Hacker Attempts to Blackmail Online Game Publisher

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Hacker Attempts to Blackmail Online Game Publisher


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


Now you can't call it A warcraft clone, this never happened to WoW!

OT: I think this guys bluffing, but I think I'll still postpone making an account.

It's a marketing ploy if you ask me.

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?

Haha, he tried to hide behind anon and actually got it wrong. "We are legend."

This guy is a failure. Trying to give anon the blame for his one man crusade.

However trying to make it look as if there are others standing with him when he's alone would be the correct thing to do. The Art of War teaches us that. Maybe it's just one big troll? Or maybe he heard about anon's shenanigans and hoped they'd join him?

I wonder if Anon is going to retaliate, since he's clearly not one of them?

Here's a screen of his forum post;


What a douche!

I love the way these people think.
"I am unhappy, so I shall cause more problems to other people by compromising their login details that I will cause to the company."
I bet what is going to happen is, that they will close every active account so that they are demanded to change their login information and contact information, after the players have done that they can play on-line again.

But I wonder does this hacker realize that he will be bothering lives of people who most likely wont be agreeing with him. Like I would take an Escapist employee as hostage and demanded Time Magazine to write more about video games. (Magazine used a examples are just the first one came to mind, I wouldn't ever hurt any Escapist employee... Unless they want to *Wink* ( Eww... )
Sorry, I got sidetracked. Boring lesson with lot of chattering...

But yeah, the mindset of these people is just odd. But hes motives are understandable. I myself haven't visited the RoM forums, but if the quality of topics are what I have heard them to be sometimes I wouldn't wonder why they get deleted or locked.

I dearly hope this hackers attempt fails, he gets caught and he would stop bothering the lives of people who don't care about hes cause.
Because one truth there is in this world, no mater how bad a situation somewhere is, there is always someone, the one. Who enjoys that situation.
And if other would have issue with the way of RoM and it services are kept, would stop playing it and that way showing their mind. This hacker doesn't seem to be able to realize that with this stunt, at best he can kill the game he seem to be "caring" so dearly.

There are many ways to make a point, this is a fast, illegal and in my opinion a stupid way.



Here's a screen of his forum post;

Thank you for that screen.
This person clearly has failed to notice that freedom of speech doesn't aply on private service. If there are forums rules, by using the forums you have agreed to obey by them, if there is sonething you don't agree with on the forums, don't use them. Example: If you come to my forums and in my rules say that Discussing about Religion is not allowed. And you go and make a account and Post topic on my forums about Religion, you get banned. Since you used my forums you agreed to obey by my rules, you chose to limit your freedom by posting on my forums.

They wanted to war... No they didn't want to war YOU (The hacker) wanted a war. If there is issue with employees and employer, it is not your issue, it is theirs, and their unions and their local laws. Not yours!!!

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

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.

Somebody is taking this F2P MMO WAY too seriously. I don't care for the phrase, but here I think it very clearly applies: get a damn life.

Hmm, I'm conflicted on one hand he is threatening to release inocent peoples private information online and is acting like a grade A dick.
On the other hand his demands don't seem too unreasonable and some make quite a bit of sense.

Is there any chance that they'll do what he asks and have him arreseted?

Wow. I haven't seen sadness of this magnitude since the Minecraft servers got hacked.

This guy is an idiot.

Well...that's clearly just a child that has anger issues.
I mean "Stop spy on your..." clearly meant to be 'Stop Spying' and so forth.
Still, I hope Anon does go after this child...it would be poetic justice.

To me it sounds like an ex-employee. A disgruntled ex-employee. Anyway, the entire thing sounds stupid to me.

If someone has power, someone will be jealous. If a jealous person has power, they will try to use that power. Cause and effect. There's no right or wrong in all of it, just people trying to impose their beliefs and power upon others. Only the observers can judge who is actually right in all of this.

Chances are the threats are real, but any action he takes will be far less significant than he expects. Worst case, Frogger take the servers offline until he backs off or they tighten security. Best case, he gets caught and arrested for blackmail and cyber-terrorism. It'd be interesting if Frogger puts up a poll on their forum asking what to do with him and leave it to the users to decide.

Damn, i have an account there

Kiefer? Security? Terrorism? What is this, 24?

I kinda want to know if my account was released, it fits the time period, i registered way back then and never really played. Not really concerned, just curious. Anyway the thing with hackers is that you never really know if they're genuine or just trolls or worse, but im in a kind of a "fuck everything" foul mood these days so im gonna go and say have fun, cpt.z3r0.

I am taking a neutral stance on this. Sounds awesome and intrigued of the outcome really.

Let it unfold!

I have friends that play RoM, but I don't play myself. I say let's see where the cards fall on this one.

lol, if this guy was serious about his demands, he would have done what every serious hostage taker does and do what he threatened when his thread was locked. the lack of him carring out his threat makes him far less credible. he needs to watch more hostage movies

Why hasn't anyone come up with a MMORPG based around hacking a MMORPG? That would be new AND metaliciously awesome.

Furthermore, I agree with "get a life". Screwing with the BKA (German federal police) AND anon can't be healthy.

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

No, it's "thicker than two short planks".

Seriously, this is right up there with DDoSing Minecraft's servers in order to get more updates a week before a massive update; stupid in so many levels.

Is the game any good? The picture looks pretty cool...

Z3r0? Kotaku says that it was a dude named augustus 87. Their screenshot even shows that.

To me it sounds like an ex-employee. A disgruntled ex-employee.

This would be the only thing that would make even the remotest sense to me. Not that it'd be quite as excusable, or a pertinent tactic, but still - it'd at least make some sense.

However if it's anything other than that and if it's just a random internet antihero of the oppressed...pfffft. I genuinely don't know where these people get this amount of time on their hands. But ah well...anything for e-fame I guess.

A real hacker would quietly reveal the security holes to the developer and give them suggestions on how to prevent this kind of stuff. This guy, like so many, just wants to make a public spectacle, show off and be a nuisance.

i saw the video and arrived at a conclusive decision as to who the culprit is here:
Stephen Hawking oh shit

Z3r0? Kotaku says that it was a dude named augustus 87. Their screenshot even shows that.

Check the name of the YouTube profile from the video.

RoM did have some "public relations issues" when I was playing - they were quite renowned for eating threads that were negative. OK, some did deserve to get eaten, but others didn't.
Also the progress updates on patches and things was pretty atrocious imo.

But yeah - threatening the player base is pretty low. Why expose data of those who aren't to blame?

The monitoring on the network - I say that's a fairly sensible thing to do. A fair few GMs over several companies have been fired for giving out stuff to friends etc. How would you like to trounced by the guy who just happened to be friends with a GM or dev? Doesn't sound like this guy works - if so he should know a lot of corporate internet access is monitored, at least to some degree.

inside job, this gives it away

stop monitoring the internet and network usage of its employees

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!?!

Well, I cant say I support him in his crusade, largely because I dont give a fuck. Though I would like to see what happens.

It's funny how people just do some really jerk moves because they don't get what they want. I'm sure he's just a kid who's tired of the company that makes the game, he just apparently knows how to hack though. I'm sure most MMO companies monitor their employees, especially for free to play. Sure glad I don't play this game.

inside job, this gives it away

stop monitoring the internet and network usage of its employees

How much says he got fired for watching porn?

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