World of Warcraft hackers kill lots of in-game characters

Just imagine: You are playing your character on your favorite World of Warcraft server and then you suddenly die, without warning. Then you notice that everyone around you has died in the game; not just your fellow player characters, but also NPCs as well.

There's no need to imagine such a situation. It actually happened over the weekend. WOW Insider reports that hackers managed to find an exploit in Blizzard's long running fantasy MMO game that allowed them to just, well, kill everyone in a number of the game's servers.

Blizzard quickly posted up a note on their official message boards, stating, "This exploit has already been hotfixed, so it should not be repeatable. It's safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth. As with any exploit, we are taking this disruptive action very seriously and conducting a thorough investigation."

Blizzard added that they are asking from help from the World of Warcraft community to find the people responsible for exploiting the bug in the game and to email that information to hacks@blizzard.com. In the meantime, we also imagine that a few hackers are getting a little chuckle over what they did to what could be tens of thousands of players.

Source: WoW Insider | Image via WoW Insider

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To all the people who say it's funny stuff here's something for you.

This weekend was a holiday weekend in Canada. 3 days off. Finally.

I'm in the mid 30ies with a full time 40 hours job and a life.

My weekend was planned this way.

Friday night go to teather with gf.
Saturday we visited family.
Monday winter preparation work outside the house was planned.

Sunday was my gaming day. Gf was going to the store to buy some winter clothes. I was staying home to do the laundry and play games.

I planned to play some wow and finally do some heroics.

The thing is the game was down most of the day because of this ****. Not that much of a problem since i played Borderland 2 instead but still i was ****ed off as i planed to play wow.

This is not funny at all and i hope people who did this will get in trouble because of it. They deserve it.

gzAsher said,
Um...Cool story bro

I perfectly knew someone whould answer that.

Still doesn't change the fact that lot of canadians had to change their plan on a holiday weekend because of those *******.

Nothing funny about it.

dead.cell said,
It's sad that hearing about stuff like this is what makes people want to flock to the game to check it out.

Makes me wonder if it is a PR stunt.

Someone must've really liked that episode of South Park all those years back.

"How do you kill that which has no life?"

Perfect72 said,
Someone must've really liked that episode of South Park all those years back.

"How do you kill that which has no life?"


yeah and that's what I love about wow.
make love not warcraft made a massive spike for wow and every time I watch make love not warcraft ep I go back to WoW and pay ...

Seen this somewhere else a little earlier and thought it was hilarious.

It also made me wonder where that massive amount of money blizzard makes per month goes. Clearly it's not on hiring competent programmers.

Blackhearted said,
Seen this somewhere else a little earlier and thought it was hilarious.

It also made me wonder where that massive amount of money blizzard makes per month goes. Clearly it's not on hiring competent programmers.

I know right because all software is 100% bug free.

warwagon said,

I know right because all software is 100% bug free.

I didn't say it was. But noone who knows what they're doing would let something like this happen.

Blackhearted said,

I didn't say it was. But noone who knows what they're doing would let something like this happen.

Really? Show me a test case for a MMORPG that includes testing for a hack that allows a player character to target and instant-kill any other player character or NPC.

This is not a case of someone exploiting a game mechanic for "teh lulz." This is clearly someone hacking the game in order to achieve these results. In the former, there should be testing done. In the latter, only so much can be done to perform security audits of code.

And don't forget that there are very active communities that work constantly to try to hack and exploit everything, from governments on down to online games. There's no way to be 100% secure against everything unless they turn it off.

That seems like a fairly normal test case.

One of the main things with client <> server communication, is that you don't trust the client. If the client reports that it's just killed everybody on the server, the server should reject that (Never mind checking normal "damage" events to ensure they fit the weapon/max distance/etc.)

The_Decryptor said,
That seems like a fairly normal test case.

One of the main things with client <> server communication, is that you don't trust the client. If the client reports that it's just killed everybody on the server, the server should reject that (Never mind checking normal "damage" events to ensure they fit the weapon/max distance/etc.)


Server should never trust a client, in that case a GM/Admin is powerless.. then what?
On a major thing like WoW, these kinda bugs are around.

The_Decryptor said,
That seems like a fairly normal test case.

One of the main things with client <> server communication, is that you don't trust the client. If the client reports that it's just killed everybody on the server, the server should reject that (Never mind checking normal "damage" events to ensure they fit the weapon/max distance/etc.)

But in this case it's a single-target instant-kill ability (similar to the ability a GM would have available to them), so it's perfectly acceptable for someone on the server to have this ability. The problem is how they gained access to that ability.

I would agree that the server should reject certain types of communication, but this isn't a case of a client reporting a mass-kill or even damage of any kind. If you watch any of the videos you can see the character in question simply targeting someone and that person simply dying. There is no damage associated and it's single target.

LaP said,
Still the server should reject a level 1 killing a level 90 and ban him right away.
So someone just playing around in a duel with a level 90 not doing anything, and a level 1 doing damage should get banned?

Judging by that screenshot that server is probably too busy anyway o.O. It's staggering how many people must have been wandering around that area. Crammed in like sardines!!

jamesyfx said,
Judging by that screenshot that server is probably too busy anyway o.O. It's staggering how many people must have been wandering around that area. Crammed in like sardines!!

Not really since each character death and subsequent resurrection would be accompanied by a skeleton. For all we know, that could be the same 50 players getting killed and resurrected multiple times each.

OMG, what ... awesome.
like what the hell this happens right before I am about to leave wow and switch to gw2.
Back to WoW I go,

omg, I just seen the title and the screenshot. awesome, going to start playing and paying wow again!!!! Awesome!!