The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

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The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Mess on Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:32 pm

Eurogamer have published a fascinating article concerning Axel Gembe, the young man who famously hacked Valve's servers in 2003 and gained access to the HL2 Beta. The article details how he managed the hack, what he did with the source code, and of course the ensuing court trial.

"I was naïve and did things that I should never have done," he says. "There were so many better uses of my time. I regret having caused Valve Software trouble and financial loss. I also regret having caused some universities financial harm by using them as speed tests for my malware.

"Basically I regret all the illegal things I did at that time... And I regret not doing anything worthwhile with my life before I got busted."


Head over to Eurogramer to read the full article.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby wood250 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:15 pm

What a good read that was!
I can see it now "Catch me if you can 2"
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Dr Evil on Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:31 pm

Very interesting
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Mephasto on Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:59 pm

was good read.

First the guy rapes whole unfinished product and then expects Valve to hire him. I wonder how many millions that cost Valve.

I wonder what Gabe thinks of this now, must been quite slap in the face back then.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Hypey[UG] on Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:10 pm

Mephasto wrote:was good read.

First the guy rapes whole unfinished product and then expects Valve to hire him. I wonder how many millions that cost Valve.

I wonder what Gabe thinks of this now, must been quite slap in the face back then.


It makes sense though.

I guess he thought of himself as an ethical hacker.

Bit like the big companies like microsoft have.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Mephasto on Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:59 pm

Yes that might been the case if he didnt spread the files around. Should have just contacted Valve about the security loophole. The kid got off pretty easily, considering the damage he caused. Hes lucky that german police got him before trip to US.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby stoopdapoop on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:18 am

Mephasto wrote:Yes that might been the case if he didnt spread the files around. Should have just contacted Valve about the security loophole. The kid got off pretty easily, considering the damage he caused. Hes lucky that german police got him before trip to US.


He didn't spread the files, he gave them to a friend that he thought he could trust, and the friend leaked the files to the real internetz.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby srredfire on Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:24 am

I'm glad he did it to be honest. The beta is a really great game in itself if you ask me. Better than what Half-Life 2 turned out to be, as well. The story and general emotion of the game was much darker, and had a lot more grit to it. I'm lucky enough to have a copy of the GabeN fix, which I'm not sure they're working on anymore, but it fixed a TON of the problems with the beta, so it can almost be enjoyed as what it was supposed to be.

That, and the Worldcraft map pack that got leaked as well, or whatever. Some really interesting stuff in there, especially with someone as obsessed with it as I am.

SO CHEERS TO HIM.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby joe_dirt976 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:31 am

Anytime i lose motivation in mapping or designing, i just pour through those leaked maps. Lots of inspiration to be found in there, that and the concept of scrapping work for later recycling.
He is indeed lucky the German cops intervened before the FBI did. Would have turned out very different for him if they didn't.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Gary on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:25 am

Good read, I'm happy that he didn't make it to the USA. Really, I can't see how this was really damaging to Valve, only thing I could think of is if the kid had access to sensitive information. Maybe Gabe's porn.


I really like this comment:
I wonder what we would find if someone leaked the source code for Half Life 2 : Episode 3.
...probably just an empty file with one comment:

//game goes here eventually.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby ScarT on Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:09 pm

Mephasto wrote:Yes that might been the case if he didnt spread the files around. Should have just contacted Valve about the security loophole. The kid got off pretty easily, considering the damage he caused. Hes lucky that german police got him before trip to US.

Alfred Reynolds found the trojan and removed it from several Linux machines, and that was it.

stoopdapoop wrote:He didn't spread the files, he gave them to a friend that he thought he could trust, and the friend leaked the files to the real internetz.

Gembe was hacked by a guy from myg0t, which leaked the source code to the internet.

srredfire wrote:I'm lucky enough to have a copy of the GabeN fix, which I'm not sure they're working on anymore, but it fixed a TON of the problems with the beta, so it can almost be enjoyed as what it was supposed to be.

We aren't. All our projects are dead, and we've merged with the Missing Information team. However Team GabeN itself isn't dead.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby stoopdapoop on Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:52 pm

ah, cool, thanks for the insight.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Dr. Delta on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:33 pm

Mephasto wrote:was good read.

First the guy rapes whole unfinished product and then expects Valve to hire him. I wonder how many millions that cost Valve.

I wonder what Gabe thinks of this now, must been quite slap in the face back then.


Rapes? Cost?
Sorry what?
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby Mephasto on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:57 pm

Well if you consider Valve had to start from scratch and abandon all of the beta stuff. I dont know the numbers behind this, but running game corp costs millions for salarys only. You can count how much the leak did push back production of halflife 2. Rape is maybe a too strong word to describe it, i'd rather say disgrace the work of developers.

Sounds almost like you idolize the guy for what he did, it's not hes accomplishment Half-life 2 turned to be great game, eaven if the beta was not as good.

Everyone has their own opinion on the subject and this is mine, i'm not saying its the right one tho.

ps. I dont mind if teams are working on the beta files, like missiong information. That level design would go to waste otherwise and people may learn something valuable from it.
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Re: The Boy Who Stole Half-Life 2

Postby ScarT on Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:31 pm

They didn't ditch the old storyline because of the leak. This happened long before the leak.
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