Elden Ring at risk of major security flaw already taking Dark Souls offline

Sam Smith
elden ring bonfire
From Software

Elden Ring could potentially be exposed to the same security exploit that affected the Dark Souls games on PC.

As originally reported by VGC, Elden Ring could also be vulnerable to the same security risk that’s taken the PC versions of Dark Souls Remastered, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, and Dark Souls 3 offline for over a week. This is according to one of the people who discovered the exploit.

As Elden Ring’s release date of February 25, 2022, draws closer, it has now been alleged that Bandai Namco has been aware of the security issue in its games for years, but has never taken any action to resolve them. The fear is that Elden Ring could potentially suffer from similar outages, or worse, if the problems continue to be ignored.

elden ring co-op
From Software
Could Elden Ring pose a risk when played online on PC?

Could Dark Souls server issues impact Elden Ring?

These problems came to the public’s attention on January 23, 2022, when the Dark Souls 1, 2, and 3 servers were shut down on PC after an exploit was discovered. One which could potentially let people remotely control other players’ computers.

One of the players that discovered this security risk claims they made Bandai Namco aware of the issue several weeks earlier but received no response from the company or Dark Souls developer FromSoftware. They then made the exploit public in an attempt to force Bandai Namco into action.

Another user claims to have warned the publisher about dangerous exploits back in 2020, but they too said they heard nothing back from Bandai Namco. This individual fears that Elden Ring suffering from a similar server outage is “inevitable.” That is unless this issue is fixed before the game is released.

The original VGC report states that the warning emails sent to Bandai Namco can be viewed as part of a paper trail, but this doesn’t explain why the issue seems to have been ignored by the company. What’s most worrying, is that Elden Ring and the Dark Souls games feature a “shared network infrastructure” and now the world’s hackers are aware of these vulnerabilities.

elden ring coop
From Software
Multiplayer will be an important aspect of Elden Ring, as it is with all Souls games.

The developers have now confirmed that Dark Soul’s servers won’t be back up and running until after the release of Elden Ring. On the Dark Souls official Twitter account, the company said:

“We want to thank the entire Dark Souls community and the players who have reached out to us directly to voice their concerns and offer solutions. Thanks to you, we have identified the cause and are working on fixing the issue. In addition, we have extended the investigation to Elden Ring – our upcoming title launching on February 25 – and have made sure the necessary security measures are in place for this title on all target platforms.”

How could Elden Ring’s security risks be prevented?

Fast forward to January 2022, one of these players demonstrated the exploit in action on Twitch to prove it was a legitimate risk to Bandai Namco. This is what led to the company temporarily shutting off the servers. It’s worth pointing out that this exploit is different from the one reported by the other user in 2020, but both will need addressing if Elden Ring and its users are to be safe from malicious intent.

Reddit user LukeYui has also made several reports to Bandai Namco about the exploits and potential vulnerabilities of Souls games on PC. Frustrated by the lack of response, they created the Blue Sentinel mod (the name taken from protective co-op spirits players can summon in Dark Souls), which provides patches to over 100 known cheats in Dark Souls 3 on PC.

blue sentinels in elden ring
From Software
Blue sentinels arrive in Elden Ring to support the host player.

What protections does Elden Ring have in place?

LukeYui has stated they will not be playing Elden Ring until FromSoftware and Bandai Namco create an official version of Blue Sentinel or can confirm they have fixed the issues that have been made public. However, they doubt any such system could be implemented before the game releases later this month.

Elden Ring will launch with a built-in EasyAntiCheat service, but LukeYui believes this won’t be enough to deter or stop experienced and committed cheaters. Bandai Namco is yet to comment on any of the above allegations, therefore take everything with a pinch of salt until the company clarifies its thoughts about these issues.

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