Over the past week or so, Heroes of Newerth, its servers, and its forums have been brought down repeatedly by hackers.  Being a HoN player myself, I was quite displeased with the situation.  So, I reached out to S2 games to get the full story and find out just WTF is going on with HoN!!

Here’s the rundown:

Apparently, there’s a small group of players based out of England and Croatia who run a hacking / scamming ring that sells hacks mainly for FPS games. Unfortunately for S2 games, they are also HoN enthusiasts.  These hackers soon figured out an exploit which they used to crash the HoN game servers.  Yet, when S2 banned their accounts for it, they bought more accounts using stolen credit cards and scammed accounts… and continued to crash the game servers.

Said hackers are also the ones who put up these idiotic, racist and fake: “Indian cyber terrorist” videos:

The hackers also made a Twitter account (with 11 whole followers!)… lovely.

So, they were banned again, but once they started running out of accounts… they started DDoS’ing S2.

The S2 team managed to mitigate the DDoS attacks the first time around, just in time for HoN’s 1 year anniversary, but they soon hit back harder with much more sophisticated techniques.

According to S2, they’ve basically been targeting the master / login servers, making it next to impossible for players to log in.  As of right now, S2 has seemed to have solved the bulk of the DDoS issues after working nonstop for the past week, so the hackers have shifted their attacks towards the forums instead, bringing them down repeatedly as well.

S2 has had to spend a significant amount of time and money fighting these attacks.  This is quite unfortunate, especially given the fact that S2 is a relatively small and wholly independent developer.

As of today, Memorial Day, HoN and it’s servers appear to be functional (although there are intermittent login issues and stat tracking is still down).  However, according to my contacts at S2, technicians were up until at least 4AM last night because the hackers were STILL trying to DDoS them… /sigh

S2 has been giving out incentives such as extra in-game currency for players who have braved this storm.  However, they seem to have stopped most of the attacks… for now.

This statement was issued by S2 last night:

We understand that many of you are frustrated with this situation and want to point your anger at S2. It is most definitely our responsibility to create systems to prevent these kinds of attacks. However, the ferocity and length of these CRIMINAL activities is more than we have ever planned for. HoN ran smoothly and near flawlessly for a year of retail. We pride ourselves on our high standards of operation and this is very painful for us to endure. We will work to resolve this issue once and bring HoN back to its peak operating performance.

I will update this story as it continues to unfold, hopefully I won’t have to do much, if any updating at all.

Game on.