Special Task Force Report (06/24/2008)

Today's report will outline our actions conducted from May 28, 2008 to June 24, 2008 in dealing with players violating the user agreement, as well as details on the activities, results, and goals of the Special Task Force.

Click here for details on the Special Task Force's activities in dealing with players violating the FINAL FANTASY XI user agreement.

Regarding Unauthorized Third-party Access

In order to decrease the damage caused by unauthorized access, security for all PlayOnline services has been strengthened. In the June 6th version update, the following features were added: Security Settings, which enable users to improve their PlayOnline password's security, and a software keyboard that is effective against a kind of spyware known as keyloggers. These measures were only introduced to the Windows version of PlayOnline.

However, to prevent unauthorized access before it can happen, users must understand it and take effective preventative measures.

In addition to the unauthorized access page which explains preventative measures against third-party access as well as support provided by Square Enix, the latest important information can be found in "Important Notices" under "Information." The information regarding unauthorized access will help you in protecting your account.

Click here for information on dealing with unauthorized access.
Click here for the latest important notice, "Vulnerability Issues Regarding Flash Player."

Special Task Force Activities and Future Plans

Since last month, the Special Task Force has been strengthening activities against violators of the user agreement involved in illegal fishing and enhanced character movement.
Players involved in illegal fishing use tools to move to locations that players cannot normally move to in order to avoid being attacked by monsters. However, by strengthening our actions against both groups of violators, it has become difficult for them to earn gil. As a result, the number of players who purchase a new account and create a new character so that they can continue their illegal activity after they've been banned has significantly decreased.

The above graph represents the number of reports regarding illegal fishing and the number of accounts that have been banned due to such actions. As shown in the graph, the number of accounts banned and reports made from December to April remains mostly consistent, but the numbers for May are 40% lower than those for April. Because we have succeeded in decreasing the number of violators involved in illegal fishing through the strengthening of our activities starting last month, the number of reports regarding illegal fishing received from FINAL FANTASY XI users has also significantly decreased.

We are continuing to investigate and deal with users based on reports provided by players. Reports regarding hunters (*1) are still the second most numerous following illegal fishing, and we plan to strengthen our actions against them as well.
Besides strengthening our actions against violators, the Special Task Force is also introducing effective systematic countermeasures with the help of the FINAL FANTASY XI development team.
Because the countermeasures introduced in the March 11th version update were so effective, we introduced countermeasures in the June 10th version update that changed the requirements for accepting a quest offer for quests that were being used to make gil illegally, and we added job level restrictions to logging in certain areas.

The Special Task Force is continuing to research into whether there are new methods of illegal gil acquisition being used for RMT(*2).
The reports provided by FINAL FANTASY XI players are valuable in the Special Task Force's activities. If you find a player who may be involved in RMT, please let us know with the "Report to Special Task Force" mail form at the end of this report.

*1. Hunters
Characters who kill Notorious Monsters, clear quests, and obtain items over and over again with the sole purpose of gathering gil, which is then handed off to RMT groups.

*2. RMT
"Real Money Trading." Selling game data for real money.

Reporting to the Special Task Force

The Special Task Force relies on everyone's information regarding violations of the user agreement to help keep FINAL FANTASY XI an enjoyable environment, and we appreciate your continuing support and cooperation.

Report to Special Task Force

*Please contact the Square Enix Information Center by telephone or through the "Contract Help" e-mail support under Service & Support in regards to unauthorized access or other concerns regarding your account.
If you become aware of unauthorized access outside of the Information Center's hours of operation and possess multiple PlayOnline IDs, log in from another PlayOnline ID and contact a Game Master (GM). The GM will make the accessed account temporarily unavailable.
However, please note that a GM cannot perform account related actions such as changing one's password, so it will be necessary to contact the Information Center at another time.