Half-Life 2 source code stolen and released on the Net.

Now this totally sucks. News items over at HalfLife2.Net confirm the rumor that Valve Software’s network was successfully hacked and the source code for what is probably the most anticipated game release this year, Half-Life 2, has been stolen and released onto the Internet.

Gabe Newell from Valve Software posted on our very own forums regarding the source code leak. He confirms that it is real, and he describes some trouble he and the company have had recently with hackers. Here’s a bit of what he said.

Yes, the source code that has been posted is the HL-2 source code…

…What I’d appreciate is the assistance of the community in tracking this down. I have a special email address for people to send information to, helpvalve@valvesoftware.com. If you have information about the denial of service attacks or the infiltration of our network, please send the details. There are some pretty obvious places to start with the posts and records in IRC, so if you can point us in the right direction, that would be great.

So by all means, if you know anything about what Gabe described, please email them. We don’t want Valve to have more problems. You can view the whole thread here.

Without the rest of the game’s content the folks who have the source code wouldn’t have much of a game even if they did manage to compile it properly, but having access to the code directly allows all the folks who write cheats and exploits to examine the game in detail looking for any chinks in the armor. Not only cheats, but possible avenues for viruses to enter your system if you play the game multiplayer over the Net. Worse yet, with the code out in the wild Valve’s competitors could potentially make use of it. For a project that has been 5 years in the making this could be a very serious blow and may result in the game being delayed even further.

It’s somewhat telling that even one of the most notorious Half-Life/Counter-Strike cheat authors out there, Joolz, has even stood up and said that this action is going too far.

I will say one thing. Whoever did this has gone a ‘step to far’.

Writing cheats is one thing. Reverse engineering out how to write them is another. But, breaking into a company to steal the code is not on. I work for the software industry myself, my sympathys are with the Valve team…

…if you know who did it… let them know on helpvalve@valvesoftware.com. I know we cheat/wreck their game. Without them, there is no HL/CS/HL2, is there?

Hopefully Valve won’t be too seriously impacted by this and the game can be modified enough to negate any cheats developed from the source.

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