For 20 Years, This Man Has Survived Entirely by Hacking Online Games

monkeymagick

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Jun 22, 2008
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480
Meet the man that was making a living by hacking mostly MMORPGs and selling his "phat lewts." Going by the name Manfred, this fellow has spent the last 20 years of his adult life finding exploits in online worlds and profiteering from it. Starting during the heyday of Ultima Online, he sold his first castle on eBay and has continued onto other games since that time. The guy made more money than I ever did during Diablo 2. I sure do miss the Diablo 3 Auction House.

One day, Manfred told me, he had the idea of putting an Ultima Online castle on eBay to see if someone would buy it. He ended up selling it for almost $2,000, he said (Manfred says he's sold around 100 houses since then for an average price of around $2,000.)

For Manfred, coming out now is a chance to show the world that video games need to take security more seriously. Most of the hacks he did over 20 years, he said, relied on very similar bugs.
 

infin@

Gawd
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Oct 18, 2006
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Those were the days, Diablo 2...nostalgic memories for sure although I never made much. I would be curious to know what he made on average per hour, "hacking" is a term used pretty loosely these days.
 

THRESHIN

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I miss Diablo 2. Maybe it's just that I've gotten older, but games were more fun back then.

Games were more fun back then, it's not just you. Try playing some of your old favorites, I do several times a year. I find that a few didn't age well but overall most of them are still great games.
 
D

Deleted member 204526

Guest
I made quite a lot of money selling credits in Anarchy Online during the three-ish years it was at its peak. I didn't do it by hacking, I just had a very good method of legitimately farming credits. I didn't try to making a living doing it, though I probably could have made enough to pay the bills had I done it full time.
 

NickJames

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I made quite a lot of money selling credits in Anarchy Online during the three-ish years it was at its peak. I didn't do it by hacking, I just had a very good method of legitimately farming credits. I didn't try to making a living doing it, though I probably could have made enough to pay the bills had I done it full time.

A fellow Rubi-Ka inhabitant! I was banned, twice, once for exploiting and once for something stupid, but I always came back cause I loved it too much. Played from 2001-2010. It was my first introduction to MMOs and one of my favorite life experiences. Wish the GMs weren't such cunts and held in the back pocket of some elite players.
 

Gigus Fire

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why isn't this working as intended? Where are the hacks? It's just some guy talking about his exploits.
 
D

Deleted member 204526

Guest
A fellow Rubi-Ka inhabitant! I was banned for exploiting, twice, but I always came back cause I loved it too much. Played from 2001-2010. It was my first introduction to MMOs and one of my favorite life experiences.
It was my second MMO after Ultima Online, but AO remains my favorite to this day. I had so many memorable experiences in the game, and the atmosphere and setting was utterly unique at the time (and still is really). The implant system was amazing—the ability to tweak was unparalleled. Figuring out how to squeeze into a new implant was awesome. That isn't something you'll find in any new game. People just don't have the patience for it any longer.
 

NickJames

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It was my second MMO after Ultima Online, but AO remains my favorite to this day. I had so many memorable experiences in the game, and the atmosphere and setting was utterly unique at the time (and still is really). The implant system was amazing—the ability to tweak was unparalleled. Figuring out how to squeeze into a new implant was awesome. That isn't something you'll find in any new game. People just don't have the patience for it any longer.

The skill system was just so deep. I literally spent all my time twinking my low levels to see how much I could bend the game. Had characters at level 1(pre-impact stack nerf), 15, 25, 60, 74, and 150. Funny enough, I never hit the level cap, end game just didn't interest me although I did participate in raids like Tarasque just to see if I could kill anyone lol. I spent so much time just hanging out at the arenas or the usual conflict grounds like Temple of Three Winds or 2HO/MMD(these were the best days of the game). The community was also so close and you tended to know who all the badasses were because there was only 2 servers at the time. Not like MMOs these days that are fragmented among 10+ realms or instances. The GMs (the nice ones) were always throwing random events or parties. They would spawn giant versions of mobs and fill them with rare loot. Or start randomly spawning rival faction guards in cities to begin a faction war. You couldn't get away with things like that in other games because things are too closely monitored and balanced and the community would collectively riot. After Shadowlands the game just started to go downhill sadly. AI was doing ok but you could tell Funcom was struggling for a reason to keep AO afloat. Once LE and microtransactions hit the scene it was basically the end of times. RIP my 2nd life :(
 

Nebell

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I couldn't find a link to read more, so here:
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/59p7qd/this-man-has-survived-by-hacking-mmo-online-games

EDIT:
I used to sell WoW gold for 3-4 months. I made quite a bit of money with only 3 bots, about 10.000.000g, which I sold for around $800. I mean, currency sells, a lot of people buy it, if this guy was hacking games for so long and especially sold currency and had unlimited amounts of it, I can say he's QUITE RICH. Chinese bought this in insane bulks.
 
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Krenum

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Sonicks

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A bit bummed he didn't reveal, even a ballpark estimate, of how much he made over the 20 years.

Though if people were willing to pay two grand a whack for a castle or house in Ultima Online I guess it follows that he made a pretty good chunk of change in the years following.
 
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Loose Nut

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Welcome to the Tabloid section HardOCP!
celebrate a thief is always in high demand for this click bate world we live in.
 

revenant

[H]F Junkie
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Making enough real world currency to do something fun for a while let alone live for 20 years by selling exploited or even earned items from a video game is a huge win in my book.
 

bman212121

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A bit bummed he didn't reveal, even a ballpark estimate, of how much he maid over the 20 years.

Unless he put that information on his tax return, I doubt you'll ever see a number pop up. (Assuming he's in the US)
 
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isn't this illegal? now he will need to answer to the tax gods
people get stabbed for stealing much less e-loot in china
 

ob1

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I had a guildy in Perdition that paid for his entire college trip by selling shit in MMO's. Back in the original EQ days, then into EQ2 and WoW. Not sure if he used exploits, but just selling grind type shit was profitable for him to the point of paying for his education, lodging, meals, books, etc for several years.
 

katanaD

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i once bought something for a game. it was a matty robe for asherons call, costed me like $150

but damn if i didnt enjoy every minute of using it LOL

gold, or currency, on the other hand i never got. i mean, unlike in real life sadly, i just never had any issue raising vast sums of coin
 

geekebox

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i once bought something for a game. it was a matty robe for asherons call, costed me like $150

but damn if i didnt enjoy every minute of using it LOL

gold, or currency, on the other hand i never got. i mean, unlike in real life sadly, i just never had any issue raising vast sums of coin
Ive notified kin to slap me in the face really hard if I ever buy something for a game.:banghead:
 

Miikun

Limp Gawd
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Dec 22, 2011
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I always wondered if GMs / Engineers for MMOs would supplement their incomes by exploiting and selling gear on ebay, I mean how would anybody ever find out?
 
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