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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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    Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is very serious business so please enjoy this very serious trailer. “Return to the dicey world of Knights of Pen & Paper for a new turn-based adventure, where players get to take on the role of players, and also of the game’s encounter-designing, rules-laywering GM in a fully customizable […]

  • Amplitude looks amazing in new gameplay trailer, has a team multiplayer mode

    Amplitude may have been delayed but we still get something this March: a fine new gameplay trailer. Amplitude is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 sometime in northern summer. It’s a reprisal of Harmonix’s classic rhythm action game, a forerunner to its later efforts with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and was crowdfunded. Update: Turns […]

  • DayZ creator’s “crazy”, “esoteric” next game developed with Improbable

    DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall has dropped the first vague details of his new game project. “I do not want to make safe games. I do not want to make games the way we have been making them. What if the most experienced video game staff in the world collaborated on the most esoteric and […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will support AMD’s Mantle

    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]

  • Destiny: this is how one player predicted House of Wolves details and Xur’s inventory

    The method one Redditor possibly used to leak some details from Destiny’s House of Wolves was the same one he used to predict the inventory of Xur: Agent of the Nine. Last week, Reddit user Megamanexe4 leaked a few pieces of House of Wolves expansion content. The leaks included strikes, new Crucible mode, and a […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is coming to iOS… as a card-battler

    Mortal Kombat X will be releasing on mobile devices in some form, just not the one you except. Mortal Kombat X is coming to Android and iOS devices as an extension of the main game. It will launch in April alongside the console versions. The mobile game will be part card collecting and part fighting […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain announcement coming this Wednesday

    Kojima Productions will unveil something about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain this Wednesday. Metal Gear Solid fans should standby for a Phantom Pain-related announcement on Wednesday, March 4. According to developer Kojima Productions’ Twitter, there’s going to be an announcement at 2pm GMT on Wednesday. The developer posted the following image. The image […]

  • Reader survey: time to let us get to know you better!

    We’d really appreciate it if you could fill in this survey about the websites you read and the games you buy. It massively helps! You can fill out the survey right here and obviously all the information you supply is confidential. It helps us build a better picture of the people who read our site […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium: here’s everything you get for $50

    Battlefield Hardline’s Premium membership will give players access to 4 new features, early access to expansion packs and more. EA detailed the offer today – it costs $50 in total (£40 in the UK) and gives players a whole bundle of new gear and content. Check it all out in handy list form below: Masks […]

  • Hayter’s gonna hate: the voice of Solid Snake wouldn’t answer my Metal Gear question

    Voice actor and Hollywood writer David Hayter discusses the differences between movies and games. And politely declines my leading question. “It might be fun to do a crazy, over-the-top film version of Saint’s Row.” Yeah, that headline is a bit cheap but you’re reading the work of a man who once asked the maker of […]

  • Xbox One bundle gets £100 price cut in UK

    Microsoft has knocked up to £100 off Xbox One bundles in the UK. The Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed bundle is now £100 cheaper and comes with a free £20 voucher to be spent on the official Microsoft online store. Over on the Xbox online store there’s a £70 price cut on the white […]

  • Pokemon Shuffle downloaded 1m times, free stuff given out to celebrate

    Free-to-play 3DS title Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded over 1 million times. As a reward for playing the match-3 puzzle game Nintendo has gifted players a Complexity -1 item for free. The item reduces the difficulty of a level, according to Eurogamer. By all accounts Pokemon Shuffle is a cynical game with poorly implemented microtransactions. […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power sure is pretty

    FrozenByte Games has revealed Trine 3, due for release in 2015 And what better way to reveal a new side-scrolling adventure than with a very pretty trailer full of gameplay? The latest in a series that has already sold 7 million copies is earmarked for PC and “other” formats. Trine 2 released on PS3, PS3, […]

  • Dying Light takes UK number one

    A month since it was released on digital platforms, Dying Light’s physical release has topped the UK charts. Techland and Warner’s zombie survival game has proven to be one of the big hits of the year so far. It was released on digital formats a month ago but has only just been released on good-old […]

  • GTA 5: that’s some seriously accurate grenade throwing

    Think you can take down a jet plane with a grenade throw? This guy can. In fact, he can do it twice. This is in a variation on the player-created deathmatch “Stunters Versus Snipers” which seem to be all the rage in GTA Online at the moment. One team has a sniper rifle (and grenades) […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Mother Base turns pink in the morning sun

    The Phantom Pain looks nice even when Kojima just takes a quick pic with his phone. Look at that beauty. We get nice reflection in pink at the first gray of dawn. pic.twitter.com/aERTBoZT9z — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 2, 2015 The game doesn’t have a release date yet, which makes us a bit nervous for it […]

  • Dying Light: Underpant Gnomes and 9 other secrets you missed

    Dying Light still has legs – maybe because it’s crammed full of secret things to discover. Ten of those have been highlighted by TerraMantis’ latest YouTube video, including reference to the Underpant Gnomes, guitar lessons, farting zombies and well, we don’t want to spoil it for you. Even if you think you’ve seen everything in […]