By Tyler Fischer
There was apparently a new Grand Theft Auto V exploit that allowed other players to kill you during single-player.
As Kotaku reports, last week a Twitch streamer “FriendlyBaron” was notably streaming a GTA V single-player speedrun, when, all of a sudden, his vehicle stopped working and came to a complete stop. And then his player character, as if possessed, exited the vehicle and then just randomly died.
According to FriendlyBaron, who took to Reddit to share what had just happened to him, a modder had previously been harassing him and some friends playing with him. The streamer assumes that the same modder eventually upped the harassment and used hacking and mod tools to kill him during single-player.
It perhaps could have just passed a bizarre bug, but other streamers and players have reported a similar thing happening to them, and the problem/exploit can be traced all the way back to September.
Here’s Tex2 — a Twitter account that covers Rockstar/GTA news and who is a known GTA V data miner — explaining how it works.
[PC] A private mod menu now use an admin-only feature that allow them to admin kick, network kick, spawn vehicles, ragdoll, kill players.
This can be done to any player even if the cheater isn’t in the session.
It’s best to not play for now until this is patched.#GTAOnline
Luckily, not long after word of the exploit started to make the rounds, Rockstar Games patched it.
The exploit has been patched.
That said, it’s insane to think this exploit ever existed in the first place, though, perhaps it’s not surprising given the history of GTA V with hackers. What makes it even more surprising though is is that it took a month for Rockstar Games to fix.
Curious about how such a thing came to be, Kotaku reached out the GTA datamining and modding community, and found out that the exploit has actually been in the game since launch.
Speaking to Kotaku, the aforementioned Tex2 revealed that modders were using in-game tools that were built by Rockstar Games to remotely kill players in the game. Further, they were supposed to serve as an instant way to squash unwanted players for the purposes of events and streaming. These tools were supposed to only be for devs, and for awhile, this was the case. But that recently changed.
Modders were able to get their hands on the tools after a new modding tool allowed them to find players’ Social Club ID numbers released. With the ID number, players could use the admin tools to tell the game to kick or kill any specific player they wanted.
The only hurdle was that the targeted player had to be connected to Rockstar Social Club. If they weren’t, the command was useless.
As mentioned above, the hack has been addressed. Modders can actually still issue the kill or kick command, but now it does nothing. Whether Rockstar Games has any ways of tracking down the abusers of these tools, who knows. At the time of writing this, the developer hasn’t commented on the issue.
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