May 21, 2007 03:00 [PDT] From: PlayOnline
Warning Regarding Harmful Programs

Recently, we have received numerous calls from players who have had a third party log in to their PlayOnline account. This has resulted in lost items, gil, and even deleted characters.

Among these reports, there where many reports of players accessing a site in order to download unauthorized third party programs, or actually using a third party program, then becoming infected with harmful programs such as viruses and spyware. In these cases, these programs likely transmitted PlayOnline IDs and passwords to a third party. Additionally, there were reports of players who had suspicious programs installed when accessing websites that were received in a message from strange players over the tell channel. In these cases as well, players were affected by unauthorized account access. We have also confirmed in our investigations that there are third party programs in existence that can do these things.

There is a wide variety of unauthorized programs. Some make it so that FINAL FANTASY XI will run in a windowed mode rather than full screen, others that allow players to move to the same spot as a specific monster when it spawns, while others commence attacks on monsters automatically. Please be aware that any use of a third party program is a violation of the PlayOnline user agreement. We will issue a serious penalty when we confirm any use of a third party program.

In order to protect players from unauthorized access to their accounts, we posted “Notice for Windows Users: Recommended Precautionary Measures” on “Important Notices” on May 11, 2007. If you are playing the Windows version, we ask you that you please read the announcement and be extra cautious.

If you are unable to log-in with your PlayOnline account/password, or notice a change in your gil or items, please do not hesitate to contact us.

To protect your valuable characters and data, and to also prevent you from being needlessly penalized for violating the user agreement, please be sure to stay away from third party programs and suspicious URLs.