Online game World of Warcraft was hit by a hack attack that used an ‘instant kill’ exploit to wipe out thousands of in-game and player characters, turning several cities in the game into temporary graveyards. The hackers created a character able to destroy those of other players and those controlled by the game. Unbeknown to [...]
Online game World of Warcraft was hit by a hack attack that used an ‘instant kill’ exploit to wipe out thousands of in-game and player characters, turning several cities in the game into temporary graveyards.
The hackers created a character able to destroy those of other players and those controlled by the game.
Unbeknown to creators and the tech teams working on WoW, hackers discovered a method role a level one player in to major cities within in the game that was able to kill all computer and human controlled characters over and over again.
In the past Azeroth has been subject to some smaller hacking incidents, such as characters being killed again directly after reincarnation, but today’s escapade seems to be the biggest in the game’s history.
One of the hackers confessed to the deed on a WoW exploits forum, explaining that the "kill hack" did no permanent damage and, despite being highly inconvenient to its victims, was hardly game-breaking.
"Some people liked it for a new topic of conversation and a funny stream to watch, and some people didn't. The people who didn't should be blaming Blizzard for not fixing it faster (four hours of obvious use is sad). It's not like I added 20,000,000 gold to everyone's inventory and broke the economy, but look at the big Chinese gold seller companies who are doing this every day," the hacker said in their defense. "Now ask yourself who is really ruining the game. It's not us. That's my justification."
Game creator Blizzard Activision has appealed for information, but added: "This exploit has already been hot-fixed, so it should not be repeatable."
World of Warcraft is arguably the most successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) in the world. More than 10 million subscribers play World of Warcraft, almost half are believed to be in China.
Numbers had dipped from a peak of 12 million in 2010 to 9.1 million at the beginning of 2012, but have swelled since the release at the end of September of an expansion called the Mists of Pandaria.
Blizzard community manager Nethaera has announced that the exploit has since been hotfixed.
"It's safe to continue playing and adventuring in major cities and elsewhere in Azeroth. As with any exploit, we are taking this disruptive action very seriously and conducting a thorough investigation."
Take a look at the video below which shows the in-game exploit in action: