Hijack Macro Ban Review Update 26/05
I want to give you an update on the new interim hijacked & macro ban review process.
I’ll be honest, and say that this has been more difficult and time consuming than we’d anticipated. The problem is that the profile of a hijacked account is very similar to the profile of a shared or sold account – and there appear to be far more shared or sold accounts than hijacked ones.
This means that it’s difficult to say with certainty how many accounts were hijacked.
I’d like to stress at this point the need for all of you to improve your account security. Be sure to have 2 factor authentication on your email account (such as a secondary email, telephone or google authenticator), and then to also have the RS authenticator enabled on your account. Do not share your details with anyone, and remember, selling and sharing are against the rules. Also be wary of phishing emails or accounts, and do not click on any links you are unsure of.
Shared and sold accounts cause no end of hassle for players, and we in Customer Support also have to spend a huge proportion of our time dealing with account ownership disputes. If everyone improved their account security, this would ease this pain for players, and us!
What we can say with a degree of certainty, however, is that we have been able to identify macro banned accounts where we are sure that the current player is not the original owner of the account.
In these instances, we have locked and cleaned details from the account, removed offences and sent an inbox message to the account informing them of the unusual activity on the account, and inviting them to recover.
Of the 350,000 macro bans in March, we identified around 2% of accounts where the original owner was not in control of the account – and to re-iterate, most of these appear to have been shared or sold.
We know this interim trial process is not perfect, but we prefer to make serious attempts to identify accounts where offences were committed by someone other than the original owner, rather than do nothing. If you feel we have missed you, there will be an opportunity once offence appeals are re-opened at some point in the future.
This is not ideal, and we still want to open up offence appeals at some point in the future, as we feel this will be the best way to tackle this in the long run. As I said in my previous post, development time for the foreseeable future is tied up in other essential work, so we’re not yet in a position to be able to commit to when we can allow offence appeals for bans.
In the meantime, we will continue to trial this process, and will send inbox messages to players where we detect unusual activity on their accounts. We’re now working through April Macro bans, and should be in a position next month to announce the result, and as time allows, we will see if we are able to go back to previous months, but for now, we need to focus on the most recently banned.
Thanks for reading, and please, have a read and take note of the account security advice hosted on our Support Centre.
We will also be discussing this in the next RS Podcast, out on Tuesday 31st May, and will be located here.
Head of RuneScape Customer Support