Best Cyber Security

Gamer hacking bank of Spymaster

An annoying micro-blogging game called Spymaster—the Twitter equivalent of the popular Facebook-based Zombies application created just last year—allows would-be James Bonds to become part of a virtual spy world through completing missions involving the "assassination" of other players, establishing a "safe house", and garnering points by enlisting users into their own personal "spy rings".

The annoying part of the Twitter game is that it generates large amounts of tweets that many Twitter users see as the rough equivalent of spam micro-blogging posts.

To be clear, even though it's kind of the point of Twitter to keep on "tweeting", people don't exactly appreciate quantity over quality, and besides, there's enough of this issue going on in Twitter anyway, so what's the point in adding to the junk Twitter posts?

At any rate, a Spymaster player named @partridge wrote a code to create an in-game Swiss bank account where you can transfer your money.

The code exposed a glitch in the game design wherein he could reproduce his balance to an unlimited amount; at one point, he was able to give himself trillions of pounds worth of cash in under 15 minutes.

Spymaster bank hacked

He generously used his newfound cyber wealth to become a virtual welfare system and charity rolled into one by going on an extensive money redistribution campaign with many other Spymaster players.

In the same way that some real-world countries suffer from hyperinflation due to an excess of money with little value to back it up, Spymaster's in-game economy soon suffered the same fate.

The game developers eventually stepped in and stopped the little financial fiasco within their video game world by wiping bank funds, resetting player accounts, and temporarily disabling certain features.

The creators had no choice but to wipe the slate clean in order to put everything back to the way it was before.

However, the creator's supposedly extreme actions had the effect of frustrating some players who found themselves victimized after innocently profiting from the counterfeit transfers, which lead to them ultimately abandoning the Spymaster game altogether, the Trend Micro security analyst Rik Ferguson informs in his write-up of the hack.

According to Ferguson's report, the code uncovered a lot of vulnerabilities in the poorly written code for the game.

In fairness to iList, the developers of Spymaster, they've developed the game as a mere side project for Twitter users.

Then again, they do take all of their work quite seriously, as seen by the actions they've employed in dealing with the Game-Genie-like cheat.