Hacker pays ultimate price for his gaming dark arts with virtual execution

When many of its users became hacked off by the cheating tactics of one player, security staff of one of the world’s most popular game’s decided to execute the cheater — virtually.

Many Guild Wars 2 players had encountered the character named DarkSide while playing the multiplayer online role-playing game, 4m copies of which have been sold to date.

They found that the person behind DarkSide had managed to hack the game to such an extent that he or she could impose more damage upon them than should have been possible, survive concerted attacks, and teleport when it should not have been feasible.

A number of the players decided enough was enough and gathered videos of DarkSide’s exploits and posted them on YouTube. There were also multiple complaints made on the Guild Wars 2 message forums.

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The game’s creators, ArenaNet, took heed and decided to track down the offender and make an example of them.

Chris Cleary, ArenaNet’s game security lead, entered the game and, acting as judge and jury on the player’s antics, decided to enact a very public virtual execution.

He and his team were able to hack the hacker, gain control of the character and not only erase him, but do it in a very graphic way.

They stripped all of DarkSide’s clothes from him apart from his underwear, took him to the top of a bridge, and had him give a wave before forcing him to hurl himself off to his death.

After erasing all access to the character, Mr Cleary posted a message on the game forum.

“We don’t need to see it in-game, sometimes good video evidence is enough for me to track down who it was. In this case, the video was enough for me to find out who it was and take action,” he wrote to users.

“Thanks for the video, and to accompany your video, I give you this video of his account’s last moments.”

He attached YouTube footage of the online execution which, as of last night, had been watched more than 1.3m times.

Mr Cleary also made sure the user could not re-enter the game and posted the message: “Oh yah, he’s also banned.”

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