Among Us was flung into the global gaming spotlight in the Summer of 2020 amidst the global pandemic. For many, it was the solution to the craving for safe social interaction, and something new to occupy their time. But with a sudden influx of players, problems such as bots, hacking, and spam were inevitable.
Around October 22nd, players began to report that in public matches, a hack was being deployed that allowed bots to spam the in-game chat, which is a necessary function for public games. The spam advertised a YouTube channel and a discord server, both belonging to an Eris Loris. The message threatened that if users did not subscribe to the channel, that their phones would be hacked, or exploded. The exact number of users affected is unknown, but is estimated to be in the hundreds, and possibly thousands.
We’re are super duper aware of the current hacking issue and we’re looking into it. We will be pushing out an emergency server update so people who are in game will get kicked from games. Please play private games or with people that you trust!!! Bare with us!! 😰
— InnerSloth (@InnerslothDevs) October 23, 2020
The bots also held a political message: Vote TRUMP 2020. Political messages aren’t rare in games such as Among Us, but this add-on to the end of the message likely added even more fuel to the fire. Eris Loris told Kotaku that he found the results humorous, “The anger and the hatred is part of what makes it funny.” The self-proclaimed Trump supporter says that he does not regret the hack or the trouble he has caused for the game developers.
A hotfix was quickly announced, and a programmer with InnerSloth said that the anti-hacking update had been in the works for some time. The release was being withheld to reduce the risk of players being kicked for false positives, where the game incorrectly identified a hacker. The update was deployed in the middle of the night, in a rapid attempt to curb the issue. Wave two of the anti-hack hotfix was released on October 24th, tweeted by Forest Willard, a programmer with Among Us.
Alright, wave 2 of anti-hacks are going out:
Wave 1 did fix impersonation, this is why the prominent hack now is just chat spam and mass despawn (black room)
Wave 2 should fix both of these. We’ll see where we need to go from there.
— Forest (@forte_bass) October 24, 2020
InnerSloth, the team behind Among Us, has encouraged users to play private games with people they trust, as a way to combat hacking and spam from strangers.
- This article was updated on:October 29th, 2020