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PSA: Developers, protect your accounts -- hackers are loose
PSA: Developers, protect your accounts -- hackers are loose
August 22, 2014 | By Staff

August 22, 2014 | By Staff
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    16 comments
More: Indie, Business/Marketing



Newsbrief: As part of an ongoing campaign of harassment, Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn's Dropbox account was hacked last night. Because of his defense of Quinn, Polytron's Phil Fish (Fez) also had multiple accounts hacked, including the @Polytron Twitter and website. Personal information for both developers has been posted publicly online.

Contact info for other developers has likely been stolen in these attacks. The Polytron website was reportedly also infected with malware for a period last night; it is now down, as is Polytron's Twitter account.

Other developers, particularly those who participate in social justice discussions online, are potential targets.

It is recommended that any developers who are concerned about security read this blog post on shoring up your accounts written by developer John Seggerson and implement two-factor authorization for their accounts. Links to enable 2FA on many popular websites and services can be found here.


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Comments


Matt Boudreaux
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Everyone should use two factor authentication where offered - that's just common sense. I'm slightly shocked a web host would not have 2FA enabled by default, most do.

Terry Matthes
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I believe Fez was developed located here in Montreal.

Benjamin Quintero
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online toxicity man.. let's take a perfect opportunity to discuss the roles of game's media, separation of church and state, disclosure, native ads invading game sites, then piss that away for the chance to bury 1 person for making poor life choices. awesome... way to go internet.

Emeka Enubuzor
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I don't advocate the hacking at all, but it's been hard to discuss those point when the rest of the industry has taken the stance of plugging their ears and screaming "lalalala." Attempts to try and form an opinion on this has been found with hate and ridicule from some devs. It came to the point where devs were threatening to not allow coverage to some youtubers, or shaming them. To me, this seems like the "other side" getting angry and throwing their own hissy-fit.

I'd love to see discussion on the topics that you mentioned, i'm absolutely happy i'm not alone in believing that their is a greater conversation to be had within this controversy, it's just sad that very little game devs, no journalists or news outlets are confident enough to discuss it. Or at least, i don't feel they are, i don't know their reasons. But i believe this, just like equality in this industry, is an important issue that we should discussed among the industry

Lincoln Li
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I don't think the rest of the industry is taking the stance of plugging their ears and screaming "lalala". I think this issue brings up a lot of issues that have been discussed by developers within our circles, from discrimination, to harassment, to sexualization, etc... without having the stigma or catalyst of a personal conflict as the basis for these talks.

It's as simple (at least imo) as no one wanting to get involved in a conflict that stemmed from a personal bout.

Kyle Redd
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@Lincoln

" I think this issue brings up a lot of issues that have been discussed by developers within our circles, from discrimination, to harassment, to sexualization, etc..."

... to cronyism? Is that one of the etc you meant to include? I think that may be the necessary discussion Emeka was referring to, as that to which the industry responds by plugging their ears and screaming "lalalala."

Benjamin Quintero
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totally agree. I think the problem is that a lot of these fights are happening on Twitter and it's hard to get people to separate Zoe from the larger discussion in 140 characters or less. I think everyone knows that church and state is a valid debate, but it can't be made as long as Zoe's name is attached to it; even if her actions were the catalyst to raise public awareness. Inevitably arguments will degrade to name calling when people start to pick their sides, and her name is at the top of the list right now. By the time the dust settles, most people will probably move on and things will continue as they have always been.

Emeka Enubuzor
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But isn't that the issue? I'm sorry that Zoe happens to be caught up in this mess, but that shouldn't stop us from talking about an issue. Whether it be the church and state discussion, or racism discussion, or sexism discussion, or whatever, we shouldn't just dismiss it because of the name attached to it.

I mean, is it bad for journalist and devs to have this discussion because they're all "friends?" And if so, doesn't that bring up the issue with church and state again? This whole thing to me opens up a very interesting discussion, and while Zoe may be in the middle of it, that shouldn't stop Journalist, game devs, and the community from have that discussion, or from trying to analyze and improve an industry. I think it's sad that we have to pine through twitter just to see glimpses of something that should be a pretty important topic for our industry. And it's even sadder still that if we try to speak our minds on the topic, we're met with feigned ignorance or childish retorts.

As an industry that's trying to constantly mature, i think approaching topics like these is important. We shouldn't be afraid to look at our industry critically and then have a discussion about the actual issues within it. Of course, we should be tactful with our approach, but we should still do our best to look at and discuss this issues as they come.

Lincoln Li
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@Kyle: Sorry, I don't quite understand your perspective. How is cronyism a topic of discussion amongst developers?

Perhaps it exists on smaller indie scale, but I've rarely heard of cronyism occurring in "triple a" studios, unless you're lumping in people getting hired based off of past work experience with other developers?

Perhaps the Game Journalism industry needs to discuss and fix that issue internally among their field? If anything, it sounds like they need to get their own industry in shape, before bringing in the rest of the Gaming Industry. What exactly can we do for them, as developers?

I could be entirely wrong, and I would stand corrected, but I would like to see some evidence that cronyism is "a discussion issue" for game developers (emphasis on developers).

@Emeka: I don't know about you, but I see these topics being raised up at GDC all the time, and amongst my fellow peers / colleagues. I'm not sure what you're saying, do you want these to be in more public forums for everyone to see?

I honestly don't feel like "bringing these issues up" means making it a public spectacle for people outside the Industry to see. Just my 2 cents though. /shrug

Kyle Redd
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@Lincoln

Sorry, maybe cronyism isn't the right word. I originally used nepotism, but that didn't sound right either. So I'll say favoritism instead. Favoritism not among developers, but among the gaming media, who typically present themselves as ethical and fair despite episodes like this one (probably) demonstrating otherwise.

Emeka Enubuzor
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@Lincoln - I guess the same could be said about female equality, though. Sure, female equality has been talked about for YEARS at GDC, but the industry as a whole didn't care until relatively recently when it became more public. There was no action, the was no real discussion, it was just an echo chamber.

So now we have the topic of church and state. Yes, it has been discussed before, but it was largely ignored. Do we continue to push it under the rug, keep it in the echo-chamber and never see it mature, or bring it out in the open and have the community at large discussing it, and see if we can improve upon the way the industry is doing things.

Seems like a worthy cause, at least on the face of it.

David Bettencourt
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@Lincoln

One case of cronyism that had many irritated when it was brought to light was Dina as Community Manager on Mighty No. 9. I'm not sure if the development of that game falls under indie or Triple AAA or if it lies somewhere in the middle but her qualifications to that position were non-existent and she only obtained the position through her boyfriend who happens to work on the dev team.

This is just one case but it is another facet of the bigger discussion on industry practices.

Kayla Kinnunen
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Everyone should be respectful to an individuals privacy and personal data - that's just common social decency. I'm slightly shocked that trolls would target these individuals for no purpose other than harassment.

Alfe Clemencio
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Two-Factor authentication does have weaknesses. If your phone is compromised and you get the verification through it then it's vulnerable. Also there is this as well...

http://www.csoonline.com/article/2134279/social-engineering/world
-of-warcraft-attack-highlights-two-factor-authentication-weakness
.html

Edit: Apparently this has been known since 2005 when banks were first targeted.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/03/the_failure_of.html

Edit #2: Also you all are aware that Ubisoft consulted with a real computer security firm when making Watch Dogs right?

Edit #3: Forget hacking the phone. Just hack the cell tower and eavesdrop on the SMS message containing the code. You know, just like you did in Watch Dogs.

Jennis Kartens
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And lets not forget, that phone data is often enough directly tied to you as a person and therefore giving away that data may backlash on you in another way. So far, the IP remains a rather anonymous number which isn't as easy to link to the persons.

Bart Stewart
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"Social justice" has nothing to do with this. Any developer, regardless of where they fall on a spectrum of sociopolitical beliefs, and regardless of whether they express their personal beliefs publicly or not, is a potential target for this kind of malice.


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