Terrorists Might Plot Attack in World of Warcraft

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Terrorists Might Plot Attack in World of Warcraft

image

A Washington defense researcher has demonstrated to the Director of National Intelligence Open Source Conference how terrorists could plot future real-world attacks in World of Warcraft.

Dr. Dwight Toavs, a professor at the Pentagon-funded National Defense University, presented his research titled "Emerging Media: Its Effect on Organization" to an audience of government officials on the dangers of virtual worlds used by the country's enemies in plotting further violent strikes.

Toavs and partner Dan Arey of the National Intelligence's Summer Hard Problems explained how one anonymous and seemingly innocent conversation between players in World of Warcraft could be discrete code plotting terrorist acts.

Two hypothetical players, "Talon238" and "War_Monger", held an in-game chat:

TALON238: Hey War, got your message. What's up?

WAR_MONGER: Leading a big raiding party next Thursday! I need to activate your Guild. You up for it?

TALON238: Yes, the warriors have been training and are organized. Everyone's at Level 70 and ready for action.

WAR_MONGER: Good. This is the big one. Lots of XP for everyone! And a ton of mobs to slaughter!

TALON238: That's what we've been waiting for. Where's the raid?

WAR_MONGER: A fun little romp through StoneTalon Mountains. You know the place?

TALON238: Sure, we scouted the area last year in a party, but left because the White Keep was too strong.

WAR_MONGER: Yes, but this time I want to hit the Keep! We will take down the Master Mage and his little Gnome. PvP baby!

TALON238: Wow! To take on that Instance, you must have acquired the Dragon Fire spell?!!!!!

WAR_MONGER: Yes. Last week. In my Inventory and ready to cast. But I need tanks and DPS's to support the raid and clear the guards.

TALON238: We're ready. We just got a shipment of Elite and Epic weapons last month. DPS's have tons of Mana. And the tanks are buffed.

WAR_MONGER: Excellent. The time for the raid is 11:30 am EST. Have everyone online and ready to roll. Rally on me and don't be late! The Alliance may be listening, so only communicate in Whisper mode.

TALON238: Of course. The whole Guild will be there and at your command. Where do you want us to gather?

WAR_MONGER: Come in South East of The Zoram Strand. Clear out all the mobs. Then we attack the Keep itself and use the Spell. The Oracle says there are 110 Gold and 234 Silver inside. That's the real target!

TALON238: 110 234 Got it. This is going to rock the World!

WAR_MONGER: Remember, eliminate all castle guards patrolling the road to the Keep, and kill all other players in the area... then get clear. The Dragon Fire spell will be coming through the south gates of the Keep soon after!

TALON238: Got it. The Horde can't wait to see it burn! The Gods willing, we will succeed and dance on its burning rubble!

WAR_MONGER: No one will dance there for a hundred years after this spell is cast. The Gods and their magic are with us. The White Keep is vulnerable. Good hunting!

A closer examination of the language used reveals hidden messages. "StoneTalon" is Washington D.C., "White Keep" could be the White House, "Dragon Fire" and the "Elite" and "Epic" weapons are the weapons to be used and "110 Gold and 234 Silver" are coordinates to match the World of Warcraft map with one of the city.

In the future, as the ongoing "war on terror" evolves and the technology terrorists implement become more complex, Toaves expects intelligence agencies to spend more time focusing on virtual worlds.

Steven Aftergood, an analyst for the Federation of the American Scientists, commented, "This concern is out there. But it has to be viewed in context. It's the job of intelligence agencies to anticipate threats and counter them. With that orientation, they're always going to give more weight to a particular scenario than an objective analysis would allow. Could terrorists use Second Life? Sure, they can use anything. But is it a significant augmentation? That's not obvious. It's a scenario that an intelligence officer is duty-bound to consider. That's all."

The partners' Powerpoint can be downloaded here at Wired.

Source: Wired Danger Room

Permalink

I hope history proves this a hilarious anecdote.

this is great proof that the american government is nothing but a bunch of paranoid idiots :P

Fronken:
this is great proof that the american government is nothing but a bunch of paranoid idiots :P

Makes me alittle scared that I live where I do /cry

Nothing new here, just the usual american policy of taking something normal, making it sound threatening, and attempting to make the average citizen feel that his normal way of life is in danger so he'd put up with all the taxes and other crap he's being told to do so they can support fighting 2 wars he doesn't give a damn about.

Isn't name substitution grade-school level on the 'hiding my secret plans' scale? This is just an excuse for the people at the National Defense University to get government-funded WoW accounts for 'research' purposes.

I wonder what their guild name will be. "Government Funded" and "Defense Dollars at Work" sound good.

What the?

Is the concern here that they need to organize a means to "phone tap" the chat features of online games?

___

Blizzard Interactive regets to inform you that your account has been suspended pending the investigation of your involvement in acts of international terrorism.

USA.gov pwns U PvP.

n00b.

When this turns out to be all bullshit for capitalist oppression then I hope a massive economic crash comes rolling over the US moneymilkers.

TALON238: Yes, the warriors have been training and are organized. Everyone's at Level 70 and ready for action.

WAR_MONGER: Good. This is the big one. Lots of XP for everyone! And a ton of mobs to slaughter!

FAIL btw.

Thats more retarded than some of the shit my mother has come up with in order to scare my kid sisters... not to mention that you fail horribly at making up suspicious dialogue. On the other hand we know who is going to get arrested if anything that could be percieved as an attack based on this happens. GJ dumbass

The sad thing is, this means we're going to have tons of people in our government renewing their cries of "VIDEOGAMERS ARE EVIL TERRORISTS!"

Cid SilverWing:

TALON238: Yes, the warriors have been training and are organized. Everyone's at Level 70 and ready for action.

WAR_MONGER: Good. This is the big one. Lots of XP for everyone! And a ton of mobs to slaughter!

FAIL btw.

Glad I wasn't the only one who spotted that :P

And though this is fairly old news (read about it on the WoW forums back when I actually played >_>), the little story entertained me. It just cements my belief that the people who run the most powerful country in the world are gargantuan idiots.

Geez. These sad pandas haven't figured out that you could do the same through Skype or Ventrillo? Talking in code could even be done with this new-fangled "telephone" dealie, making it harder to intercept too.

Rest of the world to US Government; GET REAL. Stop playing the "fear" card so much, you bunch of wusses, and try governing with honest consent for a change.

-- Steve

This is totally inaccurate; you can't have numbers in character names on WoW.

Wow, this is some kind of crazy. I dunno though. They could have been setting up a secret tea party :)

wouldn't it make sense to set up their own dedicated server for another game say cod4 that way only terrorist members could join using the given password?

why use a game that has hundreds of other people in that could over hear their conversation? that would be like discussing you plan to take out tower bridge on a busy high street.

This would make a fantastic episode of some 24-esque television drama. It's got an air of cleverness as a scheme, and provides opportunities for flashy "video game" visuals that would make the show stand out.

The next time I see someone use proper spelling and grammar in World of Warcraft, I'll know they are terrorists!

The map is even more hilarious than the conversation,
"The Dragon Fire Spell will be coming through the south gate of the keep."
"No one will come here for a hundred years after the spell is cast."

Haha, sounds like the dialogue in a high school play.

US Gov Employee #1 - "Oh gawd! Here comes the boss, he is so going to catch us playing WoW!"
US Gov Employee #2 - "Don't worry and stop sweating, I got this covered"
Boss Of Company With US Gov Contract - "Ok, lets see that report ... what's this!?! We don't pay you to pl..."
US Gov Employee #2 - "Boss, its all good, we are doing research ... on terrorists."
Boss - "Oh. Oh! In that case, continue" *boss leaves*
US Gov Employee #1 - "Holy crap, I didn't think that would work but now we gotta write a report..."
US Gov Employee #2 - "You worry too much, I got something I wrote back in highschool we can use"

Who the hell would go to Stonetalon at level 70? Or who would go there with just warriors? Or where is this White Keep? Any regular in game would spot this shit in a second.

Fronken:
this is great proof that the american government is nothing but a bunch of paranoid idiots :P

Well...It is their job to be paranoid. Strategy demands at least brief consideration of any possibility, however unlikely.

In other news, the US government suspects pokemon card collectors to be terrorists. Reports suggest that replacing well known terrorist words with those of pokemon is a severe threat to our society, for example they have charged and arrested a 14 year old found guilty of terrorism after a phone tap conversation proved he said:

"Could I trade my pikachu for your charizard"

Government officials said this was obviously a reference to terrorist activities involving planes and bombs and such...

/sarcasm off

Imagine having a video of the conference they had while showcasing this "new find" that'd be a great watch, bunch of paranoid old guys talking super seriously about terrorism in WoW.

It would be cool to meet those terrorists online.

Future headline: Paper and pencils banned in the US: "Terrorists could use them to write plans on!"

: P

If SA gets ahold of this I think we can expect quite a few "terrorist plans" being reenacted in WoW, albeit a bit more blatant perhaps ^^

Don't you think they'd have used something free, like Skype, or even Runescape...?

stompy:
Don't you think they'd have used something free, like Skype, or even Runescape...?

Yeah, but then what are the chances anyone would have seen?

I mean, what fun would that be?

gosh......just sad

SimpleReally:
Nothing new here, just the usual american policy of taking something normal, making it sound threatening, and attempting to make the average citizen feel that his normal way of life is in danger so he'd put up with all the taxes and other crap he's being told to do so they can support fighting 2 wars he doesn't give a damn about.

you just owned the american government in one sentence, lol.

tbh for some of the crap you lot have to put up with, im glad im not american. plus the anti-american hate speech must be rife on the net, almost as bad as actual racism.

but as for this article.......LOLOLOLOLOLOL

Anyone who uses overly proper grammar in WoW should be monitored.

And this is different from any other chat function in the world? Three are enough disguise terms?

Sounds to me more like some researcher realized he had to give a presentation in an hour, and he didn't do any homework, so he pulled the easiest thing he could think of out of his ass.

Imagine a fourth grader in front of the class, reading a book report that he copied off of the back of the book or from inside the dust jacket.

If we are to believe that these guys on WoW are indeed terrorists then we should all be very worried, they all have high mana and are fully buffed!!! Not to mention they have the Dragon Fire spell!! America is doomed! Everyone run for your lives! And make sure you report anyone who looks slightly ethnic to the authorities on the way out! Ahhh!

"This group is planning a raid! They must be Terrorists!"

This is really just beureaucracy in action. Someone will have asked, "Virtual worlds are getting rather big, is there any way terrorists could exploit it? Look into it for me, will you?". The pleb then went off for a week, probably drew a blank but had to come up with something to justify having a job, and this was the best he could do. He wasn't going to come back to his boss empty handed, was he?

PS: Gaming websites mocking someone for making headlines out of inane nothings. Hypocrisy much?

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here