Feeds

GameSpy could let crackers mount network DDoS attacks

Hidden hints and cheats for crackers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.