Origin users — which means anyone who's played Battlefield 3 or Mass Effect 3, among other games — should keep a close eye on their accounts.
Some users are reporting a wave of hacked and stolen accounts. It appears that a hacker or hackers are managing to log in to Origin accounts and then change the e-mail address and passwords associated with them, which of course locks out the original owners.
Kotaku reader spy0070 wrote in to tell us that his Origin account was one of the ones recently stolen, with the email address and password changed without his knowledge or permission. He found out about it when he received an automated "your email address has been changed" message from Origin support. A thread full of NeoGAF users are reporting the same issue, as are a growing number of users on EA's official forum.
Stolen accounts are, sadly, nothing unusual in the modern online world; however, the security processes — or lack thereof — on Origin accounts are making it difficult for customers to get their accounts back. To verify accounts, EA customer service asks users to verify their dates of birth. However, the hackers are apparently changing the birthdates stored in a profile when they take over an account, thus preventing users from regaining access. Unlike other services such as Steam or Google, Origin currently has no secondary authorisation process or two-step verification available.
As one NeoGAF member discovered, players who have their Origin or EA account tied to another service, such as Xbox Live, can reset their account email information through it as a work-around. The rest of us, though, don't seem to be so lucky.
Meanwhile, any Origin user would do well right now to double-check their email address and profile information, and to change their passwords to something unique.