[Oct 02, 2003, 5:41 pm ET] - Share - Viewing Comments
A post to the Halflife2.net
by Gabe Newell finally has a comment on the leaked Half-Life 2 source
code, brought to the world's attention by Gamer's
Here's the deal:
Ever have one of those weeks? This has just not been the
best couple of days for me or for Valve.
Yes, the source code that has been posted is the HL-2 source code.
Here is what we know:
1) Starting around 9/11 of this year, someone other than me was accessing my
email account. This has been determined by looking at traffic on our email
server versus my travel schedule.
2) Shortly afterwards my machine started acting weird (right-clicking on
executables would crash explorer). I was unable to find a virus or trojan on my
machine, I reformatted my hard drive, and reinstalled.
3) For the next week, there appears to have been suspicious activity on my
4) Around 9/19 someone made a copy of the HL-2 source tree.
5) At some point, keystroke recorders got installed on several machines at
Valve. Our speculation is that these were done via a buffer overflow in
Outlook's preview pane. This recorder is apparently a customized version of
RemoteAnywhere created to infect Valve (at least it hasn't been seen anywhere
else, and isn't detected by normal virus scanning tools).
6) Periodically for the last year we've been the subject of a variety of denial
of service attacks targetted at our webservers and at Steam. We don't know if
these are related or independent.
Well, this sucks.
What I'd appreciate is the assistance of the community in tracking this down. I
have a special email address for people to send information to, email@example.com.
If you have information about the denial of service attacks or the infiltration
of our network, please send the details. There are some pretty obvious places to
start with the posts and records in IRC, so if you can point us in the right
direction, that would be great.
We at Valve have always thought of ourselves as being part of a community, and I
can't imagine a better group of people to help us take care of these problems
than this community.
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||Re: No subject
||Oct 2, 2003, 20:15
Steam itself is for distributing files / content. It does NOT actually run the game. The game itself (the client on your machine, and the server that you're connected to) talk over the 'net when you're playing. Everytime a piece of the game-world changes, the server tells your computer, and your copy of the game updates your view to reflect the changes. Your computer also tells the server what you are doing ("I'm walking forward", or "I'm crouching down in this corner"). The server is responsible for sorting out what's "legal" and not in the game - things like moving 500MPH on foot are forbidden. However, someone with the source-code can see EXACTLY what the client is supposed to send, what kind of messages the server is supposed to receive, and then exactly how to "break" those.
Also, some weaknesses in the server-code (if they exist) could potentially be exploited to get viruses and trojans onto those server-machines. Not ONLY will players now be taking a risk of having their stuff messed with; or other players cheating - but the people that own / run the Servers have to consider the fact that a buffer overrun (much like the Outlook one that happened to Gabe) could be used to plant malicious code or files on the actual server. This is a BigDeal(tm)!
--Noel "HB" Wade
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