This isn’t directly related to Sony, but I’m sure there are many PC gamers reading this blog so I’m assuming this will be useful.
A few hours ago, security researcher Tavis Ormandy revealed that Ubisoft’s DRM system Uplay installs a backdoor on your computer, as a plugin on your browser. Although the backdoor is probably unintentional, it basically allows anyone to run any binary installed on your computer, from any web server, extremely easily. As some users have pointed out on website Hacker News, it is easy to imagine a website forcing your computer into downloading some malicious code through the cmd/ftp commands, then get it to execute the malicious code using exactly the same vulnerability.
The issue is quite big, since the vulnerability was announced only a few hours ago and Ubisoft hadn’t been contacted previously. Therefore the vulnerability is now in the wild, and it might take several days for Ubisoft to take action, more than enough time for black hats to install whatever trojan then want to on victims’ computers. Moreover, it seems any game using the Ubiplay DRM on PC is affected, and several browsers are affected too (Internet explorer of course, but also Firefox and potentially chrome).
among the impacted games are:
Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed: Project Legacy
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Assassin’s Creed III
Beowulf: The Game
Brothers in Arms: Furious 4
Call of Juarez: The Cartel
Driver: San Francisco
Heroes of Might and Magic VI
Just Dance 3
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Shaun White Skateboarding
Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
If you have any of these games installed on your PC, your PC is vulnerable, and it is strongly recommended that you deactivate the Ubiplay plugin in all of your browsers (also, avoid fishy sites, as always! ).
In Firefox, open “about:addons” in the location bar, select “Plugins” on the left, then you can disable/remove as necessary.
Google chrome users: You can go to “about:plugins” and disable this and all other things that might expose you to extra security risks
So here’s a message for all of those who think DRMs are a necessary thing to “protect” the videogame industry: people who downloaded the pirated versions of these games probably don’t have the virus on their computers. Who’s a happy customer now?
Note: I haven’t tested the vulnerability myself, as I don’t own any Ubisoft game on PC.
By the way, the name Tavis Ormandy might ring a bell to some of you, he is a security researcher at Google, and one of the vulnerabilities he found a while ago in the tiff library led to the 2.80 TIFF exploit on the PSP (that was just after the Grand theft auto exploit, for those who remember).