Free WoW Calendar: August 2011 is Tauren Month

Last month I took a picture of my wall calendar at the office and posted it in Facebook. I was surprised that it drew some interest from some of my FB friends that I have not interacted for so many months 🙂 .

So I got this crazy idea that every 1st week of the month I will take a photo of the WoW Calendar and post it here at menardconnect.com

So for August 2011 is Tauren’s time to shine in the World of Warcraft calendar

The calendar features the Tauren banner, the Tauren Kodo Mount and a panoramic view of Thunder Bluff, the Tauren Capital.

Dates to remember includes the following:

  • August 1 – Civic Day for Canada
  • August 13 – Full Moon
  • August 28 – New Moon
  • August 29 – Bank Holiday for the United Kingdom

I will try to post the other month’s photo here at menardconnect.com soon.

Hope you like my free wow calendar post. For other World of Warcraft post kindly visit my free wow mounts and other Wow posts.



WoW Updates: Rage of the Firelands


After the success of the World of Warcraft Cataclysm first patch (Rise of the Zandalari) Blizzard welcomes July with a brand new patch. World of Warcraft Patch 4.2 is entitled Rage of the Firelands and it features a new raid, a legendary quest line, a new Dungeon Journal feature, new PvP WoW Mounts and a diverse daily questing experience among other cool features and hotfixes.

To give a brief introduction of the storyline here is a video courtesy of Blizzard and Youtube

Quoting the Blizzard WoW Blog:

Across the breadth of Azeroth, the Horde and the Alliance have dealt crushing blows to Deathwing’s elemental minions and fanatic Twilight’s Hammer cultists. Through it all, the Earthen Ring has never wavered from its tireless charge, holding Azeroth itself together amid the tidal fury and errant magical energies that churn at the Maelstrom. Yet as the elements continue their chaotic upheaval, it seems that the noble shamanic order might finally be on the verge of breaking beneath the great weight that rests on its shoulders. Even Thrall, for all of his wisdom and skill, has grown aggravated by his failure to effectively communicate with Azeroth’s elements. Recently, his calls were acknowledged, but the malevolent entity that responded has only intensified Thrall’s fears and doubts….

For those who are not updated with the lore, that Orc female in the video is Aggra, Thrall’s love interest and she is part of the legendary quest line featured in Rage of the Firelands patch. Don’t worry much as the patch is not all mushiness 🙂 .

For casual players they will enjoy the new daily quests in Hyjal and Firelands as well as the questline with Thrall and Aggra. And for heavy gamers and raiders definitely they are now enjoying the new Firelands raids and uber cool WoW gears.

Hope you like my WoW Cataclysm: Rage of the Firelands update.

For other free wow cheats and updates kindly visit my other World of Warcraft posts
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Free WoW Cheats: Cataclysm and the Rise of the Zandalari

Blizzard released the first major patch for the World of Warcraft Cataclysm expansion early this month. Dubbed as the Rise of the Zandalari the patch version is 4.1 and the main story is that Zandalari tribe have risen to the ranks and the Amani trolls and the Gurubashi trolls have allied themselves with the Zandalari. The Darkspear tribe (a playable race in WoW) led by Voljin remains loyal to the Horde.


WoW Cataclysm Box Image
Credits: Blizzard.com

The patch features a lot of new features including reiterations of familiar dungeons (Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman) to be level-85 5-player heroic versions, new Guild Finder, new Dungeon Finder (Call to Arms), new WoW mounts and pets, new powerful gems and a lot more.

Quoting Blizzard official site:

In years past, the Zandalar tribe, encompassing the wise and scholarly progenitors of the trolls, heroically assisted the Horde and the Alliance with thwarting the nefarious activities of their brethren in Zul’Gurub and Zul’Drak. Yet the chaos unleashed by the recent Cataclysm has reshaped the Zandalari’s philosophy about the world and the dwindling remnants of their race. Led by a mysterious prophet known only as Zul, the Zandalari have issued a call to Azeroth’s embattled troll populations: unite into a single mighty empire and save their race from extinction.

Below is the official Rise of the Zandalari video

Cataclysm – Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari
Video Credits: Youtube/Blizzard.com

Its cool to see Trolls cheering wildly during the celebrations 🙂

My favorite Rise of the Zandalari dialog will be the exchange of Voljin and Zul:

Zul: “Vol’jin of the Darkspear, you would turn your back on your own people?”
Vol’jin: “Da Horde is my people. If it be war you bring den I stand against you!”
Zul: “So be it Darkspear… but against the powers we shall soon unleash, none shall stand… for long!!!”

Voljin‘s loyalty to the Horde (and I guess to Thrall) is really admirable. For the Horde!!!

I don’t know if I will be joining the fracas in the Stranglethorn Vale soon. I am too busy with a lot of official stuff lately (and honestly its a challenge to update this blog often) but I’m hoping for the best.

Hope you like my WoW Cataclysm: Rise of Zandalari update.
For other free wow cheats kindly visit my other World of Warcraft posts.



Free WoW Cheats: Kinect + WoW is a Good Fitness Alternative

I remember that Kinect hacks were so hot last year. An open project company even offered hack bounty to lure developers to submit their open source drivers for MS Xbox 360 Kinect motion controller. I even heard that Microsoft was seriously considering suing those who would dare tamper their Xbox 360, as they want to protect Kinect motion controller since its their proprietary hardware.

Honestly, I lost track of the Kinect hack issue until I found the video below showing WoW: World of Warcraft being played using Xbox 360 Kinect, OpenNI and FAAST middleware.

As per video uploader description, FAAST or Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit is a middleware that facilitates integration of full-body control with games and other virtual reality applications. The middleware currently supports Microsoft Kinect using the OpenNI framework.

Video courtesy of Youtube and Evansuma

I find this video cool so I am sharing it here at menardconnect.com.

I am now convinced that World of Warcraft + Kinect will be good fitness activity alternative in the near future 🙂

For more free wow cheats, free wow mount and free wow pets advise, kindly visit my WoW posts.



World of Warcraft Cataclysm Cinematic Intro

Blizzard released the cinematic intro video for World of Warcraft Cataclysm expansion last week. The game company is building up momentum for the December 7, 2010 launch of Cataclysm.

The cinematic starts with the Cataclysm’s main antagonist, Deathwing the Destroyer with his new massive elementium armor reforged and being fitted to him in Deepholm. The Shattering follows in the cinematic wherein earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods devastated the world of Azeroth.

Here is the text of Deathwing’s narration for the cataclysm cinematic:

Pain. Agony. My hatred burns through the cavernous deeps. The world heaves with my torment. Its wretched kingdoms quake beneath my rage. But at last, the whole of Azeroth will break!!! And all will burn beneath the shadow of my wings!!!

Deathwing then flies around Azeroth (I recognized some scenery as The BarrensDarkshore and Thousand Needles among others) with the last part of the cinematic showing black dragon aspect ready to assault Stormwind.

The video has now reached 5 million views in Youtube (as of writing this post), and its interesting to know the what other WoW gamers have in mind for the cinematic via the video comment 🙂 .

Thanks to Spiderham for the heads up on this video. Watch out for my free wow cheats follow up and more WoW related posts here at menardconnect.com soon.

Video credits: Blizzard and Youtube



Free WoW Cheats: Free Gifts, Free Pets, and Free Mounts for WoW Cataclysm


Blizzard’s World of Warcraft (WoW) is the most popular MMORPG in the world when it comes to number of subscribers. Their press release boast of 12 million paid subscribers (Source: Blizzard.com October 2010). Given the upcoming launch of World of Warcraft Cataclysm this December 7, 2010 I am expecting that Activision-Blizzard will shatter PC Games sales record again (as they had done so during the The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansion releases).

I am always excited when Gaming and Tech and Security topics collide. So as promised in my earlier WoW post, I will be posting my personal thoughts to my malware blog article. So let’s get started!

First, I will introduce to you the most common World of Warcraft cheats: free wow mount and free wow gifts via in-game chat/whisper scam.

Quoting my malware blog article:

An unsuspecting player will receive an in-game chat/whisper from an unknown player offering free gifts (usually in-game pets, riding mounts, and vehicles) that they can avail of by registering at the website that is included in the chat message.

We will not run out of example of this free wow pet, free wow mount, and free wow gift scam.

For the basic free rare mount from Blizzard like this:

To a more detailed and tempting offer: Free Celestial Steed! Any takers here?

Or just some plain: You just got too lucky and claim your free gift

These chat whispers (and their accompanying phishing websites) are sprouting much faster than how infused mushroom respawn in Dalaran Sewers 🙂

But what is much interesting is the use of WoW postal system (more commonly known as the in-game mail system.) In this new trickery the phishing websites are sent via WoW in-game mail and is received by players in their in-game mailbox:

The scammy mail message is really full of surprises 🙂

subject:

Blizzard

Message:

Surprise!
You get a system test pet of Wings of Liberty of Deathy!
Please Visit:
hxxp://www.<blocked>-ctmtest.com

The message content is very enticing as it combines several elements from other Blizzard games:

  • Wings of Liberty refers the Starcraft 2 game that Blizzard launched last July 2010.
  • Deathy may refer to 2 things: the Black Dragon Aspect Deathwing, the major antagonist in the upcoming WoW Cataclysm expansion. Or maybe to Deathy, the murloc pet companion connected with Blizzcon 2010 event

The phishing website URL contains the strings worldofwarcraft and an abbreviated Cataclysm to add to its supposed credibility. This is a common technique in malicious websites that may be related to website typo-squatting.
The common strings that I have observed in this and other malicious WoW websites are Warcraft, WoW, World of Warcraft, Cataclysm, gift, free, mount and battle.net. Just do some misspelling and mixing and matching them together and Voila! A New _WoW_ scam website domain is born!

I will be discussing the “Posing as figures of authority” angle in the next wow post, as this will be a free wow cheats series just like my (free cafe world cheats series, my free social city cheats series and my free petville cheats series)

Some Free WoW advice though:

  1. Beware of this free wow cheats and free wow gifts offers as it may lead to online game account theft. This is a security risk for you and your precious WoW and Battle.net account.
  2. For any Free Wow Stuff offer with that you may encounter just: Think about this: TINSTAAFL: There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. In my opinion this is applicable even in the World of Warcraft.
  3. WoW Cataclysm launch is getting near. The excitement level of WoW gamers are so high… and so are the risks. I am predicting that more WoW scams and more WoW phishing websites will surface as the final Cataclysm launch day draws near! So be extra careful!
  4. And last but not the least: Always stay on the safe side and do safe computing, safe web surfing and safe online gaming! Better safe than sorry OK?

That’s all for now!!!

Hope you like my World of Warcraft WoW blog post 🙂

Before I end this post, some disclosure:

I work at Trend Micro. The post I have here in menardconnect.com are my own personal views (and does not reflect the views/stand of my employer). To know more about me, kindly visit my about page. To know about this blog’s disclosure policy kindly visit my disclosure page.

Image credits:
Figures 1 and 2 -Trend Micro Malware Blog

WoW Cataclysm Box Image – Blizzard.com

WoW Cataclysm to Hit Stores December 7, 2010

Blizzard has the tagged the launch with “A New Age Has Begun“. And they say a picture is worth a thousand words so…


Image courtesy of Blizzard (www.blizzard.com)

World of Warcraft Cataclysm will be available on stores starting December 7, 2010. Quoting Blizzard press release:

The expansion will be available on DVD-ROM for Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 and Macintosh® at a suggested retail price of $39.99 and will also be offered as a digital download from the Blizzard Store. A special Collector’s Edition packed with bonus items will be available exclusively in retail stores for a suggested retail price of $79.99.

As I mentioned in my WoW Scam post, Cataclysm is the newest expansion for the World of Warcraft. It features Deathwing, the Black Dragon Aspect as the main antagonist and a lot of new stuff. Read Blizzard’s Press Release here.

December 7, 2010 is an early Christmas for the WoW Fans!

Exciting!!!

You can also check Spider Ham World and Batangas Today to know more about WoW Cataclysm launch.

More WoW and game post coming soon at menardconnect.com 🙂



Malware Blog – WoW Scams: Free Gifts and Fake Account Suspension Threats

I’m reposting my blog article entitled World of Warcraft Scam: Free Gifts and Fake Account Suspension Threats that was published via Trend Micro Malware Blog today.

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft (more popularly known as WoW) is one of the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) in the world. With more than 11.5 million subscribers as of 2008, WoW is plagued by a thriving underground online gaming economy.

The most common scam in WoW that Trend Micro has seen uses the in-game chat/whisper system.

An unsuspecting player will receive an in-game chat/whisper from an unknown player offering free gifts (usually in-game pets, riding mounts, and vehicles) that they can avail of by registering at the website that is included in the chat message.

The website included is, of course, a phishing site that will gather the user’s Battle.net account name and password.

However, we have seen a new approach recently—the use of WoW’s postal system, more commonly known as the in-game mail system. In this new trickery, the phishing URLs are sent via WoW in-game mail and is received by players in their in-game mailboxes.

The mail message is full of a mix of surprises. It combines several elements from other Blizzard games. Wings of Liberty refers to Starcraft 2, which was launched in July 2010. “Deathy” refers to “Black Dragon Aspect Deathwing,” the major antagonist in the upcoming WoW expansion game, Cataclysm.

To add to its credibility, the phishing URL contains the string worldofwarcraft and an abbreviation of Cataclysm. It is also interesting to mention that the website domain is registered and hosted in China.

We also noted that WoW online scammers have raised the bar by pretending to be figures of authority, something seen in spam attacks outside the online gaming industry.

The scam perpetrator poses as a Blizzard employee with a name that contains a string similar to Blizzard. The attacker threatens to suspend the player’s account if he/she does not register at the website included in the chat message.

As in the attack mentioned earlier, the link goes to a phishing site that tries to steal the user’s Battle.net credentials. The phishing site very closely resembles the actual site in terms of layout. At first glance, the user may be led to believe that the URL is related to the WoW Armory, an official site containing information on in-game characters, guilds, and items.

To protect its customers, Blizzard has intensified its information campaign on Battle.net’s security page. It also provided very accessible means within the game to report users who are abusing its chat and mail systems.

Trend Micro users are protected from these World of Warcraft phishing attacks via the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™, which blocks access to the phishing websites.

For a more in-depth analysis of an online gaming Trojan kit (including World of Warcraft) and the underground online gaming economy, I highly recommend reading our research paper entitled, “Dissecting the XWM Trojan Kit: A Peek at China’s Growing Underground Online Gaming Economy,” by Lion Gu.


Image credits to Trend Micro and TrendLabs Malware Blog

Original Article:World of Warcraft Scams: Free Gifts and Fake Account Suspension Threats

Special thanks to Jovi, Jonathan and Badette for the assistance on the images and posting.

Additional personal thoughts on this WoW scam post coming soon in menardconnect.com 🙂
Update 2010.10.12
Part 1: Free WoW Cheats: Free Gifts, Free Pets, and Free Mounts for WoW Cataclysm