Hackers armed with email addresses and passwords stolen from other sources are probing Guild Wars 2 accounts to see if they can break in and use the accounts for botting or spamming gold sales, ArenaNet confirmed earlier today. The statement came after many users were notified of attempted logins to their account from locations in China.

"Hackers have lists of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and web sites, and collected through spyware, and are systematically testing Guild Wars 2 looking for matching accounts," ArenaNet advised through the Guild Wars official wiki. " To protect yourself, use a strong, unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you've never used anywhere else!"

ArenaNet reminds users that a hacked account is banned and unusable until it can be returned to its rightful owner. "If you login and see the message: 'This account has been permanently banned for a violation of the User Agreement,' and if you're not a gold seller, it's likely that your account was hacked." They ask affected account holders to contact customer service.

"If you see email authentication messages in your inbox asking you to approve a login that you didn't initiate and from someplace you don't recognize, that's a sign that a hacker knows your account name and password, and is only being prevented by the email authentication feature from accessing your account," the publisher continued. "You should immediately change your password to a new, unique password that you've never used anywhere else." (emphasis ours.)

Whether you've been hacked, threatened by a hack or not, this is as good reminder as any to use email authentication for your Guild Wars 2 account, and make sure your password is unique to that account.

Game Status Updates [Guild Wars Wiki; h/t reader N.P.]