Half-Life 2 source leaks

Development studio Valve Software has seen the entire source code to Half-Life 2 – including source from some of the company’s middleware partners – leaked to the Internet following a breach in the company’s security.

The source code bundle includes none of the game’s artwork or levels; however, the entire source code for the game itself, its graphics engine and the Havok physics engine, Miles sound system and various other pieces of middleware is being distributed widely as a 30mb zip file.

Although Valve – and publishers Vivendi – will no doubt be relieved that none of the game’s crucial artwork assets are included in the leak, and thus it has little relevance from a piracy point of view, the repercussions elsewhere could potentially be quite serious.

The presence of all of Valve’s anti-cheat code and network security code in the source means that cheats for Half-Life 2 online play could appear before the game is even released, and may cause a further delay to the game’s release date by forcing them to rewrite sections of this code. However, the WON authentication code (and hence the private key used to generate CD keys for Half-Life products) isn’t present in the source code bundle as distributed online – although of course, this doesn’t mean for sure that it wasn’t in the bundle originally hacked out of the company’s servers.

Valve’s middleware partners are likely to be furious with the studio, as they’re now seeing their valuable source code – which they charge developers for access to – being freely distributed online. It remains to be seen whether any of them will take legal action against Valve over the leak. Similarly, Valve’s own plans to license its game engine to other developers will now suffer a setback, since the crown jewels of the engine are on display to anyone with a net connection.

According to Valve boss Gabe Newell, the leak came as a result of a concerted hacking effort on Valve’s servers over a period of a number of months. Although few developers have security that would stand up to the scrutiny of a really determined hacker, Newell’s account of how Valve’s security was breached suggests that the company’s network security measures were practically non-existent – with the initial breach coming through a Trojan virus caught by using the notoriously insecure preview pane in (the also notoriously insecure) Outlook email client.

The company is likely to be kicking itself this morning over its choice of name for the Half-Life 2 game engine, too. Wags on the Internet haven’t failed to notice the comedy value of the fact that the engine was dubbed the Source Engine by Valve when it was first unveiled at E3 in May.

Source: Gameindustry.biz

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

After fourth attack, hacker puts personal records of 26M people up for sale

A serial hacker going by the name of Gnosticplayers is selling the personal data of 26 million people who have been using the services of six different companies from across the world.

Think iPhones can’t get viruses? Our expert explains why it could happen

If your iPhone has been acting strangely, then you may be concerned about the possibility it is infected with a virus or some malware. We take a look at just how likely that is and explain why iOS is considered relatively safe.

The Edge browser is dying. Here's what we know about its replacement

There's a new Microsoft Chromium browser coming, and it looks like it will be replacing Edge for most people. Here's everything you need to know about this new browser, how you can use it, and when it's expected to come out.
Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Product Review

The Division 2 brings the most fun we've ever had to Washington, D.C.

After 55 hours with The Division 2, it’s clear that Ubisoft has improved on the original in almost every way. The world is richly detailed, the story missions are wonderful, gunplay and enemy design are great, and the endgame content is…

How to sync and troubleshoot your PS4's DualShock 4 controllers

Sony's Bluetooth-enabled DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation 4 are some of the best on the market, but connection issues aren't unheard of. Here's how to sync them to your console.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

The Division 2 is another loot shooter with a dull story. Does it matter?

The Division 2 has a story to tell. It's not a good story. It's not told very well. But by-golly, The Division 2 is going to make you sit your ass down and listen whether you want to or not.

A new hope arrives as Disney revives the long-dead Lucasfilm Games

According to job listings on the Disney website, the company has plans to revive Lucasfilm Games. This comes as a surprise following the shuttering of LucasArts in 2013 and could potentially mean more Star Wars games.

Last gen had some hits! Take a look at the best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.

Hook up your Nintendo Switch with these deals on accessories right now on Amazon

The Nintendo Switch is a portable system with tons of accessories. The problem is, hooking it up doesn't come cheap. Every week, we look for the best deals on Nintendo Switch accessories on Amazon so you don't have to.