EVE Online Source Code Reportedly Stolen; Developer Claims Subscriber Information Is Safe

The reported decompiling of the source code for spaceship MMO EVE Online (PC) will have no effect whatsoever on the game's subscribers, according to developer CCP.

A file purported to contain the game's source code began appearing on torrent sites earlier this week, with popular tech website Slashdot calling attention to the reports.

The supposed leak joins other high-profile data thefts, including that of Valve's Half-Life 2 and NCSoft's Lineage III. The source code for Flaghip's Hellgate: London was rumored to have been stolen as well.

"CCP is aware that an individual claims to have access to the source code of the EVE client," stated CCP. "Access to the source code for the EVE client exposes no security vulnerabilities, has no privacy protection issues, and poses no threat to our customers' billing information.

"The Python scripting language that is used by the client can be easily decompiled to generate readable code, and we have designed our server-side systems with that understanding.

"Nothing the EVE client can do can affect the game state, no advantage can be gained by manipulating the EVE client, no advantageous or disadvantageous information can be transmitted to other EVE users by altering the EVE client," CCP continued.

"The server-side interface used by the client is carefully protected to ensure that no abusive or unwanted information is transmitted to, or from the internal EVE server systems."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 15, 2008 9:39 AM

    One of the Slashdot comments on this has pointed out that it appears that it's not so much that the actual source code has been released (i.e., like what happened with the Half-Life 2 source code back in 2003 where someone hacked into Valve and actually stole the code) but that since most of EVE is written in Python, someone just took the compiled files and executables and just decompiled them.

    I'm no Python expert and I don't play EVE but offhand it looks like Python is similar to .NET in that unless the released code is obfuscated, it can be easily decompiled. There's a utility in the .NET world, .NET Reflector, which can look at the MSIL code of a .NET executable or assembly and then give you roughly equivalent C# or VB.NET code, right down to being able to create a series of source code files and projects for you. Generally the code's not quite good enough to compile on its own without some work and things like proper variable names and any comments are completely gone, but it's saved my ass before when I've lost source but need to get some section of it back in a hurry (or, when I have compiled code in C# and would like a cheap/easy way to get it into VB.NET).

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      April 15, 2008 10:06 AM

      Gee, you just took the fun out of it.

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      April 15, 2008 10:10 AM

      Wow, Python? Rock!

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        April 15, 2008 10:12 AM

        yeah, I always wondered why the UI in this game was so excruciatingly laggy.

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      April 15, 2008 10:19 AM

      yes, Python is utterly easy to decompile. That doesn't really equal a source code theft.

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      April 15, 2008 10:53 AM

      Wow, didn't know Python had an analog to MSIL. I'm off to google for Python Reflector now. I doubt Lutz is responsible for that one.

      And I totally agree with the other response that if this is the case, its not code theft at all.

      • reply
        April 15, 2008 10:57 AM

        I don't know that it has a true MSIL analog since I think the point of MSIL is to get the stuff from disparate languages (C#, VB.NET) into the same stuff before turing it into bytecode, but the comments from Slashdot story on this same topic do point to a similar utility.

        • reply
          April 15, 2008 11:41 AM

          This, coupled with IronPython in the .NET framework, and with Google App Engine means i might ge tback into Python.

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