Many Diablo 3 players are taking to the forums in droves, complaining that their accounts have been compromised by hackers who have stole their hard-earned gold and items.
While we empathize with the gamers who are affected, this is not entirely surprising as we've seen this happen before with World of Warcraft expansions.
"Historically, the release of a new game -- such as a World of Warcraft expansion -- will result in an increase in reports of individual account compromises, and that's exactly what we're seeing now with Diablo 3," Blizzards told Joystiq this evening. "We know how frustrating it can be to become the victim of account theft, and as always, we're dedicated to doing everything we can to help our players keep their Battle.net accounts safe -- and we appreciate everyone who's doing their part to help protect their accounts as well."
One way to protect yourself from hackers would be to get an authenticator from Blizzard. It's not foolproof of course, but these inexpensive devices provide a one-time password that makes it harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts. The authenticator is also available for free for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 devices.
Finally, if your account has been hacked, please report to Blizzard. We've heard reports that Blizzard will try their best to reimburse your lost items and restore your account to its prior status.