View Full Version : Half Life 2 source code leaked!

03-10-2003, 03:24 PM
No, this is not a mistake. THE SOURCE CODE FOR HALF LIFE 2 has been leaked onto the internet. This is not the SDK code used to make mods (aka counterstrike) but the "pay Valve one million dollars to use the engine" code.

This has made me very sick, this game hasn't even been released, and this code is incredibly important to Valve, its several years of work, now for the world to see. I've been unable to locate a source to download it yet though, but that'll only be a matter of time knowing the internet

This code has been confirmed by Gabe Newell of the Half Life 2 team:

Ever have one of those weeks? This has just not been the best couple of days for me or for Valve.
Yes, the source code that has been posted is the HL-2 source code.
Here is what we know:
1) Starting around 9/11 of this year, someone other than me was accessing my email account. This has been determined by looking at traffic on our email server versus my travel schedule.
2) Shortly afterwards my machine started acting weird (right-clicking on executables would crash explorer). I was unable to find a virus or trojan on my machine, I reformatted my hard drive, and reinstalled.
3) For the next week, there appears to have been suspicious activity on my webmail account.
4) Around 9/19 someone made a copy of the HL-2 source tree.
5) At some point, keystroke recorders got installed on several machines at Valve. Our speculation is that these were done via a buffer overflow in Outlook's preview pane. This recorder is apparently a customized version of RemoteAnywhere created to infect Valve (at least it hasn't been seen anywhere else, and isn't detected by normal virus scanning tools).
6) Periodically for the last year we've been the subject of a variety of denial of service attacks targetted at our webservers and at Steam. We don't know if these are related or independent.

Well, this sucks.
What I'd appreciate is the assistance of the community in tracking this down. I have a special email address for people to send information to, helpvalve@valvesoftware.com. If you have information about the denial of service attacks or the infiltration of our network, please send the details. There are some pretty obvious places to start with the posts and records in IRC, so if you can point us in the right direction, that would be great.
We at Valve have always thought of ourselves as being part of a community, and I can't imagine a better group of people to help us take care of these problems than this community.


Wow, i never thought this sort of thing would happen!

- David

03-10-2003, 04:47 PM
It wont be on google, information takes around a week IIRC to get submitted.
Anyways, it's not that fast.

Apparently its been found on IRC channels, and is 39MB big. They also reakon they've got a photo of some guy who either nicked the code, or knows who did.

Its a sad state... Im with all those others who hope nothing comes of it, and that they dont delay releasing the game any more because of it!

Personally.. Im looking to download the Doom 3 Multiplayer Demo!!

03-10-2003, 04:53 PM
What does this say about the email client that was being used?

03-10-2003, 05:05 PM
Its probably on the bittorrent or filesharing networks already. I can check it out if you want?

As for sending important stuff via email, well thats what you get for not using encryption :o

Graham L
03-10-2003, 05:11 PM
It doesn't look as if he was sending important stuff with email; his system was broken into through buggy email software.

But it's stupid to have his development systems connected to the Internet. If the stuff is that valuable to the company they should have their development machines on an internet which has NO outside connections.

03-10-2003, 06:04 PM
Oh, I agree.. I personally would go to the effort of creating a private LAN between those PC's and have no other connections to the outside world, or other LAN's etc!

Stuff like that just isnt worth it!

03-10-2003, 07:41 PM
OR could this whole thing be a hoax to get the community excited that something realting to HL2 has been released?A fake feeling of anticipation maybe? I dunno, seems realy rare to find such an anticipated game's source code leaked, but, then again it is Half Life 2: the sequel to a game that many people still play even now and has topped game charts numerous times.

03-10-2003, 09:01 PM
The only thing it shows is that Valve did not have good policies. Anyone concerned about security in Outlook (or Outlook Express) should disable the Preview Pane.

They should also have decent analysis of their emails by the mail server.

04-10-2003, 03:19 AM
But are source codes openly left on computers like that? So anyone with access to the comp had access to the source code? i always thought the source code was kept on 4 diff comps locked up in a room with a door similar to that of a safe and reinforced soundproof walls.:D

04-10-2003, 03:23 AM
so what could the guy who stole the code actually do with it?


04-10-2003, 03:29 AM
> so what could the guy who stole the code actually do
> with it?

If he has the code, doesnt that mean he can re-write the game with his own console and shell kernal? then he can make his own versions or produce versions that have virus's in them or things to that extent? i always thought that they woudl do things like this for their own personal benefit or to create havock amongst others.

04-10-2003, 08:11 AM
As DangerousDave said, they could now sell it to other game developers (which would be stupid, because honest developers would then report that to Valve) or develop their own games using the game engine.

Somehow I doubt that this is a hoax, because if it is, Valve will have made a lot of news reporters look rather stupid.

Greg S
04-10-2003, 08:54 AM
Sounds like a hoax to me. Either that or they're getting even stupider to make a public fuss about something you'd expect them to try and cover up

04-10-2003, 09:29 AM
Yes, the goddam preview pane, not is it only annoying but it is unsecure and it will open up spam and probably show you images you don't want to see

04-10-2003, 09:30 AM
The leak has been CONFIRMED by Gabe Newell. Although Game Developers may not use the engine, they may steal 'ideas' from the code in which they use in the code.... the sort of things they would previously only be able to do if they bought the engine for a large amount of money


Another problem is crackers who are willing to use the code to make cheat programs which are impossible to detect etc etc, as since they know how the program works, they can easily make programs which fit into the code with little detection.

Someone with the code basically said it was really just spoilers for the game. So maybe not much is being missed out on.

04-10-2003, 11:00 AM
Cant believe people are still using Outlook/Outlook Express with all the security problems these programs have!!
Please people use something else!!!!
Foxmail springs to mind.

04-10-2003, 11:09 AM
or even Mozilla Thunderbird :)

04-10-2003, 11:39 AM
Ahhh great...so half life 2 will be plagued by thousands of cheaters as well. Stupid newbies..

04-10-2003, 11:51 AM
Theoretically it barely makes any difference seeing as the code will be under copyright and any company which brought out a game using it would be find themselves crushed by a lawsuit pretty quickly. It will help other developers get ideas from their engine though. Will also aid in the porting of the game to other platforms.

Anyone else think it's good that they are being so honest about how it all happened?

04-10-2003, 12:53 PM
i agree JM it is good the see a company admit how the screwed up :)

Im not that big-a-fan of HL because i play Q2 but its still a interesting game to play :D

04-10-2003, 12:53 PM
> Ahhh great...so half life 2 will be plagued by
> thousands of cheaters as well. Stupid newbies..

I thought webservers always picked up on cheaters and banned them from the game.

04-10-2003, 01:58 PM
> Another problem is crackers who are willing to use the code to make cheat programs which are impossible to detect etc etc, as since they know how the program works, they can easily make programs which fit into the code with little detection.

Even with Cheating-Death for CStrike you can get the odd cheaters. With the release of the source code, nothing can stop them :-| Unless the cheater is being stupid and cheating while someone is watching.

04-10-2003, 05:23 PM
But how do they make their own cheats for the game? Do they vary the coding in the released source code or something?

04-10-2003, 08:13 PM
I feel that this is going to stick in the game dev industry for a very, very long time. I mean, when was the last time the source code for an upcoming major game was released to the world! Never in my memory....

- David
p.s. I don't think Valve would be able to sue m$, i mean for sure, some where in those terms and conditions they must disown any liability etc etc. Just goes to show, m$ owns all of us :D

p.p.s. anyone find the link between Valve and leak ;)

06-10-2003, 12:54 PM

They don't alter the released source code. They read it, find it's anti-cheating technique and they beat it (writing programs to work with the software to help them cheat), which is easy as they have the source (power).

If you think you are lucky and can get the source it's on many p2p filesharing programs... just find hl2_src.rar.

07-10-2003, 12:45 PM
The biggest problem with this is that the source code apparently includes all Valve's new anti-cheat code. So the cheaters will start developing cheats for the game now, before it is even released.

The practical effect is likely to be that with that code "in the wild" Valve will have to redo the anti-cheat code, and that will most likely result in game further delays in the ship date.

08-10-2003, 10:25 AM
Well aint that a case of hitting the nail ont he head. Vivendi Universal have announced the game has slipped to April 2004 as a direct result of the code being stolen. Valve, as yet has not commented.


08-10-2003, 01:36 PM

guess it will give me longer to save up for new graphics card...

- David

08-10-2003, 02:27 PM

I guess you're right... Just make sure its got enough grunt to run Doom 3 also.. There's a Multiplayer Demo circulating round the place....! Its not an official release, but it was the one used to demo at that LAN fest in the US IIRC.. I believe its mentioned in the PCW this month?

08-10-2003, 04:24 PM
Not sure on that, but what I heard was that the unofficial release of Doom 3 was due to source code being leaked.

So perhaps the Half-Life 2 source leak isn't the only case in the game development industry.

08-10-2003, 05:07 PM
Incase you all havent noticed the source code has been complied and released onto the warez "scene"...full working copies of the alpa code are popping up all over the internet.

and i have to say,The screenshots ive seen look damn sweet.

08-10-2003, 09:50 PM
Since Valve was on record saying that the leaked code included NONE of the game artwork - that's no textures - I don't see how there are compiled Alphas floating around that show much of anything.

08-10-2003, 10:25 PM
I think you can compile it to get to see the menus etc. But maybe they could've ported some of the models/ textures in from somewhere else. It won't be much use to 99% of users, but its certainly interesting to have a look at. I mean where else can you look at a state of the art game engine?

08-10-2003, 10:28 PM
Answers to all your discussions can be found under:

08-10-2003, 10:29 PM
> Since Valve was on record saying that the leaked code
> included NONE of the game artwork - that's no
> textures - I don't see how there are compiled Alphas
> floating around that show much of anything.


Good to see you just refuted what i said without actually looking into the issue at all,I supose Valve's denial outweigh all the obvious exsitence of the files all over the internet?

Perhaps at the very least you could visit the forums at gamespot and see the thread put there by the mods stating that any talk or screenshots of the alpha build will result in a ban.

oh wait,Valve stated NONE of the art work or textures where taken.

Guess its mass delusions caused by the alignment of the planets in some other universe...or something...

08-10-2003, 10:42 PM
Couple screenshots(not mine btw,i dont agree with the stealing or sharing of these files in anyway whatsoever)




I would think its obvious looking at those that they managed to steal far more then what Valve have admitted.

08-10-2003, 10:47 PM

09-10-2003, 07:27 AM
Apparently the Beta version has been released... which shouldn't have happened *again*. This would've been taken with the source code, so I figure that they didn't bother sticking the levels/models with the code for size reasons. I havn't seen anywhere yet where you can download it... and i've heard that there are a lot of .rar and .zip files made to look like the Hl2 source or beta but it is actually pr0n...

btw for those who are interested, the source code contains (apparently):
Steam Anti Cheat Program
Half Life 1
Half Life 2 (of course)
Counter Strike
Team Fortress 1
Team Fortress 2

Crazy, i'm sure this is going to send cheat programmers crazy unless Valve rewrites the network code, which would be a huge job....

- David

09-10-2003, 07:37 AM
Doom 3 Alpha version was leaked, It was rumoured to be leaked by ATi who was using it for driver testing... John Carmack programs on a Unix machine i believe (maybe linux), and wouldn't be stupid enough to let the code leave the building, electronically or other wise. Apparently the alpha version was crap anyways, but if HL2 was going to be ready for Christmas... then the beta version leaked would be the almost finished version. Uh Oh.

The source code for HL2, needs the AMD/Intel Processing pack, so currently you would get 1 error and 2048 warnings or something... CS works fine, or so i'm told, (but .exe has to be shoved in cs dir) so plenty of fun with gun power variables etc etc ;).

- David

09-10-2003, 08:26 AM
I suppose you have to compile each individual source file? That would take ages. Could you compile the whole directory somehow?

09-10-2003, 09:31 AM
>Good to see you just refuted what i said without actually looking into the issue at all,I supose Valve's denial outweigh all the obvious exsitence of the files all over the internet?

As noted above, a Beta version has also been leaked. I didn't see how an "alpha" could have been generated from the source code stolen and I was correct. Don't get on my case for asking the obvious question based on what had been said by Valve. Why should I choose to doubt what they've said about the leaks to date?

09-10-2003, 10:04 AM
hmmmm......I cant see what your 'correct' about,Far more was taken the valve admitted,Their statements so far i would call putting a spin on it,or maybe damage control,or just lieing.

Which doesn't really matter either way seeing as they are the ones getting stung by these events.

As to the release,It includes 20 odd levels and to my knowledge is a stand alone application,featuring artwork,models,textures and has been released as Half Life 2 *ALPHA* by the very same person who released the source code,and if rumour is true he has told valve to aknowledge the full amout he stole or he will continue to release more and more of the goodies.

09-10-2003, 10:34 AM
Well, I hope one thing we can agree on is that the person concerned is a grade A pratt. Questions of Valve's slackness in allowing the security breach aside, all this moron is has succeeded in doing is riuning the launch of a much anticipated game. Just because you can do a thing, doens't mean you should.

09-10-2003, 11:31 AM
Yes, I totally agree, The thievery and rampant ignoring of people's rights on the internet sickens me at times, Whether its theft of product, viruses being distributed or the adult material finding its way into peoples email boxes.

The internet is fast becoming something to be avoided due to the rampant illegal/poor behaviour of those that care for nothing but profit or some twisted sense of glory.

09-10-2003, 03:06 PM
Good round up of the events in this article at CNN Money (http://money.cnn.com/2003/10/07/commentary/game_over/column_gaming/index.htm?cnn=yes). Interesting to note the comment that Valve and id, as strong independants, usually get to decide when their games ship, not the publisher. Valve is still refusing to comment or confirm the game is delayed, and Vivendi appears to have issued some comments indicating that their earlier statement about a delay till April 2004 might not be the final word. The weirdest thing in this saga is the ongoing conflicting messages being sent out by Valve and Vivendi. They haven't seemed to be reading talking from the same page for months.

09-10-2003, 04:07 PM
WELL.. have a look at these articles. Looks like hl2 is shipping in one form another as a singleplayer game with the ati 9800xt card due out soon.



Personally... I dont like the idea of bein online as steam is downloading the levels as I play it.... eating into my donwloads for the month. If I was gonna pay for HL2, it should be the whole game I get... not a half ass version. Imagine the poor souls on 56k using steam

09-10-2003, 10:06 PM
I doubt Steam will pick up in NZ (considering NZ's digusting bandwidth). Anyways, rather than spending hours (aka days) on the net downloading 1 or 2 CD's, why not go and buy it for a few more dollars?

- David

p.s. I think the guy that hacked Valve had something to do with programming the OGC cheat program for counter strike. I think he is a very smart cookie and knew what he was doing.

09-10-2003, 11:12 PM
Well wow, from this thread, it sounds like a lot of information has been collected on the responsible party/parties.

09-10-2003, 11:23 PM
Can you explain the OCG cheat program?

10-10-2003, 07:34 AM
OGC is one of the most hated programs within the Counter-Strike community, or so i've been told. Basically what it does is it creates a little menu in the game where you can select aim bots (instant headshots), see through walls, change colours of characters, etc etc. Giving people who use it an unfair advantage *obviously ;)*

- David

10-10-2003, 09:59 AM
What is a source code.WHat is it mean by source code of this game leaked.Knowing the code of a game !!How do they use it to release the game?I don't understad the term source code.its a code.IF u were to say stolen the fullversion of the makes sense.
Anyone explain to me please!!!

10-10-2003, 10:02 AM
I actually read yesterday's newspaper about the source code leaked.They manage to hack into their system.Haven't found the person responsible yet.Half life production company didn't say how will it affect the release of the game.
What do u think will happen?How will it affect the released version?

10-10-2003, 02:15 PM

Source Code is not a program, it's the procedure (step by step commands) set out in the specific language (C/C++, ASM, Java, etc) to tell the compiler (translator from human easy to read language to machine language) what to do with the code.

The source code being leaked, is the code being let lose on the internet, it contains the actual procedure required to build the game's binary so machines can run it, if you read the procedure then you can tell exactly how the game is going to work. e.g. You may have something like draw a line here, and when compiled the program draws a line where it was told to draw it.

To know the code you need to understand the language it was written in, and the person who possibly took it, knows a lot of languages or knows people who would be able to read it.

The source code maybe the full version, e.g. it contained everything required to build a complete binary of the program and have the ability to be able to run it. Although Full Version is misleading but it's just to explain the differences between trial/demo/beta etc... meaning a program that isn't limited is considered a full version.

10-10-2003, 02:25 PM
>What do u think will happen?How will it affect the released version?

I believe one of the biggest fears is now some people know how the game is coded they will be able to make cheats with ease,Something which Valve will be very upset about,Also rival companies will be able to learn every technique Valve came up with to build the game.

As for code,right click any web page and click view source,that will show you the code written to generate the webpage,the same pricipal applies to games,although the langauage and coding will be complety different.

Anyone know what a game like halflife would be coded in?

10-10-2003, 04:30 PM
My understanding was that Half-Life 2 uses C++.

Anyway, the effects of the source code being stolen are pretty devastating. I do not believe the press release Valve made that one third of the source was taken. Why? Because the textures used to make a compiled version of the game do not look like they were created in a rush to build a beta. I, like some others, think that Valve is not admitting the full extent of the damage done.

Perhaps the parties responsible in stealing the code will seriously release much more if Valve don't admit the truth.

13-10-2003, 11:44 AM
But i believe that every game that released can be cheated.Right?
I mean no matter how good a game is leaked or not leaked there will be people who can write or creator a cheat program for the game.!!!

13-10-2003, 02:25 PM
A cheat can be created for any game, and Valve are doing their best to counter every cheat, the ones they can't always beat are the private hacks that developers create and only they use it. Cheats that are always beaten are the ones that are widely available on the net.

13-10-2003, 02:36 PM
The source code only contains spoilers for the game... unless you really know what your talking about (or in this case reading) its nothing but that...

- David