Researchers find vulnerability in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Luigi Auriemma and Donato Ferrante of ReVuln also showed a vulnerability in the CryEngine 3 gaming platform

Researchers have found a serious vulnerability in the game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," and another in the CryEngine 3 graphics platform on which many games run.

Luigi Auriemma and Donato Ferrante of security consultancy ReVuln presented their findings at the Power of Community (POC2012) security conference in Seoul on Friday.

Vulnerabilities in games pose particular opportunities for hackers and even other gamemakers, who may be interested in trying to steal a competitor's players, Ferrante said. Shutting down a competing game could be particularly lucrative for another gaming company.

"This is something we have seen," Ferrante said. "We have a lot of companies that ask for these kinds of denial-of-service attacks to attack competitors. This is really a big concern for companies."

The first problem the pair presented is a denial-of-service vulnerability in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, made by Activision. Auriemma showed in a video how the server administrator received a warning when he remotely crashed the server running the game.

Auriemma masked some details in his presentation so as to not give too much information away, but he and Ferrante are planning to release advisories on the two vulnerabilities next Tuesday, the launch day for "Black Ops II," the latest game in the Call of Duty series. Ferrante said they are willing to work with Activision but aren't going to volunteer the information, since their research is part of their business.

The second problem relates to CryEngine 3, a graphics engine developed by Crytek for use in its own and other companies' games.

Auriemma's demonstration showed an attack on CryEngine 3 within the game Nexuiz. The attack, at the server level, enabled him to create a remote shell on a game-player's computer.

In the demonstration, Auriemma caused a graphic of cat riding a rocket to be displayed on the victim's computer.

"Once you get access to the server, which is basically the interface with the company, you can get access to all of the information on the players through the server," Ferrante said.

In general, game companies don't seem to be very focused on security but rather on performance of the game itself, Ferrante said. Adding security checks can slow down games, and if the companies don't deem the problem a very critical issue, it will usually be ignored.

"These are games that have a very large market," Auriemma said.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags game softwareReVulnsecurityPC-based gamesgamesExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?