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Friendly hacker helps fix Rift exploit

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."

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Latest comments (7)

James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
Really nice to see a positive story on hacking/cracking.

Well done!
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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts5 years ago
Don't give him heartfelt thanks, give him in-game stuffz ;-)
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Ken Addeh5 years ago
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!
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Show all comments (7)
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.
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Andrzej Wroblewski Localization Generalist, Albion Localisations5 years ago
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.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 5 years ago
Maybe should offer him a job or some great cash reward :)
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SenZ Customer Care Assisstant FISA BATIBOUW 5 years ago
Glad to read a positive side onthe hacker-story, and great job from ManWitDaPlan =)
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