Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Hackers have apparently been hitting pretty close to home lately.

The Tantra online game is currently down, having suffered through a number of violations incurred by various individuals within its game. I would imagine that bots and packets would normally cause little or no damage to these online worlds, but in Tantra's case, the violations were particularly damning - they succeeded in breaking the economy of the virtual world. (Or so the Inquirer report says.)

The Anino Entertainment website is also down, although it looks like the work of a script kiddie in this case. The violation appears typical of a lot of website defacements, although I can't resist pointing out that the hacker's grammar appears to be a lot better than that of others I've seen. Interestingly enough, I haven't been able to google for anything regarding Anino's intruder, which , along with the grammar point, raises the possibility that this might be his first outing.

There's an odd contrast between the two incidents, mind you. I can resolve the Tantra issue with the fact that there are people out there who are naturally curious, and who use their free time checking to see if they can crack one aspect of these systems or another. In a way, I don't see it as any more different than my unwholesome attraction towards games. But I can't really see a good motivation behind disabling the Anino Entertainment site. The act of bypassing server security should be relatively easy for hackers now; Why would defacing a site be considered a major achievement for anyone other than a newbie?

On the other hand, saying that hackers deface sites for the intellectual satisfaction is like saying that people read the bible because it has a nice story - it's simply an illogical explanation. I'm inclined to believe that, if a non-newbie hacker defaces a site, it's more for the purpose rather than for the intellectual stimulation. I believe that these people deface sites because they have some sort of grudge against the local administrators, and that doing so is the best way of sticking it to them while remaining relatively anonymous in the process.

So the Anino site probably got hit by a grudger or a newbie. How odd.

I wonder how Anino's faring. They're probably pulling their backups together, grumbling all the while. It'll probably take them a few minutes (or a few days, depending on how good their organization is), and then they'll get back to normal operations after increasing the security a bit. Defacing a site makes a bit of a statement, yes, but nowadays it should be relatively easy to fix.

Exactly what Tantra's going to do is another matter altogether. I would imagine that the administrators should have already accepted by now that the hackers are a part of the game. In a sense, it's the game behind the scenes - while you're busy trying to get those last few points of experience needed to advance a level, some corporate watcher out there is trying to pinpoint the location of a couple of particularly nasty scammers. You can take a few of them out, but you can't stop the tide. Much like the Internet at large.


jeff-reiji said...

You're the guy from novicewriters!

Nice blog... season's greetings too!
Amazing profile, kaingit job mo, to write for games :D


Sean said...

The Novicewriters mailing list is nice. It helped get me back on my feet after a two-year absence from the world of letters and sentences.

Nice to see you made it here, Reiji. I'll drop by your blog soon...