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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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    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    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 […]