Update: Ubisoft has released a patch to fix this issue. You can download it here.
It’s no doubt that DRM isn’t popular among gamers and no company is guiltier of this than Ubisoft with Uplay. Most people tend to either don’t purchase their games on PC or just shrug off the DRM as a nuisance. However, a recent discovery about Uplay may cause some alarm.
Google security engineer, Tavis Ormandy, recently purchased Assassin’s Creed Revelations on the PC. “I noticed the installation procedure creates a browser plugin for its accompanying UPlay launcher, which grants unexpectedly (at least to me) wide access to websites.”
He had others test this out, including Digital Foundry’s Rich Leadbetter. What Leadbetter found is quite disturbing.
The implications here are cause for concern: the exploit could be used to install trojans or other rogue software on your PC. Scripts could be set-up that would wipe any data on your PC where the user has access. It’s highly unlikely that Ubisoft left this backdoor in here on purpose, but regardless, it appears to have all the hallmarks of a major oversight that the firm should be correcting as a matter of extreme urgency.
Leadbetter offered a simple fix but you should be wary of future Ubisoft PC titles. “Anyone with a PC title installed using the U-Play system can prevent the exploit from working by disabling the UPlay browser plug-in – in theory, it’s as simple as that. Stopping the browser from running the plug-in closes the backdoor, and without that crucial bridge, malicious HTML based on this exploit will not function.”
You can find a list of potentially affected titles after the break.
Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed: Project Legacy
Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Assassin’s Creed III
Beowulf: The Game
Call of Juarez: The Cartel
Driver: San Francisco
Heroes of Might and Magic VI
Just Dance 3
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Shaun White Skateboarding
Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved