Update (09/09/21, 02:19 AM ET) - Respawn Entertainment has provided another update on the Titanfall 2 exploit. Fortunately, it does not appear to be as severe as some had thought.
"An Update: We’re still investigating this issue but our engineers believe that we’re dealing with a simple exploit that can be used to crash games," read a tweet from the game's official account. "We do not believe there are any more serious risks to affected players or their machines. We’ll update again as we learn more."
Update (09/08/21, 9:06 PM ET) - Respawn Entertainment has stated that it is investigating the reported Titanfall 2 exploit via the company's official Twitter account.
"We are aware of reports of a security vulnerability affecting Titanfall 2 and are investigating," read the tweet. "We have no other information to share at the moment but will update once we do."
Take care to note that Respawwn Entertainment has said that it is investigating the reports about this exploit - this is not a confirmation that the exploit has been confirmed just yet.
Our original story continues below.
A Titanfall 2 exploit has been discovered which could prove to be a serious problem for players of the game: a recent report indicates that this exploit could be used to run malicious code on your PC.
The last few months have been pretty rough for the Titanfall and Titanfall 2 community. A free weekend that took place earlier this year brought a fair amount of players back to the game, but it also brought attention to a serious problem with DDOS attacks and hackers. This was most recently demonstrated with the DDOS attacks expanding to PS4 and Xbox back in July (and thankfully ending less than a week later).
Since then, things have been relatively quiet within the Titanfall community. That is, until today - the head of one of the largest Titanfall fan communities has reported that an exploit has been discovered which could be used by a hacker to execute malicious code on your PC.
Why This Titanfall 2 Exploit Could Be a Huge Problem
The Titanfall 2 exploit was detailed by DirectXeon of the NoSkill Community, the same group of people behind the Save Titanfall project who we profiled earlier this year. DirectXeon advised that gamers should avoid playing the game for the moment. He added to the warning with a short description of the problem written by @wanderer, a member of the same community:
The temporary buffer that titanfall uses for game invites has a size cap. If the decoded username of the person who invited you is larger than that size cap, it'll start overwriting random memory to store the name. Once it gets outside of that specific temporary buffer, though, your PC starts treating it as executable code instead of a username. And because that is directly on your computer, it could potentially run any program, including malware, on your computer.
This description sounds an awful lot like a buffer overflow attack. In simple terms, a game should cut off your user name after it reaches a certain limit. If the code is not properly secured, pretty much anything can be added after the fact. According to a close programmer friend, a buffer overflow could be used to relatively harmless effect such as allowing a player to have a blank username. What's more concerning, however, is that this could also be used as a vector to load malicious code into your PC's RAM.
It's important to note that this Titanfall 2 exploit has not yet been independently confirmed. DirectXeon's warning and discussion of the subject on Reddit has some players concerned, but we do not yet have any evidence of this exploit existing or of the exploit actually being used in a malicious fashion. We've reached out to the developers for comment on this matter and will update the article when we receive a reply.
Titanfall 2 aside, there's also a concern about Apex Legends. Respawn Entertainment's popular Battle Royale game was effectively held hostage by a hacker for most of the day on July 4, 2021. One month later, the game's servers (and the servers for other EA games) were having connectivity issues, although it's unclear if this was related to malicious action on the part of a third party. There's a chance that Apex Legends may be also vulnerable to this same reported exploit.
In the meantime, the warning about this reported Titanfall 2 exploit from a notable member of a fan community - coupled with the numerous problems that Titanfall 2 has had with DDOS attacks and hackers in recent years - means that it's probably a good idea to hold off from playing Titanfall or Titanfall 2 for a little while until someone figures out the problem (and how to fix it).
When's the last time you played TItanfall 2? Have you encountered any problems with hackers or had any trouble actually playing the game? Let us know in the comments below!