Hacker Attempts to Blackmail Online Game Publisher

| 17 Jan 2011 10:14
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The hacker claims he has access to player data, and will start releasing it online unless he gets what he wants.

A hacker who goes by the name of "Cpt.Z3r0" is attempting to hold free-to-play MMO Runes of Magic, and its reported four million players, hostage. Zer0 claims that he has access to all of the RoM systems, and will start shutting things down if his demands aren't met.

Z3r0 said that he would release 1,000 email address, as well as the login details for 1,000 users, each day until Frogster did what he wanted. Z3r0 warned that that number would increase if Frogster restricted access to his message in any way. In order to prevent catastrophe, Runes of Magic's Western publisher, Frogster, must ease up on its moderation of the forums, be more honest with its customers, secure the game against cheaters, stop monitoring the internet and network usage of its employees, and - rather ironically - take better care of its customers' information. Z3r0 gave Frogster two weeks in which to make the necessary changes, and said that failing to meet this deadline would be another cause for him to increase the number of customer's account details he released.

In response, Frogster's lead community manager, Mike Kiefer, deleted z3r0's thread and issued a statement, saying that the details that he had released so far - the login information of around 2,100 players - were from an old database from 2007. Since then, he continued, Frogster had implemented much tighter security for its customer database, and that the z3r0 couldn't have gotten access to it. Despite this, Kiefer said, Frogster was treating the threats very seriously. Any affected accounts had been locked down, and the publisher had informed the German State Office of Criminal Investigation, as well as set up a "task force" of its own to get to the root of the problem.

Z3r0 responded to this statement with a rather creepy YouTube video, saying that Frogster needed to take his threats more seriously, but that he was kind, and would give them the two weeks he had promised. He suggested that Frogster should stop wasting their time trying to silence him, and instead should take the time to change its ways and be more respectful to its customers. Z3r0 also said that he had hacked and verified over half a million user accounts, and was working on hacking the rest.

Of course, even if Frogster's claims that z3r0 only has access to an outdated, four-year-old database are nothing more than spin, it's hard to see the publisher giving in to his demands. What's more likely is that it will seek out and fix any vulnerabilities or exploitable systems, and then throw its weight into finding z3r0 and pressing every charge it can. Frogster's two-week time limit runs out on January 27th, however, so we'll see what - if anything - happens then.

Source: Kotaku

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So, did anything come of this? I searched Google but there doesn't seem to be much information about this hacker past when he made the initial demands.

I think this is a case where the ends do not justify the means. Assuming his allegations are well-founded, I can understand his motivation, but his targeting method hits the normal players just as much as the game. Rather like carpet bombing, its a crude tactic that does not distinguish between foe and neutral party.

I've played a game once where someone posted on the forums claiming they were in charge of a botnet that could institute a DDOS attack, and would do so unless he was paid by the game's owner. This was a small MMORPG with about 2-3000 players tops. The site was then made unavailable for a week or so, before the owner changed the server and the hacker gave up. Meanwhile he went charging off into the Outlands (PVP) with a hacked item, and got battered because the item in question was a farming tool rather than a weapon. Noob.

You need to treat your customers right or I'll send out their information to be abused by anyone with an internet connection!

This plan. It's totally sound. I'll protect those customers even if I have to harm them!
...wait...

rembrandtqeinstein:
inside job, this gives it away

stop monitoring the internet and network usage of its employees

Actually the pic that soeone posted said that he "stumbled by" a cache of everything being saved up. most companies with a "No internet except for work uses" has one of these caches though, which makes the hacker and idiot.

They need the cache incase an employee is caught using the net for personal use on work time too much

Edit: I do, however, love how he thinks he's anonymous because he hacked someone. So cute....

Eh, can't say much on this, as I found Runes of Magic dull.

Though, if he did manage to hack into their systems and nabbed so much, it could hurt Frogster as a Publisher, as they are going to be handling the release for Terra (P2P game I believe), which will cause this kind of stuff to be inexcusable.

Good, death to all free-to-play MMOs! I notice children that watch the channel Disney XD, which every other commercial is for some "Great new free MMO that everyone is playing!"

They are ruining today's youth, and their PCs. Yup, all of them contain malware to some extent, come on they have to make money to put up TV ads! I've cleaned so many PCs with "Adventura" this and "Fantasyland" that! Poor kids getting their parents involved in it. Need to take em down!

I hope this guy gets a nice long jail sentence for his trouble allong with all other dick hackers like this.

"Teached him a lesson" lmao.

Am I the only one who wants to see Frogster put up thier own youtube message using the same voice synth and backgroud saying "we do not negotiate with terrorists. Up yers buddy"

Let's just be thankful the underage kids on CoD games can't do this, imagine the IWNet going down for hours because the kid failed at 203ing x_x Or the Halo 3 servers! Can it really stop there? Blizzard being taken offline because of a PvP raid? Think about it for a bit, as insane as it sounds, think about it.

Lemme put it this way: Let's be thankful stupid people are just that...stupid. Let's be grateful that this guy gets an 11 on the bologna meter, walk on, and watch him burn himself up when he realizes he failed.

cocoro67:

AmrasCalmacil:

rembrandtqeinstein:
inside job, this gives it away

How much says he got fired for watching porn?

That was the first thing I thought.

His rant made me think this


Seriously, ANY company that allows access to internet monitors all employees. Web traffic, ims, and emails. Guess the little prick didn't read the policies and procedures for the company and got all pissy when they canned his ass for stealing company resources to feed his pr0n addiction

I get the distinct feeling this guy is a disgruntled employee or former employee. If he were just your average player he really wouldn't give two shits about (or have knowledge) about the working condition within the company. Frankly I think he's just a childish prick throwing a temper tantrum.

It all just seems like a smear campaign to me, that or he's just a nutjob with internet access. I mean really "You declared war on the public, your customers, and your employees. You wanted war. You are close to getting it", so he takes himself for a noble crusader...how cute. Who the hell does he think he's dealing with, the Umbrella corp from Resident Evil? His grievances are in line with your typical player on any MMO and any troll that haunts an MMO's forums.

His little "war" is going to fail and fail miserably, and I'm going to laugh when it all blows up in face. (or just forget about him as most people will by the end of the day)

What a hypocritical asshole, he IS the problem...

He's obviously a pissed off employee or something, his demands are stupid and aren't anything for him to go apeshit about. I hope they catch him and do something, I would laugh. Some hackers are such whiny bitches these days.

Baby Tea:

SL33TBL1ND:
So what is this? A grey speckled white-hat?

No. A whiney, self-entitled douchebag.

More on topic: Where do people get this bizarre idea that they are the police?
That they have the right and authority to do something like this?

What a prick. I hope they catch him.

I agree 100%

I also wathced the video and read the comments saying he got the quote wrong.

What a tool. I hope this kinda stuff doesn't keep happening just because he's unhappy.

Most of his reasons are invalid.
1: This is a standard forum practice, locking down threads to prevent drama, end flame wars, etc.
2: Same as 1.
3: If a Frogster employee is upset about their working conditions and/or treatment, they can do something about it themselves. I wasn't aware that they were being treated poorly, can someone give me an example?
4: No comment.
5: The best kind of cheat guard is one that is invisible until it finds a cheat. It's probably there, but doesn't announce its presence so players have a harder time screwing around with it.
6: No comment.
7: This is a standard corporate practice.

rembrandtqeinstein:
inside job, this gives it away

stop monitoring the internet and network usage of its employees

Ah, but he claims to have hacked into their systems. If he has indeed, he probably noticed the process while he was looking for user accounts.

Banter:
He says "Become a valued member of the community and stop abusing them." in his video... because that doesn't sound hypocritical. Also the main response from youtube is that he got the Anonymous quote wrong, so is he really one of them or is he just a wannabe?

he is a try-hard, I wouldnt be surprised if he had just gotten his scripts from Limewire Ares and got pissed that he was banned from the game.

Judging by the way he has written certain things, I'm assuming that English is not his native tongue.

HankMan:

0p3rati0n:

HankMan:

Jack Bauer: Where's the user info?
Z3r0: Never!
Jack Bauer:*Leet Hacks Z3r0* WHERE'S THE USER INFO!?!

*it's Bauer not bower

Jack: You don't understand how far I am willing to go to get that info.
Zero: You'll never find it Jack...
Jack: .........You know it's actually quite pitiful...
*Hear screaming in the background*
Jack: DAMNIT! WHERE IS THE USER INFO!!!!!!!

*thx
Mid Season Identity Crisis!
Jack: Why am I doing this? It's Runes of Magic: Nobody cares about Runes of Magic!
If it goes down, another (WoW clone) will just take it's place!

Jack: *thinking* Oh what the hell I'm out of practice and there's not going to be a season 9.
*more screams of pain*

Well, from the look of the video, he claims to be part of Anonymous....and he somehow got their chant wrong.

0p3rati0n:

HankMan:

The Cheezy One:
Kiefer? Security? Terrorism? What is this, 24?

Jack Bauer: Where's the user info?
Z3r0: Never!
Jack Bauer:*Leet Hacks Z3r0* WHERE'S THE USER INFO!?!

*it's Bauer not bower

Jack: You don't understand how far I am willing to go to get that info.
Zero: You'll never find it Jack...
Jack: .........You know it's actually quite pitiful...
*Hear screaming in the background*
Jack: DAMNIT! WHERE IS THE USER INFO!!!!!!!

*thx
Mid Season Identity Crisis!
Jack: Why am I doing this? It's Runes of Magic: Nobody cares about Runes of Magic!
If it goes down, another (WoW clone) will just take it's place!

Continue reading 58 comments on the forums.
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