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Nightmare Before Christmas: Hacking Roundup

9 December 2021

Despite the holidays arriving around the corner, the world of cybersecurity remains in constant upheaval. To keep your business safe and up to date, it is critical to remain updated with our newest hacking roundup and understand how to stay safe from such harmful assaults.

The struggle between hacker collectives and security systems designed to prevent such assaults is intensifying, therefore we thought it was important to keep you informed about what could be endangering your business and how to avoid future attacks in our latest hacking roundup.

PS5 attacks

Sony’s latest juggernaut console, the PlayStation 5, has proven to be one of the most successful consoles to ever launch. Making history by surpassing the Nintendo Switch in 2021, over 10 million consoles were sold in their first year on the market. This next-gen gaming console has proven to be truly extraordinary, with stock being continuously sold out in the run-up to Christmas.

However, it’s not all bells and whistles on Sony’s sleigh, as the console has faced numerous attacks from hackers over the past few weeks. The notorious hacking group, FailOverFlow, who had also hacked the PS3 several years prior, recently tweeted that they had exploited the PS5 ‘Root Keys’. With the root keys in hand, users might attempt to reverse-engineer the console's software, allowing exploits to execute and unsigned (and illegal) programs to run.

According to computer security expert Bruce Schneier, the hackers intended the PlayStation 5 to work in the same way as emulators and unlicensed games. He added that the hackers might begin a reverse-engineering process utilizing FailOverFlow's keys to control the console's complete program. This would be the start of a series of hacking attacks for the gang.

Halo Infinite Hacks

Meanwhile, over at rival company Microsoft, the widely popular Halo Infinite launched a few weeks ago, with the core gameplay receiving a highly positive reception. However, like with other free-to-play games, the game is already having severe hacking concerns, particularly in ranked play. Many people, including pros and influencers, are concerned about the future of Halo Infinite's ranked playlist due to the increase in hackers.

In the game, the most serious hacking occurs in higher-level Onyx battles. Over the last several days, a wide number of professional gamers and well-known content creators have reported routinely getting into games with hackers. Even more so, the lack of an anti-cheat, and more importantly the lack of server-side security controls, is allowing the menace to spread, and with no option to disable cross-play on Xbox, players aren't happy.

Halo Infinite campaign will officially launch on December 8th for the PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S and will be free to all Xbox Game Pass subscribers. The multiplayer is currently free on console and PC.

Call of Duty

We previously reported on Call of Duty Warzone in our August roundup, and how they faced over 300,000 cheater bans but they continuously had problems with their anti-cheat and server authoritative systems not working up to the tasks. It seems that the game has continuously faced issues over the past few weeks, with numerous players reporting that there is now ‘more hackers than ever’ abusing the game. Many believe this increase might be because there has been a new anti-cheat titled RICOCHET introduced for the new battle map “Vanguard" and these hackers ‘want to get it out of their system’. With the knowledge that anti-cheat is just an additional client-side "security" layer, hackers know this doesn't ensure any protection against cheating or hacking. Hackers see it as a challenge to bypass these client authoritative measures because it's a new technology.

It remains to be seen if this new kernel-level anti-cheat software will be successful or not in the lead up to the game's release, but one thing is for certain is that it will be welcomed with open arms. Cheaters have been using modifications that give them extremely perfect aim and allow them to see past walls to hunt down unsuspecting gamers for over a year.

Players have been wary since a recent tweet stated the software's source code had been leaked, claiming that the new software would help prevent the usage of such tricks.

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