back to article Tough admin forces hacker to STRIP to PANTS, LEAP to his DEATH

A hacker who had spent weeks pwning fellow Guild Wars 2 players got some stylised justice when the game creators made a spectacle of his banning and character destruction. The hacker had become legend among the the MMO's userbase. Rumours of his appearances propagated like a virus. Kotaku reports that he single-handedly …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Mr C

      The naming and shaming they did only works if

      A) a cheater has a friend-base that follows (and admires) them, giving a feeling of pride

      B) he gives a shit

      Without either of the above cheaters will not be impressed or deterred by this.

      I hope they can pin down the underlying vulnerabilities which will have a much bigger impact on actual gameplay.

      Having said that, it was very amusing. The wave at the end before the jump is just awesome :)

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      virtual items

      It requires that the law recognises virtual items as real goods. Then you can get a civil suit working.

      It's also something that whining on the forums or posting online will not always address, but send them your missive on a piece of dead tree will almost always get a result.

      I've gotten my account banned from WoW because I was too influential on the in game economy, and that offended someone enough that they wrote to acti-blizz. They then crowed about it, and how they now get to make thousands more gold a day from overcharging, I mean fairly competing, in the market. Person who made the complaint got banned after another few months for gold selling.

      I only got the actual reason for the ban by also writing a letter of complaint, since I'd not (as far as I could tell) violated the T+C, no using hacks or bots. I'd gotten suspension before for transferring large amounts of gold around, but that got reversed.

      I got a refund on the time left on my account, but no characters back. A bunch of the cool stuff is BoA now anyway, so I still have titles, 'chevos, hierlooms and a zillion mounts and pets.

      Blessing in disguise really. Made me re-consider how much effort I was putting into a game that wasn't paying me any money. Yeah, I could have made bank by gold selling, but then that would be a perfectly good reason to ban.

      Online poker is far better way to spend my $15 a month :D

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Made me re-consider how much effort

        Made me re-consider how much effort I was putting into a game that wasn't paying me any money

        Umm. People play games because they are fun. Anything else is either exploitive or gambling.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Client server

      "Unauthorised interference in a computer system"

      What if the only "hack" is client side? In that you are just modifying the data on your "own" system. As I understand it, that is how many of these doohickys work.

      Your client reports where your toon should be, and the server accepts it. There should be clear evidence in the logs that you got from A to B faster than is possible. Or a gamestate (stealthed, health level etc) is stored locally, so if the hacker changes data on their machine only, I imagine it's not a crime.

      Aimbots are harder to prove. Maphacks maybe possible with logs, based on what data you're requesting.

      Considering how hard it is to prosecute people for actual real crimes involving a computer*, I'd imagine there would never be any real danger of real world repercussions for this.

      *Identity theft. Changed my name. Changed my bank, twice. Changed address. Not allowed to get a new NI number. Still getting a dozen attempts to use my credit each year. No criminal charges filed, police only accepted it was a problem after I made formal complaint. Got to talk, once to a single cop, who admitted that he gets 40+ definite cases a DAY assigned to him for ID theft.

      1. Ragarath

        Re: Client server

        What if the only "hack" is client side? In that you are just modifying the data on your "own" system. As I understand it, that is how many of these doohickys work.

        The problem is that a hack on the client side affects the server. All of the problems you describe provide false information to the server thus changing the servers data from what it "should" be. The client does not exist in isolation with these systems, they are interconnected.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Client server

        The client is (or should be) only responsible for showing the user where the server says the character is (and those around it). It then sends back movements and actions as instructions for the server to react to. The server then collects the movements and actions for those in a certain position and calculates the results (E.g. combat, movement, collission with other objects / characters etc.) and send the new position, health changes, equipment changes, scene changes, special effects etc. that the client then needs to display to the user.

        For some movements the client will initiate the recalculation locally, instead of waiting for a response from the server (in order to reduce "lag effects"). That is why you often get rubber-banding, where your character will charge off into the distance, then spring back to a position much nearer the point of origin.

        Most games have in the T&Cs that any attempt to manipulate the client or the communications with the server will result in bans, account deletion etc.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Unauthorised interference in a computer system is a real crime in most countries, and people have been arrested and fined for things like taking virtual items, or erasing an on-line character, (which took time and effort to build up)."

      And if the client's NOT in one of those countries, making him legally untouchable?

  2. Da Weezil

    World of Warcraft?

    Hmmm didnt South Park do this a couple of years back?

    "Bring me........ The Sword of a Thousand Truths"

    *awed gasps*

    1. Mint Sauce

      Re: World of Warcraft?

      Indeed - all I could think was 'South Park' whilst reading this article :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: World of Warcraft?

        The article was one thing, but the forum was over the top. Leroy Jenkins himself would have been embarrassed at the game specific jargon.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suspect even the naked avatar was overly flattering...

    Pretty sure it would have been funnier if they'd first altered his naked character to look less like some gym-buffed fantasy and more like a lardy, out-of-shape Comic Book Guy with man-boobs or a pasty white, muscle-less nerd with bad skin.

    Which, in all probability, would likely be much closer to the truth. :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why need a movie?

    I can understand why admins need proof before they take action against a player, but what I can't understand is why they couldn't go out to investigate this whole incident themselves in order to gather the required proof. If a hacker already became "legend" then surely that's one heck of a signal that someone is bugging your player base and that action is required?

    The article makes it sound as if they simply let things carry on and only took action once they saw the documentary from the journalist. Which strikes me as a little odd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why need a movie?

      Yup, in another age, I used to play Ultima Online where "grandmasters" (the games admins), could be PM'd through the help system to report abuse. These grandmasters had special powers, they could teleport to you in ghost mode, invisible to normal players to observe the abuse and then issue warnings/bans as necessary.

  5. x 7

    I don't understand what the problem is....surely hacking the game is a part of being a better player and improving the odds. Its no different than James T Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru

    1. x 7

      why the downvotes? Come on someone, explain why

  6. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    My son and his mates were into WoW in a big way many years ago when he was a teenager (he's married with 2 kids of his own now!). The subscription cost was significant for him, so I looked at setting up a private server at home. It took me a week to figure it all out and set up, but as soon as it was running, he and a fair percentage of other pupils at his school used that instead of the official servers, and maybe had more fun as they all knew most of the other players IRL - it certainly became a busy little server.

    It also turned out to be a great parenting aid - if he washed the car, cut the grass or did the washing-up etc I could pay him with game items simply by modifying the SQL database, which he valued far more than real money. Conversely punishing his misdeeds by knocking him back a level or two was also very effective.

    1. 9Rune5

      Private servers...

      Cynic_999, your idea sounded good, so off I went on the internet...

      Running your own private WoW server seems to be not completely without risks. Surprised I was.

  7. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Slow "news" day?


    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

      Re: Slow "news" day?

      See the bit in the article concerning the "new profession of in-game journalist" and understand that there is enough interest to make a living from reporting in-game activity. Welcome to the new normal.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Slow "news" day?

        I want the old normal back!

  8. Steve Brooks

    Personally I have always felt that the MMO world was, well to put it mildly, silly. One of the big problems is the myth of balance. These are fantasy worlds, why aren't there mechanisms in-game where a player can become a super powerful evil arch-mage, instead there's an ongoing saga of tweaking and fiddling in all MMO's as soon as the playerbase starts to think a particular class or weapon is OP. It's something you see on every forum, the dreaded letters OP.

    Hey why not let a player become a super powerful evil arch-mage and the rest of the server band together to defeat him, with of course one caveat, anyone who does aspire to the superpowerful evil arch-mage category (or good one for that matter) loses that toon when he gets defeated, and all who fight him get rewarded appropriately. This wishy washy balance stuff is a pain sometimes.....but alas I can already here the bleating of the defeated and demoralised..."unfair unfair" the mob cried...."burn him!!!"

  9. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    The Corn Field

    In SecondLife, they sent people to The Corn Field. Of course, it's tricky to enforce proper behavior in SL programmatically, since it is open-ended, people are expected to be able to create objects and deploy them, full physics engine, scripting language, etc. But if someone trolled hard enough, or was actually using hacks, or whatever, they'd get reported.

    They apparently had problems in particular with several people that LOVED to troll severely. But if they banned their account for 2 weeks or whatever OR permanently apparently they'd just make a new account, rinse and repeat. What they did instead was build an island with nothing but a corn field, a TV in some corner of the island (which was playing a 30 second or so loop, no channel selector) and a tractor (which didn't work.) They'd stick the troll there for 2 weeks, with teleporting disabled, no ability to create objects, and nothing on the island to interact with. Apparently, since the character was stranded but not actually banned, this worked psychologically so the troll would not make a new account again. They'd try to escape, create objects from scratch, create stuff from their inventory, interact with objects, whatever hacks they had, and so on, for a few days to no effect... then simply wait it out. I remember reading one did succeed in burning down the (supposedly inert) cornfield using some hack, the Lindens just reset the island to factory settings (and probably studied the hack so it'd be ineffective in the future.) My recollection was one troll quit, and the rest actually decided they should behave and at least reduced their trolling to tolerable levels.

  10. YetAnotherLocksmith

    What was the hack then?

    Am I the only one who watched the video of the abuse and still have no idea what the mis-deeds were?

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