Origin Exploit Allows Hackers To Hijack Computers

By   /   Mar 19, 2013

Hackers have found an Origin Exploit that allows them to install malware onto the user’s computer by creating Origin as their “Attack Platform”.

Reported by Ars Technica, the attack scenario was practically demonstrated in Black Hat security conference in Amsterdam.

The Matla-based security research and solutions firm, ReVuln explained that this works by exploiting the security flaws present in the Origin application system on both PC and Mac, where the hackers can use the service to covertly install malware onto the user’s computers. The attack takes seconds to execute and requires no interaction from the victim’s side.

Furthermore, Revuln released a paper accompanying their demonstration in which explains the security issues with the Origin service. In the paper, ReVuln researchers Donato Ferrante and Luigi Auriemma confirm that”The Origin platform allows malicious users to exploit local vulnerabilities or features by abusing the Origin URI handling mechanism.” “In other words, an attacker can craft a malicious Internet link to execute malicious code remotely on [a] victim’s system, which has Origin installed.”

Whereas Origin creates links to launch and uninstall games as part of its normal service, the hacker created links, starting with “origin://”, to allow them to execute code that may be harmful for the user’s computer. This is similar to the exploit, demonstrated in October 2012 by the same research team, for the Origin’s rival service; Steam, where the hackers were able to do similar actions with links starting with “steam://”.

EA has responded with a following statement addressing the issue at hand:

“Our team is constantly investigating hypotheticals like this one as we continually update our security infrastructure.”

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