One of the most favoured online games, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, has reportedly been infiltrated by potentially harmful self-spreading malware by cyber attackers, according to a TechCrunch report.
This worm, capable of autonomous propagation through online lobbies, has targeted the game, which, despite its release in 2009, still enjoys a fervent fan following. The game has been temporarily suspended while its publisher, Activision, conducts a comprehensive investigation.
A tweet from the official Call of Duty Updates account stated: “Multiplayer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) has been removed from Steam while we look into allegations of a problem.”
In a discussion thread on the game’s Steam forum, a user first highlighted the issue in June 2023. The initial investigation identified the infection in the VirusTotal online threat library after the user complained that hackers were starting “attacks using hacked lobbies.”
A follow-up analysis that was uploaded in the Steam discussion identified the virus as a worm that may take advantage of vulnerabilities in software code. This indicates that it can get through the typical safeguards regarding code intrusion. Once a game room has been hacked, the malicious programme can run locally installed code and attack every individual who joins the playing area.
This issue seems to affect only PC versions of the game. However, recent developments in backward compatibility might have increased its appeal to cybercriminals and fraudsters.
It is advised that users who have been playing the game since June 2023 perform an antivirus or additional safety control scan right away.
About 20,000 staff data, involving complete names, email IDs, phone numbers, and office addresses, were stolen and made visible online in December 2022 when Activision itself was the victim of a significant hack.
The stolen data, claimed by the hackers to be sourced from Activision’s instance of the content delivery network (CDN) Azure, was made freely available to all users on a well-known hacking forum.