What is A RCE Hack? Here's Why You Should Be Concerned as a Gamer


What is an RCE Hack? Here's Why You Should Be Concerned as a Gamer

Abhimannu Das
Updated On: 
An RCE, which stands for Remote Code Execution, is a serious hacking technique that allows attackers to remotely run malicious code on a targeted computer or network.
It was recently used in Apex Legends to tamper with multiple pro players' PCs during an esports event.

An RCE (Remote Code Execution) hack is a serious vulnerability that allows attackers to remotely take control of a system and run malicious code. It's essentially giving someone else the ability to control your computer from afar. There's been a recent incident involving a suspected RCE exploit in Apex Legends, that targeted pro players during a major tournament. You should check out our coverage of the ALGS RCE hack incident, in case you want to find out more about what happened.

What is a Remote Code Execution (RCE) Hack

An RCE, which stands for Remote Code Execution, is a serious hacking technique that allows attackers to remotely run malicious code on a targeted computer or network. Imagine a hacker being able to control your computer from afar, like an invisible puppeteer.

RCE attacks are dangerous because they give attackers a lot of power. They can use the stolen access to install malware, steal data, or even take complete control of the system. This can be disastrous for businesses and individuals alike.

Here's a breakdown of how RCE hacks work:

  1. Finding a Weakness: Attackers first need to find a vulnerability in a system's software. These vulnerabilities can be things like bugs in code or flaws in how the system processes data.

  2. Exploiting the Weakness: Once a vulnerability is identified, the attacker can exploit it by sending malicious code to the system. This code can be disguised as something harmless, like a link in an email or an attachment.

  3. Taking Control: If the exploit is successful, the attacker's code will be executed on the target system. This gives them the ability to do whatever they want with the system.

Several games have been impacted by RCE hacks, with some recent high-profile cases:

(Unconfirmed) Apex Legends (March 2024): A major exploit during the Apex Legends Global Series finals disrupted the competition. While the exact details are still under investigation, it's believed an RCE hack was involved.

Dark Souls (2022): The PC servers for the Dark Souls games were suspended due to an RCE vulnerability. This exposed players to potential hacks and malware.

GTA Online (2023): An RCE exploit was discovered in GTA Online, allowing attackers to potentially inject malicious code into players' machines. This highlights the constant battle against online game security.

It's important to note that due to the sensitive nature of these exploits, details may not be widely available. Developers often prioritize fixing the vulnerabilities and preventing future attacks over public disclosure.

Should You Be Concerned About RCE Hacks?

Here are just some of the ways RCE hacks can affect gamers:

Ruined Gameplay:

Cheating: RCE hacks can be used to create cheats that give unfair advantages. Imagine facing opponents who can teleport, see through walls, or have unlimited resources. This ruins the competitive integrity of the game and makes it frustrating for legitimate players.

Disruptions: In the case of Apex Legends, the RCE hack disrupted a major esports tournament. This can be demoralizing for players who train hard and disheartening for viewers who want to see a fair competition.

Server Instability: RCE vulnerabilities can be exploited to overload servers, causing crashes and disconnects. This disrupts gameplay and makes it difficult to enjoy the online experience.

Loss of Personal Data and Items:

Account Takeover: Hackers can steal login credentials through RCE attacks. This can lead to them taking over your account, stealing in-game items you've earned or purchased, and potentially using it for malicious purposes.

Financial Loss: If your account holds valuable virtual items or currency, losing it due to an RCE hack can be a significant financial blow, especially for players who have invested real money.

Privacy Concerns: Depending on the game and your account information, an RCE hack could expose personal details like your email address or even payment information.

Security Risks:

Malware Installation: Hackers can use RCE attacks to install malware on your computer. This malware can steal your personal information, damage your system, or even use your computer to launch further attacks.

System Takeover: In the worst-case scenario, an RCE exploit could give hackers complete control of your computer. This can be extremely dangerous, allowing them to access all your files, steal sensitive data, or even use your computer for criminal activities.

Long-Term Damage:

Decreased Player Base: If RCE hacks become too prevalent, it can drive players away from a game. Who wants to invest time and money into a game where their progress and security are constantly at risk?

Loss of Trust: RCE hacks can damage the trust between gamers and developers. Players expect developers to prioritize security and take swift action to patch vulnerabilities.

What to Do If A Game is Exploited

Stop Playing (For Now):

The safest option is to avoid playing the game until the developer confirms the vulnerability is patched. This minimizes the chance of your system being exploited.

Stay Informed:

Official Channels: Follow the game developer's social media accounts and website for updates on the situation. Look for official announcements regarding the RCE hack, patch availability, and any recommended actions for players.

Gaming News Sites: Reliable gaming news websites often report on security breaches in popular games. Stay updated on the latest developments to understand the scope of the RCE hack and any potential risks.

Protect Yourself:

Update the Game: Once a patch is available, install it immediately. Game updates often include security fixes to address vulnerabilities. Don't delay patching your game, especially after an RCE hack.

Change Your Password: If the compromised game uses the same login credentials as other accounts, consider changing your password for those accounts as well. Use strong, unique passwords for each online service. A password manager can be a helpful tool for this.

Scan Your System: Run a security scan on your computer using reputable antivirus or anti-malware software. This can help detect any malware that might have been installed through the RCE attack.

Report Suspicious Activity:

If you suspect your account has been compromised: Contact the game's customer support immediately and report the issue. They can help you recover your account and secure it further.

Report Cheating: If you encounter players exhibiting suspicious behavior that suggests they might be exploiting the RCE hack, report them to the game's developers using the appropriate channels.

Fixing RCE vulnerabilities can take time. Be patient and wait for the developer's official patch before jumping back into the game. In Apex Legends' case, EA and Respawn Entertainment have already deployed fixes for the exploit and are working to strengthen the game's security.

Published On: 
author profile picture
Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

Follow us on social media


Others Also Read