Infection: DayZ Servers Hit By Malicious Software

By Adam Smith on June 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

A man so annoyed by This Sort Of Thing that he has chewed off his own tongue

Update: a post from developer Dean “Rocket” Hall explains more.

I don’t know whether to growl or sigh so I guess I’ll just groan, or maybe even grigh. Jim’s new favourite playground and horrorshow, DayZ, was the victim of a security breach, carrying the risk that the game’s servers could become a botnet. Thankfully the person responsible has been identified, a statement has been released and legal action is being pursued. The official advice is as follows:

…if you are a user who has downloaded the .exe called dayz_auto_updater.exe from the US Mirror…scan against viruses and read the description by ThreatExpert on where to locate this if your Virus detector does not pick it up.

Additionally, server hosts who supplied RDP details to the DayZ team are also compromised and “need to thoroughly scan their server for the same type of processes and to change their servers RDP details and to NOT ever give the RDP details out to anyone *Including DayZ* from now on”. More below.

While the culprit has been discovered, being spotted hasn’t caused a slinking off into the undergrowth for fear of reprisal, as detailed on the DayZ forums. Of course, when people love a thing, as many people love DayZ, they can become very defensive when that thing is threatened. Important then that they heed the large red text at the forum which says this, except redder:

*NOTE: DO NOT POST THIS PERSONS PERSONAL INFORMATION, GAMING ALIASES, ETC ARE FINE, BUT NAMES, ADDRESSES, SOCIAL WEBSITES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THIS TOPIC. ALSO DO NOT MAKE THREATS AGAINST THIS PERSON IN ANY WAY LEGAL ACTIONS ARE BEING PURSUED*

Follow the steps to ensure all that needs to be repaired is repaired, take any necessary future precautions and perhaps curse the determination of some people to try and ruin things for other people, in various ways. At least the linked example lead to something glorious though.

On a personal note, it’s irritating that this is my first post about DayZ, something I’ve been wanting to indulge in and write about since I first vicariously enjoyed it through Jim’s writings. I still haven’t found time to play it.

Thanks to VG24/7 for the alert.

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55 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Shockeh says:

    When you get people to give out the logins for a range of servers with good spec, quite a lot of available bandwidth (2TB a month) and even confirm that they’ve got open RDP access, do you really expect them NOT to get compromised? It was pretty naive all round really.

    it’s like a DDOS wet dream.

  2. Runs With Foxes says:

    Fun facts:
    He once acted to be a female for 3 months to gain donations for a counter strike community.
    He makes money by selling runescape gold *w/e the hell that is lol*
    He apparently loves mcdonalds…

    What a fulfilling life he leads.

    • Firetaffer says:

      >He once acted to be a female for 3 months to gain donations for a >counter strike community.
      >He makes money by selling runescape gold *w/e the hell that is lol*

      Mmmhh ehh

      >He apparently loves mcdonalds…

      Hold. The. Fucking. Phone!

      • caddyB says:

        What’s wrong with liking some kind of food?
        I’ll never understand the unwarranted internet hate for everything.

        • lordfrikk says:

          Maybe it has to do with the fact that majority of their assortment of goods is junk food.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            Pretty much.

            I’m sure his favorite food wouldn’t be a point of ridicule if it was foie gras, kare raisu, or that he has a warm place in his heart for grilled tofu and asparagus.

            Saying you love McD’s is like saying you love Britney Spears’ music. Tons of people do, but it’s generally frowned upon for being devoid of any real meaningful substance.

          • iniudan says:

            Majority ? I am pretty sure even the salad is junk in their case, cause no one ever take the salad, so who know how old it is when they finally sell one.

            At least that what is said, cause the last time I ate at a McDo they still weren’t serving salad. Actually I cannot even get close to a McDo anymore, the smell make me sickly just by walking by (this is not an exaggeration on my part).

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Al least everyone knows McD’s is junk and thus can make a well informed choice when eating there, unlike a lot of foods, some of which market themselves as healthy and are, in reality a lot worse!

          • El Stevo says:

            The Double Cheeseburger at McDonalds is completely delicious. There aren’t many burgers I’ve tasted that are nicer, and unlike those giant posh burgers you can get (such as at Gourmet Burger Kitchen), it can actually be eaten by hand without making a huge mess. It’s not the volume of food I object to with giant burgers, but I’d rather have two manageable burgers than one huge one that won’t fit in my mouth. The fries at McDonald’s aren’t bad and the milkshakes are good. The McChicken Sandwich is good too, but if you’re going to get chicken you might as well go to a specialist chicken place, like Chicken Cottage or KFC.

          • Bloodloss says:

            Yeah, I too act like a child and hold it against people whenever they admit to liking anything unhealthy. It’s good that we have the snobs here who obviously never drink alcohol, smoke, do drugs, eat any kind of junk food whatsoever, and so on. Without them, we wouldn’t know that McDonalds is unhealthy.

          • Jesus H. Christ says:

            @sheng-ji: mcd’s aint junk. If you ever travel and need to eat but worry about getting sick, mcd’s is the best place to go. I forget which gold medal sprinter ate only at mcD’s because he was afraid of getting sick but I think it was at the Beijing olympics.

          • Kaira- says:

            Jesus H. Christ, I think you need to readjust your sarcasm meter.

          • ankh says:

            Please can we make a sarcasm font? Or would that defeat the point of sarcasm? Because I honestly can’t see sarcasm if I dont at least vaguely know the person talking to. Maybe it’s because english is my second language.. I dont know.

        • Snuffy the Evil says:

          The implication is that he’s fat.

          My, aren’t the DayZ devs all grown up?

      • ankh says:

        I love Mcdonalds. Just thought I should say that in case a future comment section archaeologist examines this comment section and comes to the conclusion that all PC gamers are snobs.

        • Quarex says:

          Oh good, I am not the only person who often thinks about how people should state the obvious a little more often so that future academics do not come to conclusions like “it seems literally no-one who used the Internet ever enjoyed eating at McDonald’s; perhaps their external cyberware interfered with the fat neurons!”

  3. Shortwave says:

    Bad week for game server security.
    Hilarious he’s already caught though, sucker.

  4. Maldomel says:

    Is there anything that doesn’t get hacked/infected these days?

    I wonder if it’s only companies and websites having weak security system full of breaches, or guys like the one mentioned here being too strong and doing what they want if they really want to?

    • Grygus says:

      It’s a fact of computer science that no usable system is completely safe.

      • Was Neurotic says:

        Yah, I was going to say something similar, but less concisely. :D It just seems to me that human/computer analogy is, again, the best: the human biological system is every bit as vulnerable and weak as any computer system is, it’s just an inherent, fundamental, inescapable fact. Doesn’t make it any less less pleasing though. :D

  5. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’ve not been able to log into DayZ for days cause of the loading problems :( a blessing and a curse. I also think the day night cycle is idiotic, I can only play at night time because I have a job which means the day night cycle might as well not exist.

    • purdz says:

      There are plenty of reverse time servers around, and plenty of US servers around that would be daytime during our nighttime. Also being based in the UK myself I have found that the US servers are generally better anyway, as in less lag, less time to log in, more of a success rate at joining. If you are US based try EU servers and vice versa.

      I’m sure most people here have jobs I certainly work many hours and still manage to play happily on day time servers.

    • Duckee says:

      You should read through the forum post on DayZ. There you would learn that there are servers that have reversed timezones, so you get daylight.

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?4280-DayZ-(Zombie-Survival-Persistant-World)/page32

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      Reverse time servers aren’t the solution for 2 reasons, I don’t want to pick day or night, I want the day night cycle to mean something, and trying to log onto a specific server with dayz is futile since 80% of the time you can’t for various reasons and the american servers add about 100ms onto your ping, if you’re experiencing less lag on US servers than your local ones there is something seriously wrong with your connection, I agree though that I seem to have less trouble logging into the US servers because the master US server is less overloaded.

      • Mctittles says:

        I agree reverse time is not the solution, although I’m sad to say it doesn’t look like “Rocket” is going to change it. He has mentioned before that he bases all his timing on the time cycle in Arma (when loot re-spawns, etc) and he says it would be too difficult or problematic to speed up time and still keep things in sync. He also goes on to say things like the AI will “probably” become messed up with sped up time and things like flares “might” not last the same amount of time.

        As someone who has modded Arma games since Operation Flashpoint, I tend to disagree. Arma’s engine has two time systems and changing the time of day is different than “speeding up time”. This becomes more apparent with the fact you can set the time different on each computer in multiplayer without timing problems.
        It’s more likely he can’t script well enough to make faster time work or would rather not spend the time changing all his code to a new timing system in order to add this feature.

      • thebigJ_A says:

        Funny, since 1.7, I get in quickly at least 80% of the time, on whatever server, and even the ones that take a while aren’t near as bad as they used to be. Also, read the patch notes, there is one specific point in the loading process where, if you get stuck, you should bounce out and try again. It’s not happened to me, yet, though.

        Another bit of advice, apply the latest Arma beta patch. The servers that run it are the best in my experience (both for stability and community), not to mention it fixes a lot (like Direct chat, and allowing the disabling by the server of global chat). You can play non-beta servers, still, so there’s no reason not to.

    • Mctittles says:

      If you happen to find one at sundown, you can keep logging/rejoining to keep the sun out.

      A bug in Join in Progress (easily modded out) causes all players to receive only one time. If the server was restarted at 8:30 then everyone who joins no matter when will have their in game time start at 8:30 and move on from there.

      I’ve been attempting to bring light to this bug, because it’s easily fixable and also difficult to realize unless you go around asking other players the time.

  6. kukouri says:

    Zombie game gets infected… fitting.

  7. Kreidos says:

    This is precisely why you never give anyone else remote access to your servers for any reason. Even if they’re above board, it just makes them a target for others.

  8. Dextro says:

    Like others said on the DayZ forums: He better not have any beans or soda on him if he ever crosses another DayZ players path. :P

  9. WebFusion says:

    Their crazy server “rules” are why so many of the larger gaming communities (with the best hardware – including ours) have stayed away from hosting the game to this point.

    No other gaming company would dream of asking for root access to an independent server operator’s servers, much less prevent them from password protecting it, or (at the very least) allowing the people who pay for the hardware to have preferred access (either via kicking to make room, or using a whitelist/reserved slot system).

    While I understand this game is in its infancy, they will never get the kind of server support they need if they continue to treat server operators as a free funding base for their hardware. In the long term, we only support games that support us.

    • sexyresults says:

      We are all equals in Day Z, even the server admins. Gratitude and respect should be given for hosting, not a leg up.

    • MordeaniisChaos says:

      The whole point of Day Z is to avoid the kind of stuff you see on locked up clan servers and the like. It makes perfect sense not to allow that kind of thing. The most that should be allowed is banning exploiters/cheaters from the server. I guess it’d be cool to have a private server, but that mostly defeats the purpose of the game.

      • WebFusion says:

        I think you’re missing the point. Hosted dedicated servers (at least high-quality hardware) isn’t cheap.

        Most clans/communities fund their servers through donations. Take a guess how many of those people are willing to fork over $$$ month in/month out to pay for a server they have to stand in line to play on?

        No one is asking for a “leg up” we’re simply asking to be able to control and limit access to the environment’s we pay for. We don’t give our supporters any in-game advantages in TF2, or even Minecraft, for that matter. All we give them is “front of the line” access for the hardware they are paying for, which is perfectly reasonable. Public players always seem to forget that the “worlds” you are playing in aren’t free – someone is footing the bill for your fun. To ask those people to wait behind you while you game on their dime is not sustainable in the long run.

        • Ganjatron says:

          Don’t run a server. Like you said this is not TF2 or CS, you don’t get to make the rules for your server similar to those. When you bought/rent/built the sever, you know well in advanced what you are getting into. The information for DayZ was not just popped on us server owners one day, we knew we had to give up some liberties to run one. Just because you decided to spend $100+ a month on a server that no one forced you buy, does not give you the right to force changes on the game because you spent the cash. Same as you can’t expect people to donate to your server to help you pay for it. Server rental/purchases are an expensive choice, especially in Arma2, if you didn’t have a solid plan on how to support it, then expect it to be shitty.

    • zaphod42 says:

      The game is not in its infancy. Its in ALPHA. They try to warn people about this. THIS IS AN OPEN ALPHA TEST. THE GAME IS NOT DONE.

      So you can’t give them shit for anything. Everybody is currently participating in a public test of a very experimental and broken mod. I don’t think the final version would ask that of servers at all, but they’re nowhere close to being done.

      This was never supposed to be as big as it is already, and we’re just lucky that the creator didn’t go “whoops, this alpha isn’t ready for this many people yet” and pull the plug, thus forcing us to wait around doing nothing for a year until its done.

      He’s letting us play it while he works on it. IF you accept that, then YMMV. You can’t complain about anything.

      When its actually done and released, then feel free to say that its in its infancy and can’t do this or that. But we’re not there yet.

      • dsi1 says:

        “So you can’t give them shit for anything.”

        Bullshit. Alpha means unfinished and unpolished, it doesn’t mean that you should pretend everything is going to be ok because if you do it’ll never get fixed.

      • ankh says:

        I agree with the sentiment but as the person above me said (I think) the purpose of a public alpha is generally assumed to be fault finding unless otherwise stated. So criticism in my opinion should be welcomed.

    • Kaira- says:

      Wait, did I read that right there? “Root access”? ROOT MOTHERFUCKING ACCESS?

      No. Just no. That is plainly idiotic on top of million other things, like being unsecure.

      • ankh says:

        If he actually means root access then yeah.. that’s crazy. But I’ve come to realise that “root access” has become quite a popular term (You even hear it in movies) and thus completely meaningless.

        • Kaira- says:

          Yeah, there apparently was nothing on root access on the official forum thread, only RDP and that only if the server owner requests it.

          Then again, Kotaku *spit* reports that root access has been requested of admins and so.

          • ankh says:

            Then again.. again that is exactly the kind of thing Kotaku would do. There are entire industries out there that exploit a certain linguistic problem. A problem which I am not capable of explaining but I’m pretty sure exists. :)

            Edit: I didn’t miss the “*spit*” part of your comment I just preferred to ignore it so I can say what I’ve said above because I’m bored.

    • Premium User Badge

      RobF says:

      Wouldn’t white listing/kicking people break the game entirely?

    • TariqOne says:

      It seems you and your gaming community have missed a rather basic point of the game.

  10. Greggh says:

    DAMN! People got hellbent on seeking this guy to destroy him… all internet tough guys XD

  11. Snuffy the Evil says:

    It’s a shame that this happened, of course, but the response by that dev on the DayZ forums is shockingly immature and I can’t say the rest of the community is any better.

    • hilltop says:

      How do you mean?

      I don’t follow how his post is immature. I don’t mean to come across sarcastic, I just don’t see your point.

  12. ankh says:

    I think it’s rather funny how the hacker is a known person who apparently hacked into one of the artists pc that he also personally knows. It kind of fits with the game for me. I’ve brutally murdered one of my best RL friends in DayZ while he wasn’t looking just so I can get his gun… good times.