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Posts Tagged ‘blizzard authenticator’

authenticator1I’ve seen a few people searching on my blog for information about the Blizzard Authenticator. I don’t have one, but I’ve read a fair bit about them, so let me tell you what I know with a fair degree of certainty.

The Blizzard Authenticator is a small device you can attach to your keychain that provides a secondary layer of security to protect you from keyloggers and other morons who want to get into your account. Once you associate the Blizzard Authenticator with your account, you have to enter a number that is displayed on the authenticator in addition to the usual login name and password you normally have to enter.

As you can see from the picture, there is a barcode with a serial number on the back. This in technical terms is the encryption seed. When you buy the authenticator, you enter this serial number into your account. When you press the button on the front of the authenticator it takes your serial number and applies a secret Blizzard algorithm (likely fractal) to it that is relational to the current time and date. The result is a six-digit code that displays on the front of the unit. Since hackers don’t know the algorithm (or your serial number for that matter) the chances of them getting into your account are practically zero.

A few more random points:

  • No matter what anybody tells you, it’s not a USB device. It doesn’t plug into your computer.
  • It costs $6.50 and works wherever you play BUT make sure you get the right one for the region your account is registered in. I suspect the US version uses encryption algorithms that can’t be exported outside of the US. So there’s a different one for regions outside the United States. They’re all the same price.
  • If you lose it, you have to call customer support and verify ownership of your account to get “unhooked” from the authenticator
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