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Hacking exploit pops up for Bethesda’s Skyrim and Fallout

A way in to the way out
Mon May 13 2013, 16:00

A SECURITY RESEARCHER has posted details of a hacking exploit that can get you into games including Skyrim and Fallout 3.

Researcher Joe Giron describes himself on his blog by saying, "I'm 25, I'm a Linux admin, and I like to break things. Software mostly."

There isn't much to exploit in terms of security here, but what we do have is a longstanding vulnerability that affects a swathe of games.

"I found a format string vulnerability in Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, and the latest game Skyrim," he wrote.

"And it's also not just The Elder Scrolls games that are affected. Since Bethesda produced The Elder Scrolls games, its worth mentioning that other games produced by this company are vulnerable to this same attack. I'm of course talking about Fallout 3 and its counterpart, Fallout New Vegas."

The scripting vulnerability dates back to at least 2001, which is when Morrowind was released. We have asked Bethesda to comment, but so far it has stayed mute.

Giron has posted up proof of the exploit in action, showing how a simple command key can kick off crashes in a range of Bethesda games.

"I'm certain the same vulnerability lies in Fallout 3 and Oblivion however I was too lazy to install to show you all, but you get the idea. Same vulnerable scripting module," he added.

"So far, the only feasible way to exploit the game I've come up with is by some sort of hand crafted mod or plugin for the game as that would have access to the scripting console on which the vulnerabilities lie. That said, it would be difficult to exploit in the wild also do in part to the video games having no network capability." µ


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