For a game that began its humble beginnings as a mod of another game, zombie survival sim DayZ has done remarkably well for itself, capitalizing on the genre du jour of undead killing to garner over 1 million sales. So well has DayZ done (it’s also important to note that the game from Bohemia Interactive is still currently in alpha on Steam Early Access) that even the minds at Sony Online Entertainment have admittedly riffed from the title, leading them to create the similarly themed and styled H1Z1.
However, with success comes trouble or “mo’ money, mo’ problems” as they say and now, one of the biggest problems to mar DayZ’s success and jeopardize the game’s development is a hacker who claims to have accessed the game’s source code.
By definition, a source code is “a text listing of commands to be compiled or assembled into an executable computer program.” The source code is the bits of text and written computer programming that tells a game what to do and tells it how to tick and run smoothly in a playable form. Unless the source code is made available (this usually happens when a game is set to be taken offline and will no longer be on sale), then most game’s source codes are strictly off limits which is why this is so troubling for DayZ developer Bohemia Interactive.
According to a user who goes by the name of ‘DevDomo’, they were able to gain access to the confidential code before posting an explanation of how they did it, along with screenshots of the reported DayZ source code for all to see on a gaming-hacking forum. DevDomo’s work was, for the most part, hearsay but Bohemia has now confirmed that an attack did occur, but in the statement below they neither clarify if the source code was accessed nor if the hack was successful.
“The precise nature and scope of this attack is currently being extensively investigated.”
In addition to DevDomo’s own hack, it’s also being reported that DevDomo and another user, named ‘drwhat’, have released a PDB tool which can be used to debug the game executable file. While debugging isn’t necessarily something that the average player would know how to do, those with the hacking knowledge would in theory be able to release a whole horde of cheats and exploits, making the game unfair (and possibly unplayable) for the wider range of undead-offing gaming.
Cheats aren’t the only thing that DayZ players need to be worried about either as a hack on the game’s servers like this could mean that another attempt that’s perhaps less defended would provide the hacker with access to sensitive details and data about the players themselves should someone direct their hacking skills towards it (Bohemia says that the data-holding servers were not the target so this instance isn’t so much of a concern). It’s unclear if the weaknesses in the game’s servers would be able to protect against something like that but as Bohemia says that the hack won’t affect DayZ’s development or release schedule, it may just be a case of ‘wait and see’.
DayZ is available now on Steam Early Access.
Source: Rely On Horror