Riot Games Being Hacked, They Refuses To Pay

Gita Fitria Ramadani . January 25, 2023

Picture: los angeles times

Techspace - Riot Games revealed last week that it was the target of a hack. The creator of League of Legends and Valorant asserts that, even though no critical data was lost, including player information, the hack likely delayed future updates for its games based on Riot Games' tweet.

Riot Games acknowledged that the hack would impact their upcoming patch cadence across multiple games, including Teamfight Tactics and the upcoming League of Legends 13.2 update. It would temporarily affect the ability to release content.

The company's assurance said, "there is no indication that Hacker obtained player data or personal information." But, the hack could still be harmful because they obtained the source code for Riot's famous games, such as League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics, and the company's older anti-cheat system.

Both games may be more susceptible to cheaters in the coming months as this is the latest in a series of data breaches at big game companies.

According to experts in the field who spoke with TechCrunch, the theft of the anti-cheat's source code—even from an outdated system—could assist hackers in developing better cheats that are harder to detect.

"It is bad from Riot's perspective because the hacker makes it easier for cheat developers to comprehend the game and makes it easier to create new cheats," said Paul Chamberlain, who led Riot's anti-cheat team until September 2020. He even told TechCrunch that creating third-party league servers and clients makes it more accessible.

Chamberlain says the legacy anti-cheat hasn't been in League of Legends in five years. However, since creating cheats "is as much (or more) about the game itself than the anti-cheat method," having admission to the game's source code lets cheat developers better understand the game's intent through comments and variables, function, and class names.

Chamberlain explained, "Access to an outdated anti-cheat system is mostly an interest, but it could give some understanding into how the anti-cheat developers think and what the company prioritizes in terms of what needs to be protected."

Riot Games Refused To Pay The Hacker

Picture: freepik

Motherboard reported on Tuesday that the hackers want Riot Games to pay a $10 million ransom to prevent the publication of the stolen code.

"We have obtained your valuable data, which includes Packman, your user mode anti-cheat, the priceless anti-cheat source code, the entire game code for League of Legends, and its tools. We are aware of the significance of these objects and how their public release would affect your major games, Valorant and League of Legends." 

The ransom note Motherboard obtained read, "In light of this, we are making a small request for an exchange of $10,000,000."

Riot Games posted on Twitter, "Over the weekend, our analysis confirmed that the attackers exfiltrated source code for League, TFT, and a legacy anti-cheat platform." We received a ransom email today. Naturally, we will not pay."

Social engineering may point to an employee accidentally handing over login credentials to a stranger through a phishing scheme on another platform. Yet, the company has not confirmed the approaches the alleged attackers utilized to steal the source code for one of the most famous multiplayer games in the world.

A Riot Games spokesperson declined further comment but stated that the company would publish a comprehensive retrospective on the violation in the future, including the invasion vectors utilized by the hackers.

In its tweet thread today, Riot Games continued, "Since the attack, we've been operating to assess its effect on anti-cheat and to be prepared to deploy fixes as quickly as possible if needed."

However, the company revealed that the stolen builds also contained secret experimental new League of Legends and Team Fight Tactics features, suggesting they might leak before any official announcement.

The experimental game modes, stolen features, and source code are other concerns for Riot. "There's no assurance it will ever be released" in-game, Riot stated in its statement, although these game modes and features might appear online if the hackers release this source code.

Additionally, the company stated that it is collaborating with law enforcement on the hack investigation and expects to have its systems fully restored by the end of the week, when game updates can resume as usual.

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