Feeds

GameSpy could let crackers mount network DDoS attacks

Hidden hints and cheats for crackers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Flaws within GameSpy, a popular program that allows game clients to find and connect to game servers, might permit crackers to flood systems with useless packets and tie up processors through DDoS attacks.

The vulnerability, which affects many games across Windows and *nix server platforms, is based upon spoofed UDP requests, as an advisory by security research outfit PivX Solutions (which made public its research yesterday) explains.

Affected applications include Battlefield 1942 Server, Quake, Quake 2, Q3: Arena & Team Arena, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament 2003, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein... and more, according to the alert.

"As a basic rule of thumb, if it supports GameSpy, it will likely be vulnerable," said Mike Kristovich, a security researcher for PivX Solutions, who first identified the vulnerability.

Testing by PivX with Battlefield 1942 Server illustrates the mechanism of the attack and its potential potency, an attacker with a dial up connection might easily disrupt a game servers and prevent access by legitimate gamers (irrespective of whether they use a personal firewall).

"The attack does not only affect the bandwidth of the host and the victim, but it also tends to eat up a nice chunk of memory and CPU power on the server. Also, a side effect seems to be the server losing all its players, either by assuming their connection died or the players dropping the connection due to lag," Kristovich explains.

PivX has published proof of concept code to back up its warning.

Electronic Arts (publisher of many of the games involved) was notified of the problem on November 20, 2002. PivX is yet to receive a response from EA.

Although there isn't yet a fix from GameSpy, PivX says a patch is planned. ®

External Links

Multi-vendor Game Server DDoS Vulnerability, advisory by PivX

Related Stories

Intel Masters games tourney is 'shambles'
Honduras bans Quake etc.
Buffer overflow bug shakes Quake

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.