technology

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Online Has a Serious Security Bug for PC Users

Photo: Sergey Elagin (Shutterstock)

Reports indicate that a bug in Grand Theft Auto V Online is putting PC gamers’ gameplay—and even, potentially, hardware—at risk.

The bug is allegedly permitted cheaters and modders to hijacks, edit, or corrupt PC gamers account information. Some players report having all of their gameplay and account data erased, while others have said that their in-game currency has been stolen. Worse, the bug allegedly allows for “partial remote code execution,” which could allow malicious users to edit players’ PC files. While GTA’s publisher, Rockstar Games, hasn’t officially commented on the situation yet, many commentators have encouraged PC players to refrain from playing the game until we all have a better picture of what’s going on.

News of the troubles first started popping up in various pockets of the internet over the weekend, with one particular observer, the twitter account. Tez2 (which regularly updates about Rockstar news), posting extensively about the exploit. Complaints also exploded in Rockstar’s official support forums.

“Gta online on pc is currently unplayable due to severe exploits, this needs to be fixed,” one user posted.

“Scared to play online,” another commented. “Please fix this rockstar, I really like this game.”

Another merely said: “GET YOUR *** TOGETHER ROCKSTAR!”

Meanwhile, a subreddit devoted to the game has called for players to avoid the game until further notice. “As we’ve learned it is not safe to play the game on PC right now due to a very dangerous exploit that has just come to light,” reads a pinned post shared in the subreddit. “We need to mass-report this to Rockstar so they can’t ignore it.”

On the same subreddit, users have expressed frustration that Rockstar hasn’t addressed—or even confirmed—the security issue yet: “Absolutely the most unforgivable element of this. R* is more concerned with bad press than telling people the extent to which their game has been breached and what danger it poses to their personal information.” commented one user. “It really makes me think the worst, if they can’t even come out and say X is safe for now.”

Tez2which has been monitoring the situation, has written that “Rockstar is aware [of the problem] and have been logging any affected account before the first mod menu started abusing the new exploits.” However, the company itself hasn’t published an official statement on the issue yet.

BleepingComputer has reported that the vulnerability associated with the exploit has already accrued an official CVE designation and is being tracked as CVE-2023-24059. The CVE describes the bug as allowing a hacker to “achieve partial remote code execution or modify files on a PC.” There aren’t a whole lot of details available about how the exploit is supposed to work, however.

Gizmodo reached out to Rockstar for comment on the apparent security problems but have not heard back. We will update this story if they respond.

If the bug does turn out to be real, it would be far from the first bit of security trouble that Rockstar has been through lately. Last year, a cybercriminal managed to compromise the gaming giant’s systems and proceeded to (and later leak) source code steal to the upcoming GTA 6.

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