Network-assessment

Playing an online game is one of the most relaxing activity a person can engage without leaving the conveniences of one’s home. Unfortunately, this may not always the case these days, as the game can experience cybersecurity issue as well just like any computer system. This scenario happened recently with ATLAS, the newly released Massively Multiplayer Online Game. Using the alibi of ‘technical difficulties,’ but the reality was the admin account for the game got accessed by third parties. The admin account was used to mas spam other players with ‘Subscribe to PewDiePie’

Atlas is developed by Grapeshot Games, hosted in Steam since late last year. Known by its gamers as a clone of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Sea of Thieves, giving the gamers the capability to play a Pirate-themed game, which covers PVP and clan-based fights. Grapeshot directly confessed that the real issue was caused by a hijacked Steam admin account. But they restored a reliable backup for the servers, rolling-back the top scores prior to the incident.

“Earlier today, an admin’s steam account was compromised and used to cause some devastation on our Official NA PvP Network. To be clear this was not caused by a hack, third party program, or exploit. We have taken the appropriate steps to ensure this does not happen again. We’ll be rolling back our Official NA PvP Network by approximately 5 and a half hours to a network world save at approximately 11 AM UTC (3 AM PST/6 AM EST). We apologize for the inconvenience and we thank for your patience and understanding during this time,” explained Jatheish, Lead Community Manager of ATLAS.

The admin account that was hijacked was very powerful, with the attacker able to spawn WW2-era tanks and airplanes in the game world, creating a situation where abnormal items are in the game contrary to the gameplay mechanics. The illegal weapons were used to kill ingame characters, causing trouble for the high scores and other ingame statistics.

This does not end there, as the next day January 20, the game is flooded by players who are abusing bugs ingame. To a point that summoning whales both in the land, water and air caused disruptions of gameplay. The “Subscribe to PewDiePie” meme has caught on, with many disruptive players spamming the same message over and over, which forced the game masters to take control of the game environment.

“The damage done was caused by a technical exploit which we have now protected against, no administrator accounts were compromised in this situation. We apologize for the inconvenience and we thank for your patience and understanding during this time. In regards to action taken, multiple accounts have been banned in relation to this, by ourselves and BattlEye, though the evidence and our extensive logging indicates that this group does not have any specific ties to any one company, but are instead targeting streamers and large or well-known companies. We will continue our investigation and will take action on all involved accounts and companies when we learn of their involvement immediately. To compensate, we’ll be extending the 2x Bonus Rates until Wednesday. Please be assured that this is a priority for the team and we are working extensively to ensure that it does not occur again,” emphasized Dollie, ATLAS Assistant Community Manager.

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