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Logs from Beyond for 5/08/2016

I have said very little about this as I awaited for the situation to truly be over.

For the past two months 90% of my work has been stopping a group of hackers who have taken it upon themselves to break in and gain access to all of our code and data. In the past we have been hacked a few times and detecting and stopping them was always interesting but fairly simple. This group was a different story altogether. Their expertise was way above mine. I stopped them many times but they just got around to another exploit. I will not go into the technical details but some of this story is interesting and I write this knowing they will be reading it, which puts me in a strange and uncomfortable spot.

The fact is they could have caused chaos. They had access to the code and put comments in it for me many times. They had access to all of the game data and could have done anything they wanted. In the end they did not give a single gold coin to a player or cause any other actual trouble that I can detect. Their game I suppose was to torment me personally instead of harming the players. I do not know what to make of this sort of twisted honor system but I am at least glad for that.

I still do not know their identity. I know that they somehow like me and want Medievia to do well. They themselves detected a small hack that had already taken place and told me about it, which was someone apparently from China hiding a bitcoin processor on the server. They congratulated me when I stopped their exploits. Every time I thought it was over though they returned. Most hackers motivations are obvious, whether it be white hats, black hats, financial, personnel, etc. These guys? Your guess is as good as mine. Their level of expertise was something to marvel at and something that is pretty terrifying. It has caused me a great deal of stress as I may be a good coder but I am no security genius.

So now I am much more of an expert and Medievia is much more secure for it. This all would have been easier if we had more funds to throw at the problem. I ended up writing my own version of Zonealarm and other anti-hacking and auditing tools as we could not afford them. I now much more of an expert in firewalls and preventing this sort of thing. I now know much more about all of the various daemon processes and potential holes.

If you asked me 3 months ago how secure Medievia was I would have been proud to tell you that it was like Fort Knox. It is not like the Medievia servers were run badly or open for attack. The OS we use is very secure with most processes disabled and a very good firewall in place. It has always been that way as we always took this stuff pretty seriously. We are attacked non-stop and always have been, as every server in the world is. It is a crazy thing. You can pop a new server with a new IP address on the Internet and within hours you will see root password failures startup. Most of this is from China and Russia and do not scare me at all as like many servers you cannot login as root from outside. Why they try this is beyond me. The good hackers do not hack passwords. They exploit other processes and systems. They exploit zero day vulnerabilities and develop their own new exploits. It is amazing really and sad. There is nothing on Medievia that could help anyone or make a name for them. Why do it?

The only one thing I know from this group is that they wish us well. Crazy right? They will not stop either and made that clear. I must stop them and continue to stop them. For now they have been stopped. It has been a week since they have managed to get in.

Are they players? I really do not think so. Do they want anything? Nope. It is all so very strange. We are nothing. We are nobody. We barely exist compared to any other game.

What do they think of Medievia? They love the idea of a grand text game and one of their messages in my home code was that they look forward to the day when I get my act together and get the game popular. They said that we fascinate them with our potential and they will be monitoring us. WTH right? Why want us to do well and make me spend so much time defending us against them? I asked them to stop and if they liked the idea of Medievia that they should stop! Their response was a cryptic diatribe about how much I 'interested' them and that my logs from beyond fascinated them. My response was fine there would be no more logs from beyond. This is the first since it all started. It is all so bizarre and unworldly. There is no logic to any of this. You can make of it what you want. I need to stop doing so and get back to the business of growing the game.

My message to them is to thank them for not actually hurting the game and to tell them that I think they are misguided and should spend their time doing something productive for society. Happiness cannot be found by hacking people's intellectual property. If they must hack something go hack bad people. When you ask WWJD (what would Jesus do) I do not think hacking would be the answer. I think they suck and have done me harm by wasting all of my time and causing me so much stress. I am one person with a big huge well meant goal. I do not have time for this at all and it has really left me with less desire and drive to go forward. If we truly fascinate them then donate to the cause. I figure they owe me at least a few thousand dollars and if they want to get their karma back I expect that donation soon. Until they send me 2 thousand dollars as far as I am concerned their souls are tarnished. They can take that for the truth. It is their choice what happens next.

Medievia will now go forward. Logs from beyond will start up again. We will continue to try to help the world and to provide the best game this world has ever seen. My goals are life long and I will not be stopped.

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