Attackers can reportedly use a bug in the Uplay browser plugin from game publisher Ubisoft to run arbitrary code on the gamerâ€™s PC.
Image credit: Ubisoft
The exploit was discovered by programmer Tavis Ormandy, a Google employee who successfully leveraged the bug in the browser plugin shipped with UPlay (a component that installs along with Ubisoftâ€™s most recent gaming titles).
By simply pointing the browser equipped with the Uplay plugin to a special web page, an attacker can run malware on the userâ€™s PC without any further notification or interaction. This is the exploitation of a feature designed to launch games from an embedded browser control used in a way game creators did not anticipate.
“While on vacation recently I bought a video game called Assassin’s Creed Revelations. I didn’t have much of a chance to play it, but it seems fun so far,â€ wrote Ormandy on a security-related mailing list, as quoted by the BBC. “However, I noticed the installation procedure creates a browser plug-in for its accompanying Uplay launcher, which grants unexpectedly (at least to me) wide access to websites.“
Uninstalling the browser add-on will mitigate the issue, but will result in the loss of achievement and trophies. The game maker has already issued an emergency update for UPlay that also prevents the bug.
â€œWe have just released a new patch for Uplay PC, which will update your client to version 2.0.4. This patch corrects a flaw in the browser plug-in that was brought to our attention earlier today,â€ wrote Ubisoft on the official forum.
The bug affects extremely popular gaming titles such as the Assassinâ€™s Creed series, Brothers In Arms, Call of Juarez, Driver: San Francisco, or Heroes of Might and Magic VI, among others.