

  • Clan Raids announced for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App

    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

    Xbox One users with an EA Access subscription will be able to play 10 hours worth of Battlefield Hardline starting March 12. EA Access members will are being granted access to the game five days before the street date, with full multiplayer and all saves transferring over into the main game. It was announced yesterday […]

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

    With Destiny patch 1.1.1 now available, here’s a video summary of what to expect. In the video above, Arekkz Gaming gives you a rundown of the important bits in the update. Subscribe to Arekkz Gaming for more Destiny tips and trick through the link.

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

    Destiny’s 1.1.1 patch arrives today, so if you have been kicked from activities, it means you will need to download the patch now that it’s live. We will be pushing the 1.1.1 patch for Destiny shortly. Players will be kicked from activities and required to download the patch. — Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) February 25, 2015 […]

  • Payday 2 packs based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming

    Starbreeze has announced another collaboration with Dennaton Games which will see masks based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number appear in Payday 2. The collaboration consists of two free updates when you acquire Hotline Miami 2 or its deluxe version on Steam from February 25. The two updates, called Hotline Miami Mask Pack and Jacket […]

  • Velocity 2X making its way onto Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One

    Velocity 2X will be released on Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One Futurlab has announced. The developer is in charge of the port, which will be published by Sierra. According to Futurlab, the deal with Sierra came about when self-publishing proved to be difficult due to spending “more time doing PR and marketing on Velocity […]

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number finally has a release date

    A release date for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been announced, finally. The game will arrive on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita March 10. It is now available for pre-order on GOG, Humble and Steam for 10% off for $13.49/£10.99. There’s also a Digital Special Edition available which includes tracks from […]

  • Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena is a twin stick shooter MOBA for PC

    Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena has been announced as a twin stick shooter MOBA blend from Whitebox Interactive. Set for a 2016 release on PC, the game’s beta will be on show at PAX East next month. An Early Access release is slated for Q2 2015 and you can already purchase early access for a […]

  • More information, videos for cancelled Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun surface

    A trailer for the cancelled Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun title from Climax which was reportedly set for an E3 2012 reveal, has surfaced. Along with the above video is another which is described as a pre-boss battle cutscene. It’s below. According to a source of NeoGAF’s Mama Robotnik, the game was being developed under […]

  • Three additional games added to Square Enix Humble Bundle

    Kane & Lynch Collection, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Startopia have been added to the Square Enix Humble Bundle. All three are made available when paying the average price of $7.69. Those who have already purchased the bundle will automatically be granted the titles. All three are available for PC only. The […]

  • Forza Horizon 2 gets Fast & Furious with standalone expansion

    A Fast & Furious tie-in and standalone expansion to Forza Horizon 2 will arrive for Xbox consoles next month. Titled Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, the downloadable title does not require the base game to play. “We’ve been talking with the folks at Turn 10 for a number of years and have always […]

  • The Evil Within: The Assignment has a release date, new trailer

    The Evil Within: The Assignment will be released on March 10 in North America and March 11 in Europe, it was announced today. Along with an exact release date was a trailer detailing more information about the first set of DLC. The Assignment is the first of two DLCs centering on Detective Castellanos’ mysterious partner, […]

  • Steam and GOG cross-platform multiplayer added to AvP Classic 2000

    Steam and GOG have announced Aliens vs Predator Classic 2000 owners will be able play multiplayer with each other across both platforms. With the recent online multiplayer update for for AVP Classic 2000, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley has made good on his promise from June to offer cross-platform play between the Steam and GOG platforms. […]

  • OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood arrives on PS4, Vita next week

    Roll7 has announced it will release OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood next week. The developer announced the dates on Twitter this morning alongside the launch trailer. You will be able to download the game for PlayStation 4 and Vita March 3 in North America and March 4 in Europe.

  • Week 7: Play GTA Online with VG247 tonight at 8pm UK time!

    Heists got a date! Come play GTA Online with us to celebrate. We’re playing GTA Online on PS4 tonight with whoever else fancies it. That means you. This week’s playlist is Happy for Heists, because we kind of are. The six jobs involved will last about 45 minutes. Anyone can turn up. Here’s how. We’ll […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight – first look into the story

    Batman: Arkham Knight has a new trailer available that gives us a peek into Scarecrow’s plan to unite all villains against Batman. The trailer below has a different tone to the ones showing Arkham Knight. Instead, we get a look at Scarecrow’s team of super-villains including new footage of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. There […]