Online game from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dev let players send malware via in-game chat

Here’s something new (and very worrying) in the world of online gaming: Tera, an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online RPG) produced by the same developer responsible for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, had its in-game chat shut down over the weekend following revelations that it could be used as a medium to spread all sorts of malicious nastiness including viruses.

Developer Bluehole launched Tera back in 2011 in South Korea, and it followed to North America and Europe in 2012. It’s an online RPG with combat that plays out like an FPS, but panic struck over the weekend when the game servers were brought down for emergency maintenance to fix a gaping chat-related vulnerability.

Players themselves actually highlighted the flaw in Tera’s chat system, which apparently utilizes HTML, and could reportedly be exploited to bombard other players with dodgy images or links, collect user IP addresses, or even remotely execute malware.

As if MMORPG public chat channels weren’t toxic enough already.

The game’s North American publisher, En Masse, noted at the time: “There are very serious claims floating around of what this vulnerability potentially allows malicious users to do. We are taking these claims very seriously but, as of this time, we have no evidence that the vulnerability is being exploited in these ways or that any player information has been compromised.”

Fixing a hole

En Masse investigated the issue in conjunction with Bluehole, resulting in all chat being disabled save for guild chat last Friday, with the fix subsequently being deployed on Saturday at around 8:00 PST time in the US. Gameforge, the EU publisher, applied the fix on Friday at 16:00 UK time, a day earlier.

So the issue was dealt with fairly swiftly, as you’d hope, although by all accounts players had their game settings reset by the hotfix. Still, better that than a surprise virus arriving via a chat channel…

This is definitely a bit of an eye-opener and a cautionary tale for developers everywhere, for sure, in terms of security considerations when it comes to in-game systems.

And of course it’s particularly interesting that while Tera is hardly a big-name game, its developer is a big fish these days, and the force behind the juggernaut PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Via: Engadget

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Pro Results Anytime, Anywhere—Part 3

Pro Results Anytime, Anywhere—Part 3

With tips such as checking your settings, simplifying your composition and modifying the light from part one, and choosing filters, using a tripod and changing your perspective from part two, you should be well on your way to shooting like a pro. The following is the final installment in the series where you’ll learn four more bits of advice that can be applied to any subject you wish to photograph.

Autofocus Settings for Action: First and foremost, set your camera to predictive autofocus mode. For instance, Nikon uses “Continuous AF,” while Canon uses “AI Servo.” Other camera manufacturers call it different names. Regardless of what it’s called, use this setting as the AF tracks movement of the subject and “predicts” where it will be when the shutter is pressed. Whether you photograph sports, birds in flight, kids playing in the backyard or other moving subjects, you want the camera and lens to track their motion. If you keep the camera set to single shot mode, you’ll miss many shots. Once predictive AF is enabled, keep your finger pressed halfway on the shutter so the camera continuously tracks where the subject goes. The more erratic the movement, the tougher it is for the camera to accurately focus. In addition to predictive autofocus, set your motor drive to high and keep firing. The more shots you make with the active focus point over the subject, the more of a chance you’ll have to get sharp photos. Be sure the active focus point is placed over the subject and you track your subject with that point. The camera doesn’t know the plane on which your subject resides, so it’s essential you place the focus point over it. Raise your ISO so you have a faster shutter speed to freeze wing tips, arrest leg motion, etc. Open the aperture as this, too, allows you to attain as fast a shutter speed as possible.

Pro Results Anytime, Anywhere—Part 3

Shoot, Shoot and then Go Shoot Some More: There is a definite guarantee in photography—if you’re not there when something good happens, you won’t get the shot! The more often you go out with your camera, the more likely you’ll capture unique light, a great moment, a special instant or any other noteworthy reason to press the shutter. Not only will your chance of getting a great shot escalate, you’ll also stay tuned up using your camera. Too often, an amazing photograph is missed due to the photographer fumbling with controls. The more often you use your camera, the more natural it feels in your hands. This translates to being able to roll out of bed and set the camera to the proper settings regardless of the conditions.

Exhaust All Possibilities: Don’t leave your subject without making verticals, horizontals, wide angle and telephoto images. Once you’ve covered these bases, move to your left and repeat the vertical, horizontal wide and tele shots. Then move to your right and repeat again. Then go behind your subject and repeat again. Too often, photographers get concrete feet and never move around. They get comfortable in their staked-out area and neglect what may be to their side. They also fail to look up or down. So while you’re at it, don’t neglect to photograph what may be at your feet or higher above.

Pro Results Anytime, Anywhere—Part 3

Patience: Patience and persistence reward those who persevere. This comes in the form of waiting for the perfect light, passing the time when an animal decides to bed down, going back to your 40th soccer game, spending hours watching a Photoshop DVD or waiting for the 2 year old to finally settle down and smile. All require an investment of time. Great rewards are bestowed upon those who dedicate long hours.

Visit www.russburdenphotography.com for information about his nature photography tours and safari to Tanzania.

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Photo Of The Day By Mike Long

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Autumn in Southeast France” by Mike Long. Location: Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras.
Photo By Mike Long

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Autumn in Southeast France” by Mike Long. Location: Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras.

“Autumn color and fresh snow from Col Agnel, a high pass on the French-Italian border in southeast France, Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras,” describes Long.

See more of Mike Long’s photography at 500px.com/mikelongphotos.

Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.

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