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[[{{SUBST:2008 - (09/25/2008) Special Task Force Report}}|   ]]
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Special Task Force Report (09/25/2008)
[[{{SUBST:2008 - (09/25/2008) Special Task Force Report}}|   ]]
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Today's report will outline our actions conducted from August 27, 2008 to September 25, 2008 in dealing with players violating the user agreement, as well as details on the activities, results, and goals of the Special Task Force.

Click here for details on the Special Task Force's activities in dealing with players violating the FINAL FANTASY XI user agreement.


Warning Against Unauthorized Access

We have been warning PlayOnline users for some time about unauthorized access, but recently there have been reports of users whose PlayOnline accounts have been stolen and accessed as a result of going to third party sites introduced while viewing regular websites.
Because of this, immediately after a version update, damages caused by posting on and viewing normal websites may drastically increase. If you are connecting to PlayOnline with a PC, please be sure to strengthen your computer's safety through performing Windows Updates, using your internet browser's latest version, and by using internet security software. In addition to using the latest software versions, please refrain from visiting suspicious sites. Even if your PC is infected with a virus designed to steal PlayOnline IDs and passwords, by installing anti-virus software, you can significantly reduce the chance of your PC actually being accessed by an unauthorized third party. For information on preventative measures in dealing with unauthorized access, please view the "Information Regarding Unauthorized Access" page.

Click here for information on dealing with unauthorized access.

There have also been reports of link scripts to sites rigged with programs designed to steal PlayOnline IDs and passwords being embedded into user's homepages through unauthorized access. We ask that users possessing homepages review their site provider's information regarding unauthorized access and also confirm that no suspicious scripts or advertising banners have been embedded in their homepage.


Special Task Force Activities and Future Plans

More than ever before, the Special Task Force has strengthened its activities against violators of the user agreement such as hunters and users involved in illegal fishing. As a result, it has become very difficult for violators engaged in illegal gil collection for RMT to make money with their conventional methods, and many have decided to steal items or gil through unauthorized access.
Starting in July, the Special Task Force began banning accounts involved in unauthorized access in order to reduce the amount of unauthorized access being used as a method to make gil for RMT as much as possible.

Special Task Force Report (09-25-2008)



Special Task Force Report (09-25-2008)-1



In the following section, we will individually discuss each issue dealt with by the Special Task Force.
First of all, the use of synthesis and auction houses for RMT has been on the decline since May. Although there was a slight increase in the number of accounts banned in July, overall they have calmed down.
On the other hand, however, we have been receiving reports of stolen items obtained through unauthorized access being put up for sale at the auction houses. Also, through a Special Task Force investigation, it has been revealed that many of the violators engaged in the use of auction houses for RMT are involved in unauthorized access.
Because of this, since July, the Special Task Force has prioritized the banning of accounts involved in unauthorized access over all other issues. By focusing on dealing with accounts that have been accessed by unauthorized third parties, we believe we will be able to decrease the number of violators using auction houses for RMT.

Next, we move to the issue of hunters. Because hunters collect gil through battling Notorious Monsters and engaging in mining and lumbering, they require characters with relatively high levels. Up until recently, violators intending to engage in RMT would raise their characters to a certain level before beginning their activities. However, now, instead of buying new accounts with their own money and raising their characters from scratch, many are stealing accounts through unauthorized access and using those characters as hunters for RMT. As mentioned above, we plan on decreasing the damage caused by unauthorized access by swiftly dealing with the accounts involved. Likewise, we are continuing our investigations and bannings of hunters and believe that we can decrease their numbers further in the future.

Next, we move to the issue of illegal fishing. Through our strengthened activities in May, we were able to successfully and significantly decrease the number of violators. Because the number of characters banned for illegal fishing is decreasing, we can also assume that the number of violators returning to continue these actions is decreasing as well. Also, according to the results of a Special Task Force investigation, there are virtually no accounts that were commandeered through unauthorized access being used for illegal fishing, and it seems that illegal fishing has calmed down.
However, while the number of violators returning has decreased, we have confirmed some users engaged in illegal fishing who have escaped from the Special Task Force's bannings. We are solving this issue by having GMs strengthen their activities and deal with violators individually.


Matters of Concern Within the Community

In the following section, we will be explaining the Special Task Force's direction and plans in dealing with matters of concern within the community.

- I have no memory of logging in at the last login date/time displayed on the PlayOnline Viewer.

It is possible that your account has been accessed by an unauthorized third party. We recommend changing your password immediately. Next, verify your PC's safety by getting rid of any viruses or spyware that could be infecting your computer. Because it is possible that your PlayOnline password was stolen again by a virus or spyware while you were verifying your PC's safety, be sure to change your password again after you have confirmed that there are no longer any viruses or spyware. Malicious third parties involved in unauthorized access do not necessarily change an account's password and steal its gil or items immediately, but oftentimes look over the account beforehand. If you realize that your account has been accessed early enough, you may be able to prevent any damages from occurring. Please regularly pay attention to the last time your account was logged into.

  • The last login time is displayed on the lower right corner of the screen after logging into PlayOnline.
- While playing the game, "Disconnected. The current PlayOnline ID was used to log in from another terminal" was displayed and I was logged out. I logged in again, but the same message was displayed and now I can't log in.

If you don't have any idea who could have logged in to your account from another location, your account may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. Please change your PlayOnline password immediately. If your connection is cut before you can change your password, continue to keep logging into PlayOnline and contact the Information Center. If you possess multiple PlayOnline IDs and it is outside of the Information Center's hours of operation, log in to PlayOnline with an ID that has not been accessed, log in to the game, and make a GM call. The GM (Game Master) will temporarily make the account that has been accessed unusable. If you cannot make a GM call because you do not possess multiple PlayOnline IDs, speak with a friend and ask your friend to make a GM call for you. GMs, however, cannot change PlayOnline passwords. In order to do so, you will have to contact the Information Center at a later time.

- I was very thorough in the management of my PlayOnline password, but my account was still accessed by a third party. What should I do to prevent something like this from ever happening again?

The criminal methods used in unauthorized access change every day and, even with anti-virus software and internet security software installed, your account can still be accessed by a third party. As such, we cannot give you a surefire method to protect yourself from access in all cases. However, by following the preventative measures outlined below, you can seriously reduce the chances of your account being accessed by a third party. Continuously being careful about unauthorized access is also very important. In regards to the above question, even if you are thorough in the management of your password, your computer may be infected with a virus that can steal your PlayOnline ID and password. If you leave your PC as it is, you may again be accessed by an unauthorized third party using the same method. To prevent this, install anti-virus software to remove any such viruses. There are, however, some viruses that are not detected by anti-virus software, so it may be a good idea to consider re-installing your OS. Although re-installing your OS should get rid of any viruses, you will have to re-install all software that you had been using and perform version updates for many of them. This can be a very troublesome and burdening task. We ask that you personally make the decision on whether an OS re-install is necessary or not. After you have gotten rid of all viruses, in order to heighten your computer's security, please perform periodic Windows Updates, virus checks, and make sure to keep your PC's security up to date. Also, continue to carefully manage your PlayOnline password. Additionally, when using the internet, verify each URL that you access and be careful not to access any suspicious sites. Keep in mind that accessing URLs ending in ".exe" will automatically download a program to your computer. In such a case, because it is possible that a virus or spyware could be installed, we highly discourage accessing any URLs ending in ".exe." Square Enix is continuing to strengthen the security of each PlayOnline service. When we have information that needs to be relayed to our users, it will be posted under "Information." We ask that you especially pay attention to anything added to "Important Notices."


Reporting to the Special Task Force

The Special Task Force relies on everyone's information regarding violations of the user agreement to help keep FINAL FANTASY XI an enjoyable environment, and we appreciate your continuing support and cooperation.

Report to Special Task Force

*Please contact the Square Enix Information Center by telephone or through the "Contract Help" e-mail support under Service & Support in regards to unauthorized access or other concerns regarding your account.

[[{{SUBST:2008 - (09/25/2008) Special Task Force Report}}|   ]]
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