PlayStation 3 key hack enables Call of Duty cheating

Infinity Ward warns that Sony must fix breach to stop exploits

Infinity Ward's Robert Bowling has warned that the key level PS3 hack which surfaced last month has created the opportunity for players to run several exploits in multiplayer bouts of Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2, which the company can do nothing to prevent until Sony fixes the larger problem.

Hacked servers running the games can be used to reset players' scores, change perks and enable debug mode special abilities such as auto aim and incredible movement speed. Bowling believes that these problems will be unfixable until Sony can address the key hack.

"Games rely on the security of the encryption on the platforms they're played on," Bowling posted on the Infinity Ward forums. "Therefore, updates to the game through patches will not resolve this problem completely, unless the security exploit itself is resolved on the platform."

His advice to players was to steer away from public matches where they might encounter hacked servers, and to report any oddities to Sony customer support. A reputation for hosting hacked matches could prove disastrous to the hugely successful series, as players migrate to more secure platforms.

Addressing the problem in future CoD games will not be a problem, Bowling told readers, but the existing titles simply cannot be fixed via patching.

The PS3's security was laid wide open at the end of last year as hacking group Fail0verflow, building on the work of George Hotz, or Geohot, discovered that Sony had made an elemental error in its otherwise rigorous PS3 security and released details of the hack to the public.

The group has since been issued a restraining order by Sony, in a case which is currently under review due to jurisdictional complications.

Related stories

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare "eliminates season pass" - so how will it fund DLC? | Opinion

Activision promises to deliver more free maps and post-launch events as it gears up for large-scale cross-play multiplayer

By James Batchelor

Infinity Ward receives bomb threat - Report

Call of Duty development studio among dozens of businesses, schools, news outlets receiving threats today

By Brendan Sinclair

Latest comments (15)

gi biz ;, 8 years ago
Oh dear, didn't they put any #ifdef around debug code??
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany8 years ago
Hope the hackers are proud of what they have done. Just like this non-gamer CoD users.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Stefan Pettersson Specialist Consultant, Fat Tuna8 years ago
Sony actually threw the first rock when they angered the hacking community by turning off OtherOS.

I don't support the hackers actions BUT I do support their right to use the PS3 under the same terms as it was sold to them. That means with OtherOS turned on. It's either that or a total refund. And I don't care if Sony got the right to turn off the OtherOS option in the EULA, small print doesn't count.

Sony should have seen this one coming, everyone else pretty much did. Guess I'll have to play Demon's Souls offline in the future :(

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Stefan Pettersson on 19th January 2011 7:52pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (15)
Private Industry 8 years ago
Stefan may I refer you to Hotz interview on G4TV where he clearly states he was hacking via Linux into the PS3 and that Linux was removed a few month later after he hacked into the system. OtherOS was removed via FW updated because of him hacking not the other way around.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Saehoon Lee Lead technical artist, Kuno Interactive8 years ago
kinda looking forward to some youtube videos of hacked server where players run like wind! That will be funny.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Moos Boulogne Quality Assurance Manager, Keyfactor Entertainment GmbH8 years ago
@Saehoon, funny for about 2 minutes untill you want to enjoy the game you paid 45 pounds for again like it's meant to be.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tom Keresztes Programmer 8 years ago
That is very sad, if a game does not have other protection against cheating/hacking, only the assumption that the binary cannot be tampered with.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Sam Brown Lead Audio Programmer, TT Games8 years ago
I know believing things you read on forums is silly, but wasn't MW2 hacked before the PS3 was? And on the 360 as well?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Michael Taylor Audio Designer 8 years ago
@Sam Brown - Exactly. And the previous game was similarly hacked too, I belive.

IWs comments are just passing the buck - "Its not our fault that the game is unplayable!"
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John Donnelly Quality Assurance 8 years ago
The 'Other OS' was removed due to Holtz's hacking back last year.
While it may have irked others to find a new entry the damage was already done.

Though, how did Bungee manage to address hacking with Halo2 when the Xbox was almost as badly compromised as the PS3?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Stefan Pettersson Specialist Consultant, Fat Tuna8 years ago
Werner, what you're saying is everyone else should have OtherOS turned off because Sony failed to keep ONE hacker away? I don't buy that. The first priority should always be the customer.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Steven Peck Quality Assurance Lead, Double Fine Productions8 years ago
I'm not sure I follow either as this game (and COD4) before it was hacked as well way before the security was broken on the system.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College8 years ago
I call BS!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Finlan Studying Information Systems, University of Manchester8 years ago
It is all a big lie chaps, COD savegames are easily hacked and have zero to do with jailbreak or custom firmware. The devs are just using this as an excuse to cover up a multitude of sins contained in thier shoddy coding.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I definetly agree and confirm what Finlan said.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.