Is it safe for me to host a Minecraft server?

Freddy Fairburn August 2, 2011
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A group of friends and I host a Minecraft server in turns. However, some of them are bothered by the fact that hosting a server can expose themselves to virus attacks.

We are connected in a network at Hamachi, and the network is protected with a password. Only real world friends can join his network.

Can someone tell me in a clear and unbiased way the risks of hosting a server? I have been hosting for months and I still haven’t found a virus.

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  1. rocketman29886
    June 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    i am making a SMP server are there ANY dangers to that?

  2. rocketman297
    June 28, 2012 at 4:18 am

    i want to run a simple SMP server on my computer but my friend says it is WAY to risky the thing is just for us and 1 other person is it completely safe... OR NOT!?!?!

  3. Joe
    June 21, 2012 at 12:32 am

    You can get hammachi for linux with haguichi as the front end for free.

  4. Jack
    May 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Hey I was using hamachi before until it changed to limitation of 5 but i have around 6-8 friends who want to play minecraft.. So i set up games and aplication port forwarding on my thompson router... This router has a firewall on it and i use windows firewall and i also have trend micro... Am i safe from hackers?

    • Robert
      June 7, 2012 at 2:19 am

      The only security risk in running a Minecraft server over Hamachi, are the people you invite into the VPN, since Hamachi opens a breach in any firewalls you have implemented. I would suggest placing a firewall between the Hamachi server and the rest of your network. If you are serous about your server's security you could run a Minecraft server through OpenVPN on an SELinux'd box. If you like reading manuals, that is. OpenVPN is also a gaping security hole, so setting up some port restriction policies with SELinux is a good way to plug the holes you don't want filled.

  5. chirsitan
    May 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Hello.
    yea it's dangerous you have to be ready for everything.
    you can get att ddos attack if you don't have hamachi if you have your internet "IP"
    just get a good antivirus program and remember be ready on everything :)
    hope i helped you

  6. James
    May 10, 2012 at 5:35 am

    why wouldn't be safe ?
    there are lots of such minecraft sites , i think http://minecraftflymod.com/ it does the same thing.

  7. Ssssssssssssss
    April 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    you are gay

    • rachel
      April 26, 2012 at 3:29 am

      no...you are lol

  8. J Bird119
    April 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I'm trying to make an minecraft server but I'm worried that people would try to hack my computer though the ip address and destroy my coumputer but what are the odds of that happening to someone?

    • Code360
      April 17, 2012 at 2:56 am

      Do you have a anti-virus and firewall? also do you have a new version of windows?

      • Uliov
        April 18, 2012 at 4:54 am

         Well I am about to attempt to host a server for a small group of friends, 15-20, however even when white-listed and all of what's been mentioned above is taken into consideration (I run windows 7 btw) the problem remains if the hacker can access my computer, my fathers' is on the same network, he runs his buisness from home, my fatehr and I worry and it seems our fears may be realised if I do commit to this, as we will be open to cedit card fraud and so on. It would be much appreciated if someone is able to tell me how to close the risk on his buisness?

        Thankyou in advance,
        Nicho

        • Uliov
          April 18, 2012 at 4:58 am

           sorry, i did not mean to reply to Code360's post it was a general post based on the above discussion

        • ha14
          April 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm

          well that makes two computer to hack, first yours and then your fathers and also hacking server. If for any reasons you fear this then the best is to disconnect the network and have two separate pc. Also you can perhaps establish a certain firewall rules on your fathers pc to deny all incomes from minecraft server. 
          if hackers will be interested in you  then they must have a real  reason. 

        • Oron Joffe
          April 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

          Where there's a PC, there's risk, but if you are using Hamachi and set up port-forwarding on the router properly, then the risk to the server is reasonable (after all, what's a server for?).
          However, to prevent any attack "leaking" to other PCs, I'd suggest keeping the server in a separate workgroup, and set up different accounts (usernames and passwords) than on any other PC in the home. In effect, this would not give the hacker much more access than they would have had without the server.

        • Bruce Epper
          April 19, 2012 at 2:21 am

          Workgroups don't matter.  They do absolutely nothing for security.  They literally are only good for grouping specific machines together for browsing.  It would be a different story if they were using a Windows server with AD or going back to the old NT domain system where they could deny a trust relationship between the domains.

        • Mike
          April 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm

          Here is the simple fact:
          As soon as your computer has internet connectivity you are at risk e.g. for a hacking attack.

          Chances are someone already tries "hacking" your network at least once a week. But those "knock on the doors" are mostly from novice people using "cheap" tools who put in a random IP address which can occasionally be yours.

          As long as you follow the basic guidelines you should be fine.
          - Firewall (in 99% the router acts as one)
          - AntiVirus
          - don't download random files from unsafe sources

          Is running a Minecraft Server a possible risk?
          Well, of course it is. Minecraft allows connections to a local process and since it is running in Java there are probably various ways to exploit it.

          HOWEVER, unless you forward the necessary ports on your firewall (again, probably your router) people other then those on your local network or on Hamachi won't be able to connect to it.

          Since you only want Minecraft to be available via Hamachi
          (1) DON'T forward ports on your firewall, router or anywhere else
          (2) your friends will connect using your Hamachi IP and NOT the public IP you got from your provider.

        • Bruce Epper
          April 19, 2012 at 2:29 am

          Put your server in the DMZ (most routers allow this option) and deny communications originating from the isolated server to the internal network.  If you deny all communications across the DMZ/internal border, you won't be able to play the game, but by denying incoming connections from the DMZ will ensure that even if someone gains control of the game server, they will not be able to use it as a launch pad to gain acess to other machines inside your network (they would be able to launch attacks to other machines on the internet though.

  9. Brandonyoung9066
    April 3, 2012 at 3:03 am

    ok i have a intel windows 7 planing on running a server i have a pretty good virus prevention program am i still at risk if so what is that risk

  10. AdornedDemise
    February 29, 2012 at 1:15 am

    I hosted a server through Hamachi... then I got hacked by some douchebag. I have no idea how... but then again, I was somewhat stupid when it came to Hamachi so... it was probably just me ^^"
    But now I dont' use hamachi. So I resorted to "Bukkit"
    and I'm still trying to figure it out.

  11. I3roser
    February 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    hamachi doesnt work on linux??? i have it running on my linux system and i can join other (windows servers) the linux hamachi is in terminal so its hard to use but it is possible

  12. Guest
    February 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Actually, no. My computer almost crashed yesterday. And guess what, it WAS the Minecraft Server. Now I cannot play Minecraft. I am too afraid that it will destroy my computer.

    • BFHfun
      June 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Just playing minecraft can't harm your computer, only if you host a server

  13. Bananaofapple
    January 13, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Yeah, i've been having the same problem. I want to run a server, but im afraid that it will open up ,my computer to others.

  14. JOe Momma!
    November 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Makeing a server is safe just watch for suspicious activity on your computer. downloading something like kaperski can help alot that and norton, moniter ports not as much as the other by the way "THE Minecraft Freak" is right there is a firewall on your port but this is the answer.
    1.use hamachi if you and your friend are just playing because if you think he is hacking i think you can kick him from the network
    2. if you are doing like a server on your laptop for fun just port forward but make it under 150-200 people AND DONT TAKE OFF YOUR FIREWALL!!!!!!!

  15. THE Minecraft Freak!
    November 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    you can check easy just go to cmd on your start button search and type ipconfig and on the top where ph4 or whatever and it will tell you  ex 55.55.555.019 and you use the 019 to put on your port. But i agree with jeff hackers cant use the ip to do anything and if they were a good hacker you'd have to rely on the protection of the port and the port also has a firewall i know because to let alot of people join(over 200) you need to take it off or you game will lagg like hell or crash. just sayin hope it helps!

  16. zeel trillin
    November 12, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Your using hamachi though, which is a VPN. Thus you should be secure.

  17. Jeffery Fabish
    August 3, 2011 at 1:40 am

    @Freddy

    I've never ran a server in Windows, to be honest never even thought too. It's too bloated and hasn't ever had a good security reputation. If you're looking for security, a Linux server is your best bet.

    I don't know about Minecraft, but if what "ha14" said is true, I suppose the vulnerabilities will most likely be exploited in the server software itself, rather than the operating system...In which case it doesn't really matter which operating system you use, if the server software is vulnerable (similar to apache web server). 

    LogMeIn Hamachi does run natively on Linux. 

    However glancing over ha14's comment, I have to say that you shouldn't worry about exposing your IP, that can be obtained easy. A hacker can't do anything with an IP (okay he can DOS it), a good hacker is looking for vulnerabilities to exploit on the network, such as open ports (that he can probe and get headers) or vulnerable software. You're never "secure", because you're never finished securing. It's a full-time job.

    While we are talking about IP addresses, you'll need to get a static IP (one that doesn't change) or else your users may be confused and unable to connect when it changes. Again, i'm not familiar with Minecraft but to connect to a server you'll need an IP, if that changes you'll need to go scowling forums in search for the updated one.

  18. Anonymous
    August 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Here is a guide installing 
    http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Setting_up_a_server

    Crackers can gain your ip from anywhere (irc, URL or minecraft server etc) If they knew your IP they might be able to.  MineCraft will never tells peoples your IP unless Minecraft server itself is attacked.

    Running a server does not harm your computer. it opens a very specific angle of attack that someone could use, and only if they were targeting a Minecraft server on Java on whatever operating system you have.

    the IP address of your computer in the context of your home network (LAN IP) is different from the IP address the rest of the world sees (WAN IP).if you run a server of anything, people trying to connect to it will also hit your router instead.This is where port forwarding comes in. HTTP is on port 80, so any packet tagged with port 80 will be sent to a web server application at the destination. If you ran a web server behind your router, you could tell the router to forward port 80 to the server; any packets coming to the WAN IP and the router tagged with 80 would be sent along to your server. So, to run a server behind a router, you have to forward the port.If you forward port 80 on your router to your computer, great, your computer will get any HTTP requests. But, if you are not running a server that listens to port 80, your computer doesn't care what's in that packet; it gets rid of it.

    There must be some program listening to a port for any cracker to "break in" to your computer,.if you run a Minecraft server on your computer, you forward the ports, and you give people your WAN IP to connect to. Breaking to you by crackers then this relies entirely on the security of the Minecraft server. If there's a vulnerability in the server program (which is listening on that port), then sure, someone could exploit it and reaches you.

  19. Jeffery Fabish
    August 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    "Virus Attacks" on a server? How insecure is it? In order to obtain a virus, the server would have to be downloading & executing software, which is not it's primary role. 

    Run a Linux Distribution as the host operating system, such as Gentoo, Slackware or Debian. If you install a Linux distribution I can coach you into securing it however theres not much to it after installing Apache, Mysql and PHP. That's Linux for you though, security right out of the box. 

    The true "risks" of running a server is jeopardizing your Internet connection. What I mean is that while your server is running, x amount of gamers are constantly downloading from your server so you're going to see a significant drop in bandwidth availability, which means a slower connection for you.

    Other than that, it's all positives. You have complete control over the server, no payments, no throttling, no nagging hosts, etc. 

    Have a centralized system that manages the server on a Linux distribution. After you install and configure the required software simply don't tamper with it, remember its main function is to host the game server, not browse the web. This applies to any operating system really, but Windows (nor the server spinoff) seem to me like a viable solution to your server demands. 

    Hope it helps,
    Jeff

    • Freddy Fairburn
      August 3, 2011 at 12:16 am

      Unfortunately Hamachi doesn't work in Linux, so I have to use Windows (7). Is the risk much greater?

      • SAVEorDIE
        March 12, 2012 at 12:15 am

        you don't need hamachi with a linux server

        • Scripter
          May 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

          There is all ways a risk for any thing you do online but it is normally small. Hosting a server with just your friends holds no risk unless one of your friends is a hacker.

          But a public server is a different matter. I don't know to much about server connections and the risks but I can say to not have any personal information (credit card,bank info,ect) on your computer when hosting a large amount of unknown people.

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