The Rockstar Games-aligned account Tez2 (opens in new tab) recently shared evidence of security vulnerabilities in Grand Theft Auto Online. A number of players have reported that account progress has been reversed and that they have been kicked or prevented from joining games on PC. There is a pinned post on the GTA Online subreddit (opens in new tab) address the issue and bring it to the attention of Rockstar and the developer Speyedr (opens in new tab)who created the custom GTA 5 firewall tool Guardian (opens in new tab)warns that modders using the exploit are on the verge of remotely executing code via GTA Online, meaning hackers could remotely activate malware on PCs running the game.
Tez2 reported (opens in new tab) that Rockstar is aware of the issue and is working on it, and that we have reached out to Rockstar for comment.
The initial exploit, as described by Tez2, allows a modder to take away another user’s rank and in-game funds, reset their account’s progress entirely, or even “corrupt” it in a way that effectively locks them out of online play in a similar manner becomes the old Dark Souls Item Hacks.
A user on Twitter, @bulkboy (opens in new tab), demonstrated being instantly kicked out of their own GTA Online session after unlocking their Guardian firewall. Other, @Fluffball (opens in new tab), showed gameplay from an allegedly “corrupted” account. Every time I connected to GTA Online, the camera zoomed in and just stayed there without connecting to the game.
As a fix for corrupted accounts, said Tez2 (opens in new tab) that deleting the Rockstar Games folder from My Documents and then launching GTA Online should update the profile data. Of course, until there’s an official response from Rockstar, it’s best to avoid GTA Online altogether.
Tez2 describes the exploit as “partial remote code execution” with the potential for further compromised advances by hackers. Guardian creator Speyedr, meanwhile, seems to think GTA Online’s development of full remote code execution is imminent and advises no one to play the game on PC until it’s patched.
Speyedr’s tool, Guardian, could potentially protect against the exploit, but the developer doesn’t want users, especially those who might not know how to use it properly, to take the risk. Speydr has temporarily removed Guardian’s files GitHub (opens in new tab)and encourages players to stay away from GTA Online until the issue is resolved.
The whole situation is very reminiscent of the remote code execution vulnerability that prompted Bandai Namco to shut down the Dark Souls series multiplayer servers (opens in new tab) for over half a year. Similar to Speyedr and Guardian, Dark Souls has the Blue Sentinels security tool, and network-savvy players who discovered and reported the vulnerability spurred Bandai Namco into action. We will continue to release updates on the GTA Online storyline as it develops.
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