Grand Theft Auto Online players on PC are reporting corrupted accounts and being locked out of their games due to remote code exploits that are being abused by modders. Rockstar-focused Twitter account Tez2 highlighted the issue at the end of last week, before news of the situation spread onto the GTA Online subreddit. Rockstar Support hasn’t officially acknowledged any potential the exploits have to affect GTA Online players and their accounts, although Tez2 claimed that the company were already aware of what was going on.
“New extreme exploits have appeared allowing cheaters to remotely add/remove/modify your stats and permanently corrupt your account aka ban/delete,” tweeted Tez2. “Avoid playing without a firewall rule or playing at all!” GTA Online players on the game’s subreddit began to call for a mass reporting of the exploits to Rockstar over the weekend. A glance at Rockstar’s Support site shows that players are following through with that call.
“The exploit is partial remote code execution,” Tez2 claimed in another tweet. “Paid mod menus are racing as speak to abuse this to the further extent. This could transform into something much worse to extend beyond a game and affect your PC.” An RCE vulnerability that affected the multiplayer of Dark Souls 3 was discovered last January, and led to Bandai Namco taking down online services for the entire Dark Souls series for months.
Playing GTA Online with a firewall in place, such as Speyedr’s Guardian, could possibly have prevented dodgy sorts from corrupting your game or hardware. Yet Speyedr has taken Guardian down temporarily in the hope that Rockstar can correct the issue. “Download link is removed until the RCE exploit is fixed,” Speyedr said on the Guardian gitlab page. “I don't want beginners using Guardian incorrectly when there's such a huge risk. Mod menus will exploit the hell out of this. Please just take a break.”
Hackers targeted Rockstar in September last year, illegally accessing the company’s network to obtain footage of the in-development next instalment in the Grand Theft Auto series, GTA 6. More than 80 clips from the game made their way around the Internet following the intrusion onto Rockstar’s network. A teenager from the UK was later arrested in connection with the hacking, but pleaded not guilty to a computer misuse charge.