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  Ando Meritee's Blog
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Hackers and renju databases2008-03-16 18:51:59
The renju hacker

Today, when I was doing a routine check on log files of renju.net, I found out that the number of hits is very strange in some days.

Normally it is around 5000 - 10000 hits per day, but sometimes the hits per day can increase to 20 000 without any serious reason (no specially published attractive info or anything).

The only conclusion is that someone is running a program that is making those queries to renjunet.

For my sadness, during more careful check of logs I discovered that for so many times in the past, some renju fans have hacked the renjunet game system in order to download all the 8000 game records, for composing some self-made database. I never set any limits for loading the games, because I assumed everybody is using the renjunet fairly, using human clicks only. However, some people took advantage of it and kept server busy just to update their illegal renju databases.

Today a Chinese hacker from 221.223.64.36 made over 8000 queries to renjunet, his program was set to make about 1-4 queries per second.

Furthermore, he is very ridiculous, he let the program keep disturbing the server even when all the games were already downloaded.

His program is still trying to collect info from renjunet even now. It is 18:35pm in China now.

What saddens me is the hacker's lack of respect to everyone's hard work who have published games. I hope such guys will be found soon. If they keep doing this again, renjunet will be forced to set the firewall limits to block access from all the users who share same ISP. Also, "thanks to" those hackers, I am forced to spend my time on securing the games show protocol.

About the legal databases

Speaking of the legal methods of downloading databases, very soon there will be an official downloadable database version available. Then everyone in the world can download all the game records of renjunet into their PC together with all the details, such as player names, tournament names, etc. In fact, I discussed this with Frank Arkbo already a year ago, and he implemented the format into his Renlib that will be able to read the database file and convert it into a Renlib format. All the renjunet game records will be available for downloads for non-commercial purposes only.

Anyway, in the near future, I will announce the exact format that renjunet games can be downloaded, and all the programmers can design their own programs for operating with such file. Then, we can publish such programs in renjunet download section as well, and perhaps the best programs will become very popular in the future.

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