back to article Splinter Cell hack smells more like publicity stunt

Ubisoft said that the website of its popular video game Splinter Cell had been hacked on Thursday. However circumstantial evidence suggests the hack is more likely to be a publicity stunt than a genuine cyber assault. Visitors to the Splinter Cell website are been greeted by a message in Russian. This is followed a bit.ly link …

COMMENTS

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  1. The BigYin

    Could it also induce a...

    ..."That's not a hack, THIS is a hack!" type of response?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    "If it is a publicity stunt" said Graham Cluley,

    "If it is a publicity stunt" said Graham Cluley,

    There speaks the expert on virus and hoax publicity, Mr Rent-A-Quote himself.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    crying wolf

    "If it is a publicity stunt it's probably not the wisest that there has ever been - a hoax like this can panic users into believing there is a genuine security problem, and panic can lead internet users to make bad decisions,"

    ... i'd say the opposite is even worse; that [say] someone /does/ hack their site next week - users would now believe it's a hoax and be tricked into thinking they are safe by this weeks action...

    silly silly...

  4. Jimmy Floyd
    Thumb Down

    Doh!

    Pity the poor website sysadmin, who is being publicly humiliated for operating weak security measures while doing nothing of the sort.

    1. Bilgepipe
      Joke

      Or...

      Or, if there were a real hack by a Russian group intent on taking over the world, we'd all think it was another hoax and ignore it. Even James Bond might be duped. This is the perfect opportunity for Dr Evil to strike.

  5. Thomas Bottrill

    Google Translate

    Page title: Raven

    Notifications

    Subject: System Maintenance

    Occasionally the security system will be switched off for planned work and data protection. During such work may be a breach in security from external threats. Thus, all off would be a random character in accordance with a random pattern of Delta-3-6-Oscar

  6. Peter Barcroft

    Obvious Publiciy

    Google translate of the russian Text:-

    27.11.09 - Subject: System Maintenance

    Occasionally the security system will be switched off for planned work and data protection. During such work may be a breach in security from external threats. Thus, all off would be a random character in accordance with a random pattern of Delta-3-6-Oscar

  7. Lionel Baden
    FAIL

    OMG PANIC

    ASCII ART HAS BEEN PUT ON A RANDOM WEBPAGE !!

    yeah people are really going to panic that a page has had an image uploaded to it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I guess it worked then...

    Didn;t even know there was a new Sphincter Cell game coming out. Why even report this publicity stunt you are giving them what they want. Free publicity.

  9. CypherCookie

    anyone translated this yet?

    Have chucked the russian email into bable fish and this is what i got....

    Periodically security system will be disconnected for conducting of planned works and data protection. During similar works can arise the breach out of danger from the external threat. Thus, all turning offs will bear random nature in accordance with the random diagram Delta-3-6- Oscar

    Sounds like they're just updating the website! :D

    1. Nick Stallman
      WTF?

      Updated

      It now reads:

      Update: secure connection will be restored within 72 hours. The external threat is under control. Use the core-0-Victor Romeo. Current level - Prospect. Route 27.

  10. bugmonkey
    Black Helicopters

    St Petersburg?

    Co-ordinates at the bottom right of the "hacked" page are for a street in St Petersburg:

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=59.935903,30.321429&sll=55.950176,-3.187536&sspn=0.511334,1.234589&ie=UTF8&ll=59.936349,30.321708&spn=0.001787,0.004823&t=h&z=18&iwloc=lyrftr:h,16686579852811902287,59.936376,30.321021

  11. James Owen
    FAIL

    doesn't even look like a real hack

    Far to arty

    And why post the co-ordinates for the Kazansky Cathedral in St Petersburg in bottom corner?

  12. CypherCookie

    Just updating the system.

    27.11.09 - theme: Servicing the system

    Periodically security system will be disconnected for conducting of planned works and data protection. During similar works can arise the breach out of danger from the external threat. Thus, all turning offs will bear random nature in accordance with the random diagram Delta-3-6- Oscar

    Yay for bable fish!

  13. Chris Harden

    hack?

    No way thats a hack, unless flash obsessed digital agencies have started hacking websites?

  14. Chris Harden

    Hack 2

    <!--

    Th!s S!T3 hä¢KeD ߥ VL@d69

    M3M0RY l3@K C0nfirm3d

    c0nfID3N7i@L d@t@ c3r7ifi3d

    Unix D@7@ f0ld3R Sc-hack/2009

    http://bit.ly/6M12tE

    V0r0n v2.1.f

    -->

    Memory Leak Confirmed? Confidential Data Certified? Unix Data Folder Sc-hack/2009? (SC20K much?)

    Not even hackers are THIS cheesy - MUST be a digital agency ;)

  15. Frank Bitterlich
    Badgers

    Yeah, right...

    ... it is well known that these guys use Flash applets when defacing a website, and of course they are using Google Analytics, too.

    Hint: copy'n'paste the russian text into Google Translate, and it doesn't look like a hack so much any more...

  16. Chris King Silver badge
    FAIL

    Gotta be a PR stunt...

    It's been up now for at least 21 hours - that's when they admitted it on the Twitter post anyway. If they can't clean up a "defacement" that they know about in less than 24 hours, they need to find themselves a new sysadmin and/or web host. Anyone with half a brain would have pulled the site and started a clean-up by now...

    ...which they haven't.

    Anyway, it looks FAR too slick to be genuine.

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly Web Admin

    SIlly web admin, everyone knows you need security! I can't talk for other programming languages, but in PHP I always do the following to prevent such attacks.

    <?php

    if(detect_hack() == true){ stop hack_attack() ; }

    and for really important sites I include

    if($shenanigans){$shenanigans = false;}

    1. Greg J Preece

      Different Departments?

      I doubt Ubisoft's game programmers and web admins are the same people...

    2. Lionel Baden

      Awesome !

      http://webimages.stephen-wright.net/shenanigans7sy.jpg

  19. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Par for the course games industry marketing

    Anyone with experience of the games industry will tell you that the primary qualification for being a games industry marketeer is a Nathan Barley-esque level of twattishness so it's entirely plausible that this is an inept marketing stunt rather than the real thing.

  20. Backie
    Pirate

    Update

    Google translator to the rescue again.

    Update: secure connection will be restored within 72 hours. The external threat is under control. Use the core-0-Victor Romeo. Current level - Prospect. Route 27.

    <3 hackers now giving updates on hacked sites

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks a lot like

    I think that a stealthy man with high tech gear is hiding in someone's office reading emails. He got the one that said "The new security code for the website is 3192." I can't figure out how he sneaked past the guard with the clockwork bladder. Some spots in the corridors were lit so nobody could remain hidden for long.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    @Clueley

    "If it is a publicity stunt it's probably not the wisest that there has ever been - a hoax like this can panic users into believing there is a genuine security problem, and panic can lead internet users to make bad decisions," said Graham Cluley

    Yeah, riiiight. My mother often panics when she hears a web server has been hacked, esp if they've gone to the trouble of using Flash. Usually she'll then e-mail her online banking credentials to everyone on the Interwebs.

    I'll refrain from making the obvious pun on your last name.

    Anyone remember the URL of the web page you could go to (posted about 10 years ago) that IIRC popped your browser window full-screen and looked like it was wiping the hard drive and installing a different OS?

    Now THAT was good...

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