People Are Scamming Destiny’s Red Bull DLC

People Are Scamming Destiny’s Red Bull DLC

Destiny is not a stranger to players gaming the system. Usually, that involves harmless stuff like cheesing the actual game, or maybe pulling out a LAN cable. But today it involves energy drinks. Yes, energy drinks.

Or, to be more specific, Red Bull cans. By now, you probably know about the promotion Bungie is running with Red Bull — basically, the two companies have teamed up to release Red Bull cans packaged with codes that give players access to a new “multi-stage mission” available via the upcoming Destiny expansion, The Taken King. Players were supposed to redeem these codes on a special Red Bull website.

Somehow, people figured out how these codes work — and now others can compose their very own Red Bull Destiny codes without actually having to buy anything. Alarmingly, it’s as simple as putting together certain letters and numbers together in specific patterns, and it actually works:

The NeoGAF poster that brought this to our attention notes that it’s likely these codes are from actual cans out there in the wild. Meaning, people that redeem these codes may very well be stealing from people who actually purchase the cans. To wit, the NeoGAF thread with this “exploit” has reports from users who claim that their Red Bull codes — which were allegedly attained through normal means — do not work when punched into the Destiny website. So, just in case it needs to be said: please don’t take other people’s codes!

Right now, the Red Bull website seems to be under a lot of traffic. It’s difficult to even load it, never mind to trying to redeem a code:

Not exactly a bad thing if people are scamming the site, but still. Here’s hoping that Bungie or Red Bull can do something about this before a legion of players that bought Red Bull duds amasses.


    • And also, didn’t this already happen years ago with the Doritos / Mountain Dew Halo promotion?

      • And the community tore them a new one over it.

        Something something repeating history…

  • Looks like redbull’s code programmers under-estimated the intellect of the gaming population. Suck it corporate PR morons.

    • It shouldn’t have been too hard to make this secure. Off the top of my head, I would say that a good solution would be using a format that has a ridiculously large number of possible values (like a GUID) and then randomly picking codes across the whole range and saving them to a table. Bang, that’s your numbers. You need to keep those secret.

      You authorise by checking them against that table. As long as the number of values you are using is a very small percentage of the total possible values and there is no pattern to their selection, it makes it very hard to solve and requires brute force. The maths is very large here, but if you started a computer trying to guess the right code today the sun might die long before it finishes.

      Sounds like they instead used something like codes generated by an algorithm. If you can work out that algorithm or work out some weakness of it, you can generate or guess valid codes quickly.

      • Of course this wouldn’t stop a supermarket employee grabbing a fistful of codes from the store’s stocks

  • Alarmingly, it’s as simple as putting together certain letters and numbers together in specific patterns

    I understand what she’s trying to say, but that describes almost every activation code ever.

    • I thought the same thing, but then I followed the link, and it’s so simple:

      2: Make up a code, using only the numbers 3, 4 and 7, and incorporate TWO letters into it, using only the letters X C, and K

      I wonder what crazy solution Bungie will come up with to fix the problem. Maybe you’ll have to post Red Bull cans to them to get the codes?

      • Well it’s out in the wild now so there’s nothing they can do to fix it other than have Red Bull recall all the cans, work out a new system and then reprint them all. In their shoes I’d just give the mission to everyone and say ‘congrats, Red Bull just sponsored the content for free for everyone’. They’d have to deal with the backlash of ‘I drank a can of Red Bull for nothing, I want my $5 back,’ but at least they’d win a little good faith.

        • Given their recent PR track record, I would be surprised if they did that.

          They could pretty easily disable the Red Bull site where the codes are entered, leaving behind a message saying “Sorry, here’s a link to some cosmetic DLC you can buy for $20.” 😉

      • Their only option is just leave it and allow the same code to be redeem twice and hope no one figures it out. Otherwise their support mailbox is going to get punished for the next 6 months.

    • Some are obviously going to be much easier than others though. I remember making up Half-Life codes back in highschool and it was as easy as trying a couple of combinations of random letters until one worked. Never took long at all. The same thing wouldn’t work for most games!

      • Oh yeah, I totally get that she means it’s an alarmingly easy code to crack. I just found it funny that she pretty much quoted the definition of an activation code.

  • I don’t know if I should chuckle of feel sorry for the people actually buying the cans :/

    • The obvious solution to helping disadvantaged customers would just to be make the content unlockable free for EVERYONE.
      It’ll be interesting to see if they screw around people who bought legit cans or if they just accept that they screwed up and let their dumb money making scam go.

      I’m guessing it won’t be the later.

      • The saddest thing is that Bungie probably think this is more proof of how much people want the content, and still wont acknowledge that it’s because that the content is lacklustre, overpriced, and hard to get.

        • Honestly, and without trying to offend too many people, I can’t understand anyone who’s still playing Destiny.

          I get that the engine is solid and that the game is designed be to be addictive but it’s just not that good, and with the absolutely sh*tty way that Bungie have been treating their players at every possible turn since the game launched (maybe even before)…. I just think people should find other games to save their money and loyalty for.

          To me, the game lacks all semblance of dynamism outside of getting the occasionally good weapon. The enemies are boring, the story is boring, the vehicles are so terribly boring that it’s hard to fathom they were made by the creators of Halo. Playing it is to just kinda exist…. to shoot bullets into boring bullet sponge enemies in the hope they drop something with higher stats.

          I don’t know, it’s pretty to look at and I “finished” the single player content that it launched with… but I don’t know why you’d be rushing out to buy a can of softdrink to unlock anything further.

  • You know what, take their codes, they absolutely deserve it if it can be broken that easily

    • Unfortunately, it’s really taking codes from people who legitimately purchased Red Bull.

      Although it will no doubt result in Bungie/Red Bull getting slammed with complaints about faulty codes.

      • im not stupid enough to make them easy accessible, or easy guessable, and neither is my bank

  • Reminds me back in the day when Q3A used to verify not just that a code was legit, but that it was tied to an actual copy of the game, so even if you generated a correct code, if it hadnt been tied to a purchase, it would deny access.
    But I guess that requires complexity and the assumption people wouldnt try to rip off Red Bull and Bungie (after all, Destiny is about value)

  • This game already lacks content, why hold back anything extra you can give us bungie?

  • So… should we just go ahead and do it? am paranoid about consequences lol
    Have no problem buying a red bull for the code, i drink them anyways, but if I don’t have to go hunting one down it’d save me some trouble

  • I just tried it. It worked on my first go. Haha!

    While I am admittedly a thief and am sorry for stealing from someone who legitimately bought a can, I think Bungie deserves it. The new expansion is over-priced. I love the game, flaws and all, but Bungie treat their fanbase like shit And I’m sure the people whose codes don’t work will be compensated its a code that does.

    • I got sick of Destiny a while ago (I keep telling myself I’ll get back into it once I finish Witcher 3 plus a bunch of cheap PS4 games I got) so this does not directly affect me. But I wouldn’t use a made up code as it’s quite simple to get people whose codes don’t work to email in a pic and then give them a new code, and at the same time ban the player who used the guessed code.

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