Well, that was quick. Seems like criminal punishments aren't doing much to deter hackers from getting their sticky fingers on Sonic Team's Phantasy Star Online, as the Gamecube version's trial has already been compromised in Japan. And the user behind the original vulnerability break has blamed the developer for negligence.
According to PSO fan and code maker 'Barubary', there have already been players running around the Gamecube-only servers with Level 200 characters - something that shouldn't be possible during this limited trial run. But Barubary has some insight into how it's happening.
"These people cheat by connecting their Gamecube modem to their PC modem and faking a PPP server," the user writes. "From there, they send fake packets [of data] to the client that causes it to update [the player's] character data, then save and quit to make it permanent." Ironically, hackers are using the same mechanism that the real server uses to detect and delete hacked stats from illegitimate characters.
Unfortunately though, it seems like Barubary inadvertently caused this latest hacking spree themselves - but they insist they are not responsible for the incident. "I had no direct involvement with this... the reality is that I broke the DC/PC PSO internet protocol encryption and gave the source code to a Japanese cheater.
"From him it spread to others. Apparently, Sonic Team wasn't smart enough to change the internet protocol encryption from the DC/PC version to the Gamecube version, and this cheating is the result of it." Truly a bold strategy to blame Sonic Team for the result of a user's hack job, but we'll wait and see how it all plays out when the final Gamecube game is released to the world.
Source: GSCCC Forums (via TSSZ)
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