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Hackers Swipe Unreleased Game From Ubisoft 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the somehow-not-stymied-by-DRM dept.
hypnosec writes with news that a group of Russian hackers has compromised the security of Ubisoft's digital distribution platform, uPlay, finding a way for users of the service to download any of its games for free. What makes this particularly notable is that the hackers found a copy of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, an unreleased spin-off of Far Cry 3 that hasn't even been officially announced (except as part of an April Fool's joke). The hackers posted a half-hour of gameplay footage to YouTube, and Ubisoft took uPlay down to fix the security vulnerability. They say no user information was compromised.
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Hackers Swipe Unreleased Game From Ubisoft

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  • by fox171171 (1425329) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:22PM (#43407409)
    That's what they get for being "always on".
  • by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <david.clarke@NOsPaM.hrgeneralist.ca> on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:25PM (#43407425)
    If only there was some way to:
    - Distribute games without using uPlay and alternatives (like Origin)
    - Partition, or even separate the storage of sensitive information physically from the internet
    - Create new, exciting franchised that engage the community
    - Stop releasing garbage ... both accidentally and on purpose.

    When a game studio figures out how to do that ... maybe they'll be onto something.
  • "oops" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:30PM (#43407451)

    This begs the question of what an unreleased and undocumented game was doing on a server designed specifically to distribute as many copies of the game as possible. This is weapons-grade stupidity.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      >weapons-grade stupidity

      This kind of stupidity will cost profit it's life. It's preposterous. Think of all those innocent dollars.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        This kind of stupidity will cost profit it's life.

        Because profits are people, my friend.

    • by illestov (945762)
      or perhaps, Ubisoft archestrated the whole thing for promotional reasons.. ? (exercising my conspiracy theory skills)
    • Re:"oops" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:58PM (#43407655)

      Or why their "always on" DRM doesn't give them enough control nip this in the bud. Unless, of course, they don't add the DRM until just before it goes to market, because it makes it too much of a PITA to develop/test with (but not enough of a PITA that consumers can't be expected to put up with it, naturally)

      • by steelfood (895457)

        They don't include always-on DRM for new titles anymore.

        But either someone fucked up bad by putting an unannounced pre-release title into their distribution servers, or this is merely a lame way of drawing attention to a product, or perhaps somebody took their April Fool's joke and ran a little too hard with it.

        Frankly, I find it hard to believe Russian hackers would just release gameplay footage. If the full (playable, obviously) game's not on a torrent site somewhere, it's probably just a publicity stunt.

      • Or why their "always on" DRM doesn't give them enough control nip this in the bud. Unless, of course, they don't add the DRM until just before it goes to market, because it makes it too much of a PITA to develop/test with (but not enough of a PITA that consumers can't be expected to put up with it, naturally)

        Customers will always be expected to put up with DRM. That is, until customers stop buying DRM software AND companies somehow equate the DRM as being the cause. Even if the former were to happen, the company would probably find some other thing to blame for low sales figures.

        • I know I'm just one person, but the last DRMed game I bought and will buy was Civ V. I had avoided Steam for a long time, but it was Civ and I love Civ and there was no non-Steam version. At one point one of their servers glitched, only for a few mins, and it wouldn't auth me to play the game I had just bought and paid for (one of the fears I've long had about Steam in general). It was a minor inconvenience, but it made the abstract objections I'd had against things like that a real thing, and I'm not going
          • by Mashiki (184564)

            At one point one of their servers glitched, only for a few mins, and it wouldn't auth me to play the game I had just bought

            If that was the infamous "this game is currently unavailable" message that was most likely on your end. Having used steam for over 10 years, it's a rare enough message but one you do see occasionally because either: a GFC is corrupt, you're trying to run the game in two instances, the installer wasn't done and was/or autolaunching the game. Or in very rare cases your client info for steam became corrupt.

            • Nope, the error was actually regarding authorization. I don't remember it exactly since it was more than a year ago, but it was not that message and none of those symptoms were occurring.

              Even if it were it would be moot, the problem you describe may be technically client side, but only because it was designed that way by Valve to serve their nefarious purposes.
        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Customers will always be expected to put up with DRM. That is, until customers stop buying DRM software AND companies somehow equate the DRM as being the cause. Even if the former were to happen, the company would probably find some other thing to blame for low sales figures.

          The best way is to stop giving these companies publicity in any form except how the DRM is a problem.

          Don't publicize the game, don't even pirate the game. If you see a torrent for it, have the torrent taken down as well (it's a form of

    • by mephox (1462813)
      I came here to say this... Why... Why put a 'secret game' on a public facing server that is used to serve up games for the consuming masses? I understand they're hackers and they surf the interwebs and can get around your puny "Don't look here" signs by going around them, but surely it must have occurred to someone, somewhere within Ubisoft that putting that there would have been a bad idea. Unless... It wasn't really an April Fool's stunt and their marketing was just so poorly timed as to start on the da
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Magazine publications get pre-released games unlocked and available to them on Steam all the time so they can review titles and have their stories ready at launch. This would be no different I would suspect.

      • by Sabathius (566108)
        Maybe they were testing it?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Someone's getting fired over this. I'm not a gamer anymore unfortunately.

  • This will only lead to Ubi using this as an excuse for increasing DRM and always online functionality.

  • Marketing stunt? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InsaneLampshade (890845) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:41PM (#43407529) Homepage Journal
    Is it all just one big marketing stunt?
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Since when does a company obsessed with DRM release a game to bittorrent for free, before it's announced or launched?

      • Re:Marketing stunt? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by InsaneLampshade (890845) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @08:55PM (#43408015) Homepage Journal
        Maybe they're trying some weird new reverse psychology. "Leak" it to the internet, get a load of press coverage, then a week or so later release it in a "pay what you want" model after telling the press they're no longer developing it because of those dirty pirates. Internet feels sorry for them, it ends up being a roaring profit filled success that they can then use to ram DLC up our rears for the next 12 months.

        Not only that if they're not found out then they can use the entire affair to continue to justify massive DRM on all their main titles.
      • Since when does a company obsessed with DRM release a game to bittorrent for free, before it's announced or launched?

        Maybe the game is intended to be free to play with in-game purchases of crap as the primary funding model.

      • Since when does a company obsessed with DRM release a game to bittorrent for free, before it's announced or launched?

        Whenever the company doesn't secure their distribution servers. Obviously.

      • I think only a video of gameplay is on bittorrent, not the actual game?
    • I don't know. The whole thing is just bizarre. Maybe it is a marketing stunt?

      The release was very, very oddly handled. They only mentioned it on April 1st, April Fool's Day, so it looked 100% like an April Fool's Joke.

      Then, we don't really hear anything from Ubisoft, but some gaming press announces they heard some press release that its legit and its coming out in May. We don't know how much it'll cost.

      What is that? What games these days aren't marketed to hell?

      Then its leaked by accident... yea
  • by conspirator23 (207097) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @07:44PM (#43407551)
    Don't they know that zero-day warez are supposed to be leaked by employees?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They are releasing a Negative day release. Releasing the software before the marketing people even hinted about the product.
      This is like Space Balls Mr. Video... Seeing the video as they are making the movie. :P

  • The real question is, when will it end up on the pirate bay?

  • Irony? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adunstan (1409073) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @08:03PM (#43407703)
    Assuming this wasn't done as a huge publicity stunt, isn't it just hilariously ironic that a DRM system designed to prevent (or at the very least slow down) piracy was used to access a game that hasn't even been announced yet? I hope this is used as a message to further show how futile attempts at stopping piracy like this are and how they actually hurt the paying customer.
  • And was I supposed to have one?

  • "They say no user information was compromised."

    Well, they would say that wouldn't they.
  • by swilde23 (874551) on Tuesday April 09, 2013 @10:19PM (#43408475) Journal

    Either the hackers are also great bug fixers, or the game was more ready for prime-time then some of the crap that is marked "gold".

    I wish someone would hack my computer, and fix all my bugs :(

    • Its not a new game really, its a standalone expansion pack for Far Cry 3. You don't need Far Cry 3 to play it, but it builds entirely on it and is pretty much the exact same game. So it makes sense that they could crank this out pretty fast and not have too many bugs.

      Blood Dragon is just FarCry3 but in the future, with 80s chrome/neon everywhere. Which is fucking awesome.
  • 4 months ago I submitted a slashdot story about Uplay being hacked and it didn't get picked up.

    Vindication!

  • If only this would have been Half Life 3...

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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