Security is an issue in gaming. Between Steam, GOG, Origin, Uplay, Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, Battle.net, and any free-to-play games a person may play, it’s easy to rack up a handful of logins and passwords. Heck, just about everyone has a Gmail login that ties into any number of other services. Periodically, one of these companies will experience a breach of security and everyone that uses the service will need to go through the rigmarole of changing their login information. It’s annoying, but there’s little to do beyond sigh and get on with it.
So what happens when a flaw is found that compromises a good portion of the internet? Get ready to spend a lot of time changing passwords. Meet Heartbleed. It’s a seriously terrible encryption vulnerability that potentially allows hackers to access a long list of supposedly secure websites. (This XKCD comic explains the issue better than anything I could summarize.) Everything from banking to social networks could be at risk. More importantly for gamers, many game services are vulnerable to Heartbleed. My achievements! My in-game gold! This list has the Heartbleed security status of many gaming services.
You could throw your hands up and resign yourself to an evening of drudgery, or you could have fun with it. Make a game out of changing passwords! That’s what I’m doing. Assign a point value to the vulnerability and add them up. 10 points for a game service like Steam or Origin. 5 points for a financial site. 3 points for a social network. Subtract a point for every free-to-play game. How many passwords do you have to change? Compare your Heartbleed score with your friends. My score is 27!