In-game chats were flooded with messages from somebody who tried to coerce players into subscribing to a dubious YouTube channel
InnerSloth, the developer of the popular whodunnit social deduction game Among Us, has had to fight off a cyberattack affecting its players during their online matches. The incident that started some time on Thursday took the form of a spam attack bombarding players in their in-game chats.
The onslaught of spam messages foisted on game participants in their chats promoted a cryptic “Eris Loris” handle, prompting players to subscribe to its YouTube channel. Some messages took a threatening tone, warning players that unless they subscribe their devices would be hacked. Other messages also included an endorsement for U.S. President Donald Trump in the 2020 elections. Upon inspection, the YouTube channel promoted by the miscreant seems to promote various game cheats and hacks.
Players shared screenshots complaining about the spam attack across multiple social media, including Twitter.
— Sonic The Hedgehog Gamer (@SonicTh09529692) October 26, 2020
Once InnerSloth became aware of the problem, it immediately started investigating the issue while simultaneously working on an emergency server update to remedy the situation. The game studio advised the community to refrain from joining public online games and instead opt for private games with people they could trust.
Reminder!! Please play private games or with people that you trust!!! We're doing what we can!!
— InnerSloth (@InnerslothDevs) October 23, 2020
Forest Willard one of the developers from InnerSloth, started rolling out the emergency update later that night. However, he also warned that due to the irregularity of the process players who were in matches may get booted.
In a follow-up tweet, he explained the reason why the it took so long to release the update: “Also worth nothing [sic] that the reason I didn’t roll this update out sooner is that I was afraid of false positives: You totally might see the game think you’re hacking when you’re not. I’ve done my best to find this kind of bug, but my hand is forced this time.”
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Although both the premise and the graphics of the game are very simple, Among Us has become a major hit with players from around the globe. Part of its meteoric success could be chalked up to the COVID-19 pandemic that has left many stranded indoors – and hooked on the game.
In the social deduction game, the players try to keep their spaceship afloat by completing various tasks while one of their Crewmates, who is an imposter, tries to covertly eliminate them. The Crewmates then must try to oust the imposter and remove them from the game using a plurality vote.
The game has been so popular that it has also been used in attempts to mobilize young voters to vote in the 2020 US presidential elections.