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Apex Legends NA finals postponed after suffering apparent RCE hack | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker | #hacking | #aihp

The North American Apex Legends finals have been postponed after hackers appeared to give competitors cheats in the middle of tournament games, in an unprecedented attack on a major esports event.

The Apex Legends esports X account said the decision to stop and postpone the event, which was running on Sunday, March 17, had been taken “due to the competitive integrity of this series being compromised.”

Official comment on the incident ends there, but clips circulating online showed players suddenly being given cheats like aimbots and wall hacks while matches were ongoing.

One clip showed Apex pro Genburten shout “I’m getting hacked, I’m getting hacked!” as a wall hack revealed the location of every player in the match on his screen. Genburten threw his hands up in the air, exclaimed, “It’s cheating!” and left the game as quick as he could. “What the fuck?” he said, visibly distressed.

In another clip, player ImperialHal found himself unable to shoot, apparently after a hacker enabled an aimbot which was then detected and blocked by the game’s anti-cheat mechanism. “I cannot shoot, I cannot shoot,” he said.

There’s no precedent for a hacking attack on a private game lobby that’s running such a high-profile competition. In the Genburten clip, the streamer’s chat can be seen to read “Apex hacking global series by Destroyer2009 & R4ndom.”

The Anti-Cheat Police Department — an X account that tracks cheating in games — identified the hack as a remote code execution (RCE) exploit that was targeting a vulnerability, either in the networking code of Apex Legends itself, or of the popular third-party anti-cheat software Apex uses, Easy Anti-Cheat.

“There is currently an RCE exploit being abused in [Apex Legends],” the Anti-Cheat Police Department posted. “It is unsure whether it comes from the game or the actual anti-cheat. I would advise against playing any games protected by [Easy Anti-Cheat] or any EA titles [until] they have fixed this or can comment.”

The account pointed out that if the hackers had the capability to remotely install cheats on players’ machines, they could do much worse. “They have the capabilities to do whatever, like installing ransomware software locking up your entire PC,” they said. They advised affected players to protect their personal information, change passwords, and perform a fresh operating system installation on their PCs.

However, the makers of Easy Anti-Cheat said they believed their software wasn’t at fault. “At this time — we are confident that there is no RCE vulnerability within EAC being exploited,” they posted on X.

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