Atlus.com hacked, pulled down

Publisher says visitors to its site on Friday could have been exposed to malicious virus, advises antivirus software.

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Visitors to the official site of Atlus today may have come in search of the latest on localized titles like Steal Princess and Crimson Gem Saga but left with a malicious computer virus. Friday afternoon, Atlus sent out an e-mail to its newsletter subscribers notifying them that the company's Web domain was "hacked and compromised."

The 3D puzzle-platformer Steal Princess is set for release next month.

"A third-party entity embedded malicious code into the script, and regretfully, for a period of a few hours (from roughly 9:00am PST until 2:30pm PST), this malicious software (which we believe we have identified as a Trojan) may have made its way onto your systems," the letter stated. "The faith and trust of our fans is of the utmost importance to us, a responsibility we don't take lightly. As such, we are deeply troubled by this development, and we are now working to repair and restore the website."

The company then advised all of its fans to use antivirus software on their computers, regardless of whether or not they had visited the Atlus site recently. Currently the publisher is investigating the security breach and has not offered any further explanation as to how it happened.

The site had been pulled offline and had not resumed operations by 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Discussion

132 comments
CapedCod
CapedCod

This is why I hate hackers. I know there are plenty who are mostly harmless who do it as a hobby, but come on, this is messed up.

CloudXentar
CloudXentar

Why the hell would they do that to Atlus, everyone knows they are a nice gang. Hope they recover soon.

Hedfix
Hedfix

Didn't realise 2K wanted the Atlus brand that badly (joke). Bioshock 2 here we come!

nerd_assassin
nerd_assassin

@OnionTree Well, I'm not really a Disgaea fan. The only game I've played with the same genre is FF:Tactics. And yes, I refuse to play Disgaea on my DS thank you very much. It's really sad though, that GTA:CTW is not selling that well. I mean, not every DS owners are kids I suppose. I just don't get it. On consoles they sell pretty well, and then an original game and not just a rerelease gets its way on the DS and no one likes it. How did the two GTA Stories on the PSP fare? I want to know. "But, you know, the worst part of the internet is my opinion sharply opposes more people than I ever thought it would." It goes out to all of us. The worst part of the internet is that it's so huge, more people would actually turn out to oppose you than agree with you, like I did back in my first comment. I think it varies with the topic at hand. @nappan I'm not denying myself. My PS2 is destroyed....*grieves*...

EPaul
EPaul

Why Atlus? They make some of the best rpgs recently

OnionTree
OnionTree

Hey, what's with all the negatives? I just said "I" didn't like them, I didn't say those games suck. I guess Atlus fans are as hilariously aggressive as any other groups. XD At any rate, I know Disgaea is from NIS. In fact, 50% of their stuff is probably from NIS, and besides that they seem to primarily be a publisher. I mean, at least they cater to a niche group, but every time I go onto a DS board and read a topic about "What DS game should I get", at least twenty people go on about Disgaea, and say people who don't like Disgaea have terrible taste in games. It's about as underrated as Psychonauts (which, despite "not selling very well", seems to be in virtually every gamers library. I'm sorry it didn't sell well, it's an amazing game, but it sure is an awfully well-known game to be completely under the radar. In other words, it's just BS). Another piece of BS is the GTA:CTW didn't sell enough. The so-called "Nintendo fanboys" who bash GTA at every turn finally get a good GTA game, and suddenly there's a lot less GTA bashing on the internet than there used to be. This isn't the first M-rated Nintendo game, we had Conker and Eternal Darkness, even Resident Evil on the DS, and I say DS is a plenty mature system. It's not kiddy, it's "all ages", and that should be taken literally. Games for kids, games for everybody, and games for adults. But, you know, the worst part of the internet is my opinion sharply opposes more people than I ever thought it would. Before the mid-to-late nineties, I never would've guess I hated people that much. Then I upgrade to 98 and get dial-up, and I find out I was NOT meant to speak to other people. But I do anyways. Strange, huh? Why don't you go vote up my other comment if you agree with half of what I said? Not that it matters, it just means people have to sign in to read what I said, and in a week maybe five people will see this page again.

nappan
nappan

@Zaphod_b: That, or someone got clever with a side-channel attack. They're becoming a lot more common at the individual hacker level, and as for exploiting reflective surfaces, SciAm had an interesting piece on that. My question is how they originally gained privilages, since it seems clear that the site was completely subverted.

nappan
nappan

@nerd_assassin: Don't deny yourself, if you are stuck on DDS, put it aside and play some Persona 3 (might as well get FES). The game is fantastic, and Persona 4 is a worthy sequel. I liked DDS, but I would drop it like a hot rock for Persona. ;)

Amnesiac23
Amnesiac23 moderator

Glad I didn't visit the site on Friday. This is the last thing I need.

nerd_assassin
nerd_assassin

@OnionTree Wow some tough words there...Disgaea? What the hell? That's even NIS FYI not Atlus(Atlus just published it,darn NIS deserves some credit here). You probably don't like them, but that doesn't mean others don't too. They make really great RPGs, Atlus. I agree with nappan. I can even agree with Final Fantasy being a hype, being that Squeenix is a bigger company. Now that's marketing there. But Atlus games have a certain following, what you can call a "niche" market if you must. @nappan SMT FTW!!! I miss my PS2 so much...I haven't even finished DDS, or even played a single Persona game. How sad...

Gunbladebuster
Gunbladebuster

@zaphod_b: This is probably exactly what happened. I'm taking a Information Assurance class this semester and this definitely looks like a case discussed in class.

otanikun
otanikun

I bet I know who did it, those rascals

nappan
nappan

@OnionTree: Persona HYPE? First, P3&4 are great games, last gen or no... Second, what hype? What marketing? lol. Half the people who posted here didn't even know Atlus existed, and I find more people who've never heard of SMT than have. Halo 3, Animal Crossing, Wii Fit... that's hype.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Love them or hate them, Atlus brings over a lot of interesting software that we don't see much of otherwise here in the States. Let's hope there was no serious damage.

atopp399
atopp399

Without the RPG games Atlus releases I would have a lot more money. Hackers should go bother EA or something.

MaryHarlot
MaryHarlot

It's awful that they got hacked. Atlus is my favorite company. I wonder who those hackers were? Square Enix, are you that upset because Persona 3 came out a year before The World Ends With You....that games setting was awfully reminisent of Persona 3. Considering the mordern setting and all that J-pop/J-rap. Shin Megami Tensei is getting more and more popular. You better watch your back Square.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

It's pretty common practice for hackers to scan hosts in mass looking for vulnerabilities. I would bet that the only reason their site was chosen is because a vulnerability was found that would allow that hacker to insert his trojan of choice, and not a directed attack.

Grandstream
Grandstream

Atlus's bread and butter is Disgaea and Shin Megami Tensei. Everything else is just fandom. Damn shame they got hacked. Lol maybe a competitor was trying to sabotage them.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Yeah.. How about some Robin hood style hacking? Atlus is awesome.

lostcali8
lostcali8

You know, once it gets to a certain point, hacking is just plain pathetic..

OnionTree
OnionTree

Huh, looks like Atlus has a fan following. I've been hearing a lot about their games lately. I've only played a handful of them and didn't even remotely like any of them, so I guess I can understand the mentality here. Somebody else who doesn't get the hype and like those Persona and Disgaea games must've been tired of hearing 'Atlus this' and 'Atlus that' and hacked them for fun. That, or they got into an argument with "one of the Atlus faithful", or just picked a random target.

phynixblack
phynixblack

Wow, for some reason, I just laughed. I am sitting here, at my computer, laughing. Even as I type. Sure, it is a shame this happened to them, I send them all the sympathy they deserve. Seriously, no jokes there. But wow, this is amazing. Whoever did this must have been bored out of their minds. Seriously. Wish I knew the culprits, but I imagine they would like to remain 'anonymous'.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

everyone loves atlus. why them? :( put viruses on crappy componies that already suck

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

i love atlus they know how to make great game hard games but fun none the less

NightRain
NightRain

This offends me because I respect Atlus a lot. They are really a great gaming company. I hope they will recover from this coward attack. Thank god I didn't visited the site, so I got nothing but I hope people that got a trojan or something got rid of it. Let's go Atlus! :)

stubsdazomby
stubsdazomby

The hacker could have done it to Data Design...

freeezzzy
freeezzzy

*starts scan for every virus scanner* oh crap :(

cyphate
cyphate

I can't imagine why anyone would do this to Atlus. I hope they find those hackers.

Saije
Saije

What hacker would do this to ATLUS, they have one of the best fan communities and they are always doing things for their fans... This is terrible. Whoever did this should be ashamed.

paullywog
paullywog

unless i'm missing something, this seems completely unprovoked. now, had EA decided to launch sims 3 with securom, that would be justified, but no matter what the site's visitors shouldn't be punished.

REA24409
REA24409

Sorry about that...:twisted:

buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

" awbailey Posted Apr 26, 2009 7:40 pm GMT You guys must be living in the early 90's there are no longer people who hack for fun. There are only companies, governments and scam artists. This was probably done for a reason other than to see if they could. Most websites have appalling security so it probably wasn't even hard. Hell it could have even been a script kiddie." Actually, There are still hackers out there that do it just for fun.

killjoy188
killjoy188

I subscribe to the newsletter but I never got an e-mail about the hacking...kind of annoyed now.

DMccoy6621
DMccoy6621

Hackers who do damage=Sick People

jimbo102671
jimbo102671

Too bad this had to happen to any reputable person or company (Atlus definitely falling into the latter). This kind of thing ranks up there with anti-video gaming legislation on my bull**** meter. (As in "Calling it bull**** insults a lot of real bulls.") The hackers that did this need to be taken offline (in more ways than one), because if they get away with this, they'll eventually try something on a National or even Global scale. That's one thing we don't need, especially in this economy.

awbailey
awbailey

You guys must be living in the early 90's there are no longer people who hack for fun. There are only companies, governments and scam artists. This was probably done for a reason other than to see if they could. Most websites have appalling security so it probably wasn't even hard. Hell it could have even been a script kiddie.

spartanlaser
spartanlaser

I agree that they need to get lives...but for hackers, their goal is to beat something that no one else can. In their minds legal and illegal are just words and they just want a challenge

BatrozX
BatrozX

I still can't find what is so fun about hacking someone and making their lives more difficult. And I agree with you dstv, hackers DO need to get lives.

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

never heard of atlus but hacking and viruses are never good, hackers are a bit like graffiti artists, talented people that waste their talents being desctructive.

dstv
dstv

hackers need to get lives

hitomo
hitomo

maybe Atlus trys to earn some extra bucks with anti-virus software... ^^

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

lol, first pirating ruins demigod, now hackers ruin atlus...honestly, where do these guys come from, and why don't they put their computer skills into doing something that is legal?

coaltango
coaltango

hackers are worthless dogs who wanna prove something but end up doing nothing but cause trouble for others.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Antivirus is a MUST for All windows users. Atlus should also power-up their Firewall. 8)

carcar697
carcar697

I freakin hate stupid hackers. They cause nothing but trouble. I wonder how they'd feel if they were hacked. :| >8(

equili3rium
equili3rium

It was probably easier for some saddo to attack a smaller fish. The sharks (EA and their ilk) would probably have more protection since they are a more obvious target for techno-snipers.