Is Ubisoft’s DRM hiding a rootkit?

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Pc gamers have long had a heated affair with Ubisoft’s PC DRM. Their Uplay service – which not only checks for legality, but also adds stat and achievement tracking and leaderboards might give Pc gamers cause for more ire; it could contain a rootkit allowing unfettered access to all your files.

That’s according to Google information security engineer Tavis Ormandy – who discovered  the potential security risk after installing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations on his PC. He noticed that Uplay installed a browser plugin that could allow malevolent websites to crack open your PC – allowing nasty people access – and control – over your system.

If you’ve played any of the following Ubisoft Pc games – you could be affected.

  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
  • Assassin’s Creed: Project Legacy
  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations
  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Beowulf: The Game
  • Brothers in Arms: Furious 4
  • Call of Juarez: The Cartel
  • Driver: San Francisco
  • Heroes of Might and Magic VI
  • Just Dance 3
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
  • Pure Football
  • R.U.S.E.
  • 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

If you have, this link will tell you if your PC’s unsecure as a result of the UPlay plugin. If that is the case…you might want to disable it, post-haste. Let’s hope this was a case of human error – and not an intentional backdoor. Not too long ago, Sony got in to a bit of trouble for installing a rootkit on people’s machines thanks to the DRM on their audio cd’s…and were forced to do product recalls.

We’ve contacted Ubisoft about the matter – and will let you know if we hear anything.

Last Updated: July 30, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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