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Friendly hacker helps fix Rift exploit

By David Jenkins

Tue 22 Mar 2011 10:06am GMT / 6:06am EDT / 3:06am PDT

Fan helps developer patch MMO security problem within two hours

A "white hat" hacker has helped developer Trion Worlds to fix a security exploit in massively multiplayer online game Rift, just hours after it first become known.

After becoming victim of account theft, one of many reported since the game launched, player ManWitDaPlan began his own investigation into the source of the problem, posting his findings on the official forum.

"Trion's response to the revelation of the exploit has been spot-on," said ManWitDaPlan in an interview with fansite ZAM Rift.

"Steve Chamberlin, the dev lead for Rift, was on the phone with me within five minutes of my sending the technicals on the exploit, and while I was talking to him, the engineering team was likely already editing and recompiling code. A patch was deployed just over two hours after the exploit was revealed.

"A few extra fixes (to Coin Lock) were also pushed in at the same time to further tighten things up. The phrase 'epic win' is cliched from its overuse as a meme, but it nevertheless certainly fits here."

Writing on the game's forums executive Hartsman admitted that Rift was still not 100 per cent secure, and warned that hackers and botnets were still attacking the game.

"Those attacks have been coming constantly since we launched the game," he said. "The only thing that changes are how many hundreds of computers are trying to get into your account at any given moment, where they're coming from, and how many are succeeding."

Naturally Hartsman had nothing but for praise for the help the company had received: "We'd definitely like to thank Mr. ManWitDaPlan for the well-timed assist. Sir, we salute you and offer our most heartfelt thanks."

From Recommendations by Taboola


James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
Really nice to see a positive story on hacking/cracking.

Well done!

Posted:5 years ago


Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts

146 71 0.5
Don't give him heartfelt thanks, give him in-game stuffz ;-)

Posted:5 years ago


Ken Addeh

37 0 0.0
it's a joint effort here. I've known MMO's that don't take security risks as a priority, and after submitting a trouble ticket to contact the dev team they respond with "We're aware of it an we'll be looking into it" so it's good to see some devs want to fix it as soon as physically possible.

Good on Manwitdaplan for discovering it AND Hartsman for providing excellent customer service!

Posted:5 years ago

Very ironic. I have always been saying there is talent in hackers and when your in a big industry sometimes you have to look out of the boxes for ideas. 2 hour fix is impressive. Keep pushing for a mutual understanding and this hacking problem will eventually grow old.

Posted:5 years ago


Andrzej Wroblewski Localization Generalist, Albion Localisations

115 93 0.8
IMHO the hacker deserves a reward. Guys @TW could do an analysis of potential loss this exploit could cause, then simply calculate 10% of it and send it to ManWitDaPlan as a due remuneration.

Posted:5 years ago


Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer

259 12 0.0
Maybe should offer him a job or some great cash reward :)

Posted:5 years ago


SenZ Customer Care Assisstant FISA BATIBOUW

12 0 0.0
Glad to read a positive side onthe hacker-story, and great job from ManWitDaPlan =)

Posted:5 years ago


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