Mass Among Us Hack Forces Players To Advertise Hacker’s YouTube Channel, Trump

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Mass Among Us Hack Forces Players To Advertise Hacker’s YouTube Channel, Trump
Screenshot: InnerSloth

Unprecedented, globe-spanning popularity is cool and all, but it comes with drawbacks. The three-person development team behind AOC-approved deception sensation Among Us has been struggling with hacking issues for quite some time, but late last night, one particular hack forced their hand.

The hack, which many players have encountered over the past couple days, is extremely specific, causing players in text chat to spam messages that advertise the YouTube and Discord channels of a person who goes by the name Eris Loris, alongside a website that offers cheats for games like Garry’s Mod and Apex Legends. In various permutations of the message, which appears to afflict all players in a match, Loris threatens to “hack your device” or “blow up your phone” if you don’t subscribe. It concludes with an unrelated but unsubtle political message: “TRUMP 2020.” Via bots, he has managed to spread this hack to many Among Us games, with some players claiming that it’s occurred in hundreds or even thousands of matches.

Last night, Among Us developer InnerSloth announced on its Twitter account that it was “super duper aware” of the hacking problem and would be pushing out an “emergency” server update to mitigate it. “Please play private games or with people that you trust!!! Bare [sic] with us!!” the studio wrote.

An hour later, programmer and business lead Forest Willard tweeted that he was rolling out the update and explained why it had taken some time.

“The reason I didn’t roll this update out sooner is that I was afraid of false positives: You totally might see the game think you’re hacking when you’re not,” Willard wrote. “I’ve done my best to find this kind of bug, but my hand is forced this time.”

Kotaku reached out to InnerSloth for more information, but the studio didn’t reply in time for publication.

Kotaku also reached out to Loris, who took responsibility for the hacking spree. Like many hackers, he does not regret pissing off a boatload of players; that was the goal.

“I was curious to see what would happen, and personally I found it funny,” Loris told Kotaku in a DM. “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 cant play it for 3 minutes, it’s stupid.”

Loris said he’s a Trump supporter, which explains the last portion of his message. This type of recruiting, though under-discussed, is not uncommon in video games — especially in games popular with younger audiences. Granted, Loris just managed to infuriate everybody, so it’s unlikely that his message got through.

Loris went on to say that he plays Among Us with friends and thinks it’s “fun,” but also that he feels no remorse for causing trouble for the studio behind a game he likes.

Among Us may be a small developer team, but that’s not my fault,” he said. “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.”

But Loris’ line of reasoning, which is shared by other players who believe that InnerSloth could just hire a bunch of people to solve Among Us’ larger hacking problem, only makes sense if you don’t know how game development works. It takes time to scale up a development team between hiring, training, making sure code is legible, and a million other factors to ensure that a live game like Among Us doesn’t just suddenly break, rendering millions of people unable to play it indefinitely. Developers can’t just staff up overnight; if studios are not careful, more people can cause more problems than they fix.

Loris claims that his bots have not been halted by InnerSloth’s hotfix, but it doesn’t seem like players have reported landing in hacked lobbies in the past handful of hours Regardless, given the prevalence of cheats and hacks in Among Us’ public lobbies, the studio unfortunately has a lot of work ahead of it.

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Comments

    • Oh dear, sounds like someones still scared of the bogeyman. PS I suppose at least it is one less thing the Right are blaming Dan for.

      • if the Left can blame Trump for anything and everything related to coronavirus, then fairly certain the Right can blame Dan Andrews for the exact same thing… It’s almost as if political leaders should be held accountable for the actions or inactions.

        Difference here is, no-one is blaming ScoMo for what is happening in Victoria right now, the blame is (rightfully) being put on the people who actually have the power within the state. Unlike in America, where they are blaming Trump for things that he literally has no official capacity or power over lol. Trump can’t lock down individual states, can’t use police to enforce lockdown laws, etc (just like how ScoMo can’t here), that’s up to the State leaders…

        But yes, Dan *should* be held accountable for what has lead to our second wave. He is the boss, he is the one making the decisions, he is the one that has picked the people under him, that he listens to and seeks advice from. If it was a good job, we’d all be praising him, but it’s not, it’s barely a passable job.

        He’s taken a path to try to eliminate something (which will never happen, ever, especially considering epidemiologists are suggesting that this will become an endemic virus), at the cost of literally EVERYTHING ELSE.

        Numbers are good now (which is a good thing, but at what cost?), but what happens when we open back up and numbers inevitably rise? Go back into lockdown? Even WHO have come out and said that that’s a bad idea.

        We’ll (the whole world will) look back on this in the decades to come, and I think you’ll find that the long term negative effects on society, will have far surpassed whatever perceived loss caused by the virus itself.

        Hell, the UN has stated that they expect starvation to effect twice as many people this year as previously (from 700 million to 1.4 billion) and deaths due to starvation to double (from 9 million to 18 million) around the world. Just because of the lockdowns.

        Cowboy Dan got dealt an absolutely crapshow of a hand, not one person can dispute that, not one. But to think he doesn’t have blood on his hands and should be free from any and all criticism is absurd

        • “…I think you’ll find that the long term negative effects on society, will have far surpassed whatever perceived loss caused by the virus itself.”

          The “perceived loss” you talk about is otherwise known as “death”.

          “Hell, the UN has stated that they expect starvation to effect twice as many people… Just because of the lockdowns.”

          Can you point me to the statistics showing the number of Victorians that have starved to death as a result of lockdowns, please? I must have missed that.

        • wow if I knew you were going to go on like that I would have bought the MEGA popcorn and drink combo, instead of a small.

          • And?

            1) People can choose to listen or not.
            2) Enforcing a lockdown of a state and suing the police force to enforce such things is solely the power of the state, which is lead by their governor.

            If the governor of that state locked down said state and enforced it using police powers, which is within their power and legal ability to do so, then those people would be arrested and fined/whatever.

            Trump can tweet whatever the hell he wants, but if a state does not use it’s power to go into lockdown and use the police to enforce it, then you can’t blame Trump for the state not locking down and/or enforcing said lockdown and quarantine

        • // If it was a good job, we’d all be praising him, but it’s not, it’s barely a passable job. //
          Well, this right here is a blatant lie.

          No matter how it was handled Andrews would still be getting shit on by Murdoch media and any political opponents, for no other reason than ‘just because’. The lot of them have taken every opportunity to babble on what they would of done, or how things should have been done. Which is really quite convenient in hindsight.

          It’s pretty clear even if things were going ‘well’ they’d still be digging for any and every minor thing they could, bitching that it was still taking too long, etc, etc. Because they’ve put zero effort toward actually trying to help anything, and have just been bitching the entire time instead.

          All while ignoring the fact they cannot in any way prove or know that things would have gone any better with any of them in charge.

          That’s really my whole issue with anyone bitching about people like ‘Cowboy Dan’. You all act like you know for sure you could have done so much better, when you simply cannot. And there’s no maybe about that, you can’t know, so how about you stop fucking acting like you do? Because criticism is one thing, but running about screaming how you would have done better or some such bullshit isn’t that.

          • And they can do that… That’s literally what EVERY media outlet and EVERY politician does in EVERY country. They criticise and say “I could have done a better job”. Hell, it’s arguably the biggest platform Joe Biden has going for him right now, for example.

            I readily admitted he got dealt a very crap hand.

            But if the hotel enquiry has shown us anything. It shows that the ineptitude of this government has directly lead to what we are experiencing in Metro Melbourne. With Dan Andrews being the leader of said government, like he has readily admitted previously, the buck stops with him.

            I didn’t say I could have done a better job, I’m saying he (and his government) could have done a better job.

          • And in a post of mine that is currently under review (perhaps for including links to the UN and mental health studies in Australia).

            I state how we need to stop thinking of this as fighting a battle on one front, at the exclusion of all other factors. Because that’s what we are doing, and that’s bad. Very bad.

        • “With Dan Andrews being the leader of said government, like he has readily admitted previously, the buck stops with him.”

          But the same doesn’t apply to trump apparently.

          He could be telling his states to lock down and if they don’t, he’s stepping in. But he’s not. He’s doing fuck all and deserves to lose by a landslide

          • “But the same doesn’t apply to trump apparently.”

            No, the same doesn’t apply to Trump. He has no official power over individual states. The only way he can gain control over what individual states do, is by instituting martial law.

            Can you imagine the hoo-haa of the left if Trump instituted such a thing? Instituting martial law would give Trump near dictatorial powers (you know, the very thing the left has tried to pin on Trump), enforced by the very capable (especially against civilians/police) US military. They would lose their collective minds. But he hasn’t instituted martial law, most likely for the very reason.

            There’s a reason Dan Andrews said that the buck stops with him, and not ScoMo. IF Dan Andrews tried to palm off responsibility to the Federal government and said that the buck, in fact, stops with ScoMo and not himself, you may have had a leg to stand on in your argument, no matter how frail that leg was.

  • “only makes sense if you don’t know how game development works”. I think you’re overstating the difficulty in inducting new people to a team, especially vertical specialists. Sure it can’t be done overnight, but it’s not as complex or as risky as you are making out. Generally they will just identify potential exploitation vectors and leave it to the developers who know the code to close the holes. InnerSloth need to pull their finger out and get some help.

    • I think you’re overstating the simplicity of it all. It’s not as simple as “Identify problem, get developer to fix it”.

      First problem: You need to hire capable people. As someone who has been frequently involved in hiring for technical positions it is super hard to find people who are both a cultural fit and have the skill level you are looking for.

      Second problem: Adding someone new to a team does take time as they need to be inducted into how development is run and more importantly the structure of a codebase. I have been through this myself and also mentored people who were new to the team.

      Third problem: Identifying the problem. As someone who has worked primarily in testing roles, including security, identifying problems like this can take time and preventing hacking is always about being secure until someone finds a new exploitation vector. It’s why bug bounties exist.

      Fourth problem: Closing the hole is not always a five second code change. Sometimes it is, but other times it requires re-architecting entire sections of the code base. This then needs to be tested and checked for any further exploitation vectors otherwise you end up with the Flash problem where every fix introduced new weaknesses.

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