FBI busts Lineage II hackers

L2Extreme allegedly ran the NCsoft game on rogue servers; 50K "illegals" booted from game's universe.

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NCsoft Austin today said an FBI operation--which included multiple raids from Virginia to California--has broken a renegade service that supported about 50,000 illegal Lineage II users. A spokesperson put the loss to the game's publisher in the millions of dollars.

Well done, Feds! J. Edgar Hoover would be proud!

The NCsoft statement today said warrants served on the operators at a company called L2Extreme will enable officials to "halt L2Extreme's operations while collecting further evidence in the course of the investigation." L2Extreme was providing its users with "unauthorized service and code" for the massively multiplayer online title, the company said.

"This group in particular was downloading our version of the Lineage II software from our servers, costing us close to a million dollars in realized bandwidth costs during the period it was operational," Matt Esber, NCsoft North America general counsel said. "We're extremely pleased that the FBI has worked with us so diligently to bring this particular case to its current state, and we want our customers to understand that we will continue to fight similar operations in the future in order to maintain the integrity of all NCsoft games."

Discussion

137 comments
Gamewize
Gamewize

Always good to see such incredible resistance of authority on Gamespot. If you get big enough and you start losing the company money AND it's illegal to boot, the company will kick your ass. Simple as that. Get over it, it's gone, it's a testament to why you don't do it. Other people pay good money to play it and so should you, you don't like it? Don't play it.

Geowil
Geowil

I apologize in advance to anyone who reads this who gets offended, i strictly really could care less. you know, these korean game companies (and maybe some world wide companies) are stupid as hell. NcSoft, Gravity, Maeit, insert random gaming company here all **** and complain about private srevers but look at theirs, full of hackers and botters that pay them every month, so they dont do jack. If you as me, we shuold have even more private servers, maybe then they would say, "wait a second, why are all of our players going to private servers *chesck their servers* holy hell, look at all these hackers and botters on our servers". the only way to get through to these kinda companies is to make them loose large amounts of money so they can take their heads out of their asses and see why everyone hates the official servers either that or the get to Gravity's point and stop caring all together. All in all, mho is that private servers for games that have sucksville ogiginal servers is illigal but really, would you pay 10 or 30 bucks a month to play on a server with hackers? no, you wold go to a private server before that, or not play at all and go to another game to find that they also have a hacking problem. If these gaming companies what to make any money at all, they need to stop bashing on P. servers and go after the hack sites. then once they are all gone and fined or sent to jail or shut down or what ever they can do what they want to the private servers, but until then they should just st*u.

Viper11023
Viper11023

OMG.This is only a small drop in a really big bucket.Too all LX players out there. Good Luck, and thank you all.

skillzdatkillz0
skillzdatkillz0

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Valodimer_Viet
Valodimer_Viet

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

soldado_nazi
soldado_nazi

Hmmm... They get the "small time" and leave the bug league crooks on the loose. The sad thing is that microsoft creates on porpose bugged windows, bugged softwares and launch new (more bugged) software making the last one we bought incompatible and law doesnt really care (yep, new software doesnt the same crap, only has renewed looks, eats more ram and you get a reminder about the firewall not beeing active). Even pcs now are full of problems when back in time of those pentium II or III there wouldnt be no blue screens, incompatible hardware etc etc.. bunch of crap that limits pc using (I wish apple could compete more for the monopoly = comptetition means BETTER services but they have it all). I bought a laptop and i believe that with some time problems will start to show up (like over heat, blue screens or the usual "we're sorry for the inconvinience but the aplication had to be closed. Press F1 for our stupid help that solves nothing")... its the "wheel of fortune", some may not have, others may have. 2 in 2 years buy new hardware, get the latest update (like in guild wars, they release a new expansion every hour) and NOW they come up with L2 pursuit??? Come on, most of those 50000 PLAYERS wouldnt go to the official to pay a lot and to level up at 1x rates ("costing us close to a million dollars")... level 20 in half year playing 7h a day? With 58 levels to go to reach top? LOL... for what, to get "adena" for that stupid armor to show my palls from clan? Thats what its all about, showing off in this game (about the nice graphics). I simply wont pay to pay online and I usually played L2 in private servers and with L2 extreme off, I STILL wont pay for it lol!

ciprianul
ciprianul

some ppl don`t have money to pay NC soft 15-20$ a month to play on a server that`s 1x and FULL OF BOTS and Hackers. To get to level 50 or 60 (when the game is fun) it takes too long. Why doesn`t NC Soft clean up their servers first (at least 50.000 L2Walker and L2Superman users) then start closing other servers. I`m not saying that what L2Extreme did is legal but NC Soft was the one who "released" the server files back on C1. I said "released" not in the way "Click Here to download server files" it`s more like: - "Look man they hacked us and stole our server files! OMG WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!?" - NCSoft Director: "oh! let them have the files maybe some1 will hear about this lame game (6 on gamespot and 5 or under 5 on other MMORPG sites) and they will start playing on retail to." I saw an article on a magazine once (romanian magazine) in which an important person from Valve admited that a big part of the CS success was because of all the cracked versions (then they made Steam and it was harder to crack it so ppl bought the game because it`s worth every $. I won`t pay 15-20$ to play a game where it takes to long to reach a higher level and on servers that are full of Bots and exploiters/hackers that sell items on Ebay. Most of u live in US/UK but i live in Romania, a country which has 83 or 84% piracy so when a game comes out i must REALY REALY REALY LOVE that game to buy it! Microsoft was realy happy when the piracy in Romania, Russia, Bulgaria droped with 2%. P.S: Sorry for my bad english

Death_Dragoon
Death_Dragoon

Waste of money. The hackers, at most, will get community service and fined $1000. Why would liniege do this, about 10 percent of the fined money will go to them, what a waste of time and money.

Talgrath
Talgrath

Hacking is hacking, and the losses (if accurate) are pretty major; I doubt it took the FBI much time to track these clowns down either. In all seriousness, good on the FBI; at least the FBI is starting to catch up with the digital age.

xeophaje
xeophaje

My question is how much tax money does NCSoft provide to warrant it being worthwhile to the American people to let the F.B.I be used in such an operation? Yes I am aware that NCSoft has an American office but that doesn't make me automatically think they are paying huge taxes into the coffers when they are primarily a Korean company.

tntxot
tntxot

neojam, maybe FBI is short on hackers and decoders.

neojam
neojam

Way to go FBI ! lol x_X Dont they have more importang things to do, then this?

emmm78
emmm78

Higher rates= fun= private servers. For people flamin L2: L2 doesn`t have chubby square WoW graphics and is not as dull, boring and uninspired as Guildwars.:p

tntxot
tntxot

This Same thing happened to Valve. there were thousands of illegal servers, then so called "Non-Steam". Now almost everyone has the original game (hl &/or HL2) and plays legit. why? the game is worth every $ or €, they provide the software to make Servers to those who own the a legal account. thats why HL2 is one of the best games out in the market.. and thats why this game (l2) is dying from diabetes.

tntxot
tntxot

"This group in particular was downloading our version of the Lineage II software from our servers, costing us close to a million dollars in realized bandwidth costs during the period it was operational," what did they want? leave a car open with a key in the ignition, only the fools wont take it for a ride. is it illegal? yes! but if the car was secure it wont be so easy to steal! they dont secure their software and then they complain that they loss millions... kinda sad.. isnt it? phalluman i know that, but if many people say that they will start the 3rd ww.. they r crazy

Autolycus
Autolycus

i'd like my tax dollars back to stop something useful like corporate corruption please.

Reetesh
Reetesh

OMG! Even the FBI is after Game hackers! Thats Crazy!

phalluman
phalluman

tntxot, those 'coreans' are crazy i dont know if they should be punished for other people downloading the game. that seems kind of crazy.

tntxot
tntxot

as i said, that game doesn't worth the money people pay... in top of that, i saw some day while browsing on the web that their servers are like rates xp 1x, i dunno if its true, but if it is, its just the proof that they only want $ and more $...Online role play games have a short life time.. take a look to other titles that no one hears now.. and some of those old school mmorp were free, they think this will survive because its pay? Must be some kind of corean atitude, maybe... maybe not

ShrunkenMonkey
ShrunkenMonkey

just cause they shut l2x down dose not mean ppl will stop i kno tons and tons other servers that r still up btw i use to play l2x and i will most likely just go find another server to play on... but there is no way at all im gonna go to play on ncsofts servers their rates r 2 low and its really really stupid to pay to play

tntxot
tntxot

I agree to the illegal servers being closed down, its the right thing to do. But to put a guy paying to play a game like that ? ... No reaction.. and no comment...

tntxot
tntxot

man... u all know what this means... U Realy think that NCSoft just happened to find the private servers now? The knew all the way... the diference was: back in time, private servers (and those u played on those know) were full of bugs, exploits, and cheaters so NCSoft didnt care. Why? because when that players got tired they moved to official servers. Now whats the diference? The private servers (like l2x), r as good as the officials, and some people say its even better (i realy dont believe that). So now those private servers r no longer usefull to be used as launch platforms, so they close them. Another thing, u all know that the best "game makers" dont launch many games to the market (look for exp. Valve with hl and hl2, Konami with wining eleven and PES, etc) and NCSoft has a bunch of games and none of them r realy worth paying a monthly fee

ignapa19
ignapa19

its the same... NCsoft think more people play in oficial ..OMG, this people play there coz they dont wanna pay for play.. so NCsoft su cks

tntxot
tntxot

do u want to create a good server? just create it on Lebanon, or on Siria. The American Laws Enforcers wont go there for sure. xD

tntxot
tntxot

Astro_Creep i agree with u, and NCSoft was smart on one thing. There Are hundreds of players talking that the l2x staff took off with the donations and closed the server. i think its not true. like i said, NCSoft was smart on one thing.. Catch a small fish and ull feed ur self, catch a big fish and ull feed ur self and ur familly with fish and caviar.

ZippyDSMLee
ZippyDSMLee

Somehow I doubt you can get sever updates when you are not loged into the legit sever,oh wait most NC soft games update before login...meh NCsoft needs to fix that... going after private severs is pointless and when the devs are screwing over a game (COH) or make it almost unplayable (FF11) a private sever is not to bad to rebalanced the game..witch brings to mind subing out severs have a group that loves the game and wants to reblaance it sign a contract and pay a reasonable monthly fee to host the game in their own way,probably will never happen tho *L*

ZippyDSMLee
ZippyDSMLee

Somehow I doubt you can get sever updates when you are not loged into the legit sever,oh wait most NC soft games update before login...meh NCsoft needs to fix that... going after private severs is pointless and when the devs are screwing over a game (COH) or make it almost unplayable (FF11) a private sever is not to bad to rebalanced the game..witch brings to mind subing out severs have a group that loves the game and wants to reblaance it sign a contract and pay a reasonable monthly fee to host the game in their own way,probably will never happen tho *L*

sancezz
sancezz

"and we want our customers to understand that we will continue to fight similar operations in the future in order to maintain the integrity of all NCsoft games." Translation - We want more of your money.

nobeaner
nobeaner

Hackers need to start taking lessons from serial killers if they don't want the FBI to catch them.

Astro_Creep
Astro_Creep

@ einexile - Doesn't matter if you want to save a few bucks by not subscribing. A business has every right to protect its assets. NCSoft was doing exactly that. They'd be crazy not to. If you can't afford to pay for an MMO, well maybe you should be doing other things than playing MMO's.

tntxot
tntxot

I just Wonder, when they "release" Aion, wich is some sort of Lineage3, the old money maker L2 will vanish, so they are trying to collect as much as they can, as fast as they can. Why pay +$150 a year, when there r people on Corea starving to death and the gov is spending fortunes on nuclear equip? xD

sawluck
sawluck

Kill all Hackers!! XD

einexile
einexile

is it such a stretch to assume people would initially download the trial in order to check the game out, and opt for a freeshard not to save a few bucks but because they found the official version unbearable? The consensus is after all that the official version *is* unbearable. L2 freeshards in general exist for the xp multipliers, not so people can freeload. You could fairly argue that NCsoft has the right to protect its game's reputation as a miserable grind, but to take those numbers and call them lost revenue is deceptive.

InsaneGuyX2
InsaneGuyX2

meimnobody I guess i should join NAMBLA since i download music for free lol idiot

SoulSlayer_
SoulSlayer_

L2Extreme? Hey I've played on that... Hasn't that been around for ages though? Kinda late to shut it down. And if they don't want people to download the game if they're not gonna use it on official servers just make it so you need the keycode or whatever. It's as simple as that.

Deathdan
Deathdan

Haha this is funny, because my friend was just playing on that private server a few weeks ago. L2Extreme was huge though, it was like the #1 pserver for Lineage 2

tntxot
tntxot

Well.. the good thing is.. ilegal servers r being closed.. the bad thing is.. the official ones r still running. NCSoft must be proud because they will probably pull some players to the official servers now. thousands of guys playing what i think its a major upgrade of a Pokemon like game. At least the FBI is working on the anti-piracy side, as for the rest of the FBI department... i think its weird they make a big Bang News on a Private Server Bust and no news on catching Kriminals, Drog Dealers, and all the other major crimes.. weird.. no dout

Dinghy_Dog
Dinghy_Dog

FBI cant find serial killers but they can bust hackers. Nice.

CheddarLimbo
CheddarLimbo

Good work from the Feds. I'm surprised at the hackers, though. Seems like this would be pretty easy to trace to the source. After all, they must be advertising this service somehow to gather the users.

capthunt
capthunt

WOW! 50,000 players. Stupid FBI :P

saugh
saugh

Brilliant, stupid hackers.

sadass
sadass

I wish they did that for CS:S......... - please valve, read this.