'League of Legends' Developer and Publisher Hit by Hack, Source Code Stolen

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

'League of Legends' Developer and Publisher Hit by Hack, Source Code Stolen
Riot Games Press

It’s been a rough week for Riot Games.


The “League of Legends” developer and publisher was hit with a hack Jan. 20, and the company announced Tuesday that its analysts confirmed the hackers stole source code for “League” and “Teamfight Tactics,” a popular chess-like battling game with over 33 million monthly players. In particular, the hackers also gained access to the code for one of its anti-cheat platforms.

Riot noted in a tweet Tuesday that the hack could lead to more cheats. And players are already bracing for an influx of cheaters in their favorite titles. Anti-cheat software is something video game companies invest in because it keeps the games fair, and prevents anyone from gaining an outsized advantage over their competition. Nearly every game built on online competition has it, and most PC games including Riot’s top titles require players to download a specific anti-cheat software before playing.

The concern, apparent in numerous Reddit and Twitter threads about the hack, is that if the code to prevent cheats is out there now, it’ll be easy for some players to exploit it.

In reply to a Reddit comment, a few users listed examples of how players could exploit the games. This included gaining better movement in the game and showing players information about their opponents to give them a competitive advantage.


The redditor also noted the anti-cheat could possibly be exploited to give players infinite gold or items in “Teamfight Tactics,” lending them another unfair advantage.

When asked about these specific vulnerabilities, Riot spokesman Joe Hixson said he was confident Riot could handle the issues, noting, “many of the elements discussed are controlled server-side and wouldn't be something that could be impacted by this [hack].”

That said, in the initial tweet, the company said that “any exposure of source code can increase the likelihood of new cheats emerging.”

On a positive note, one Riot fan on Twitter noted that the hack could help beef up Riot’s security eventually, even if it could lead to more cheating at first. They said, “it's a 2 sided sword, it may mean more cheats but also mean more security due to anonymous people being able to report security bugs which may cause other people to execute remote code (which is bad in any way).”




Another redditor pointed out that gaming firms like Riot typically keep all info about anti-cheat software under wraps for fear of this very scenario happening, which is why we don’t typically hear a lot about it. “For games specifically, you don't talk about your anticheat because if people learn ANYTHING about it, they can and will use that to make cheats. Anticheat development is a war of attrition that neither side will ever concede,” they said.

Hixson confirmed the anti-cheat platforms were built in-house, meaning Riot has complete control of – and responsibility for – the software and its security.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: Mapp Gains New CPO and CTO, Prodoscore Taps Boeing Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Mapp Gains New CPO and CTO, Prodoscore Taps Boeing Exec
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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This Week in ‘Raises’: GITAI Lands $30M, Steno Gains $15M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Raises
Image by Joshua Letona

A local space robotics startup raised fresh funding to expand the flight model manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. and increase employment, while a remote litigation platform raised more funding to continue growing its footprint in new markets across the country, develop service channels for its clients and continue expanding its tech team.

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Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Gitai Raises $30 Million to Expand Manufacturing Footprint in Los Angeles
\u200bPhoto: Gitai

Space robotics company Gitai raised a $30 million Series B extension this week, bringing the total value of the round to roughly $47 million.

The funding will be used to further develop Gitai’s suite of space robots as well as build out its manufacturing footprint in Torrance. Previously Gitai announced it raised a $17.1 million Series B in March 2021; this additional raise is still part of that round.

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