Ransomware Gang Takes Down MMORPG On Steam Destroying Player Accounts

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The developer of Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore, Gellyberry Studios, has been hit by a ransomware attack, leading to the loss of 17,000 player accounts, the studio announced on their Discord server. The game is described as “a hardcore old-school MMORPG for players not afraid of challenge, risk, and adventure. Band together with fellow players and brave the dangers of the world of Irumesa, bring dark secrets to light, and experience a living MMO environment brought to life entirely by players!”

Because of this attack players’ progress as well as their in-game items have been lost. "Last Friday morning, our server fell victim to a cryptographic ransomware attack, which systematically encrypted all data on the system/local backup drive and left a ransom note to pay in Bitcoin to decrypt the files," said Gellyberry Studios. The developer also let players know that they have a plan in place, which includes rebuilding their server along with new databases for characters and accounts.

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Unfortunately, the rest of the plan will require a lot of effort from the small studio because they vow to restore player accounts on a manual basis. They are promising players that “every item, level, title, pet, etc.” will be personally restored. This will inevitably lead to a lot of resources going into this effort versus going into continuing game development. Players will also receive a pet as a thank you for their support.

The silver lining in this incident is that Ethyrial: Echoes of Yore is still under “Early Access” on Steam, and is currently free-to-play while it remains at this stage of development. Therefore, players shouldn’t feel too much of a sting, since they've been enjoying it for free up to this point.