Last weekend, Among Us was experiencing the highest of highs, with hundreds of thousands of eyes watching US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez face off against both streamers and a fellow politician in the spacey stab ’em up. Unfortunately for developers Innersloth, however, it didn’t take long for that high to come crashing down. This week saw a seemingly massive spam attack strike Among Us’ servers, locking up matches with threatening messages in what appears to be a far unfriendlier form of political activism.
Innersloth have been scrambling to handle the influx of cheaters and hackers that have hit the game since its sudden surge in popularity earlier this year. This week, however, the deception game was hit by a massive attack from a single source – a source that claims to have hit over 1.5 million games (cheers, Eurogamer).
From about Thursday onwards, the game’s subreddit was busy with mentions of an “Eris Loris”. It seems public games were overwhelmed with a hack that caused players to be stranded in a void, before flooding text chat with spam adverts for Loris’ Discord and YouTube channels. The message threatened players that it would hack their devices or blow up their phones if they didn’t subscribe to Loris’ feeds. Finally, just to wrap up the shitshow, many messages ended with the phrase “TRUMP 2020”.
At the very least, it didn’t seem too hard to track down the attacker. Speaking to Kotaku, Loris explained that the massive spam attack was basically done for the bants.
“I was curious to see what would happen, and personally I found it funny,” Loris explained. “The anger and hatred is the part that makes it funny. If you care about a game and are willing to go and spam dislike some random dude on the internet because you can’t play it for 3 minutes, it’s stupid.”
Loris told both Eurogamer and Kotaku that he considers himself a Trump supporter, so you could maybe claim there’s a thin vein of political activism at work. And while the developers have since moved to counter the hack, Loris claims that Innersloth’s latest hotfixes have had no effect on his operation. That they’re a tiny, 3-person indie studio dealing with the sudden explosion of an old game isn’t causing Loris to shed any tears, either.
“Among Us may be a small developer team, but that’s not my fault. The game is at a scale bigger than most [triple-A] games. There is nothing stopping them from getting more developers, so the ‘it’s 3 people’ reasoning means nothing to me.”
Innersloth warned Among Us players of the attack through Twitter in the wee hours of Friday morning, with an emergency server update going live shortly after. While reports of Loris attacks appear to have slowed, the devs’ account hasn’t tweeted since that warning. For the time being, it’s probably best to heed their advice and stick to private games with people you know.