An authenticator, which was previously an optional security measure, is meant to address the claims and instances of hacking in which players’ accounts have been taken over and looted of gold and items. Authenticators exist as free smartphone apps, a keychain fob costing $US6.50, or as a free dial-in service to provide two-factor account login.
“This means you’ll need to have an Authenticator to add to your balance via Battle.net Account Management or to send the proceeds of your real-money auction house sales to your Battle.net Balance,” Blizzard wrote in an official forum thread. “Please note that players who previously added Battle.net Balance to their account prior to this change will be able to use it to make eligible purchases on Battle.net and in the auction house without attaching an Authenticator. However, an Authenticator will be required to add to your balance in the future, as explained above.”
“While we understand that this creates an extra step for players during the login process, we believe this added layer of account protection will help foster a safer auction house environment for all of our players,” Blizzard said.
The changes became part of the terms and conditions listed on the Battle.net website on Friday. When the real-money auction house opens, players will have to reconfirm their acceptance of them.