Players are still unable to enter online mode due to Dark Souls server being down. When will multiplayer mode go back live?
Dark Souls has been one of the most popular 3rd-person ARPG dungeon crawl games ever. While the game is mainly a solo game, multiplayer servers have been set up that enable players to be invaded and interact with others. Unfortunately, a server exploit has been discovered by developers that allow individuals to run malicious software remotely on other people’s devices. This issue has prompted Bandai Namco to shut down online servers for all Dark Souls accounts.
An Exploit Has Been Found in Online Mode
Back in January, an issue regarding a security vulnerability in the Dark Souls accounts of PC players was discovered. While the publishers never really specified the problem, gamers have identified the issue as the exploit posted in the Elden Ring subreddit. The vulnerability allowed hackers to run codes remotely on other people’s computers without their permission, known as Remote Code Execution.
While the exploit was discovered in Dark Souls 3, the hack can be reportedly used in all DS games and Elden Ring. The exploit was mainly used when grey hat hackers used RCE on a streamer’s PC while streaming to make the issue known. While console players were primarily unaffected by the hack, the publishers still deemed the exploit possible on other platforms. Since then, Bandai has shut down all online servers hosting Dark Souls multiplayer mode.
While the servers for Elden Ring were also suspended for a time, the security vulnerability was quickly resolved for it. FromSoftware’s newest game seems to be thriving as there have been no further reports about the exploit being used in Elden Ring. Meanwhile, Dark Souls servers are still offline after four months.
Servers Will “Be Back Soon”
While multiplayer services have been suspended for months already, the publishers have never really given an exact date or timetable on when servers will be up and running. The devs have only indicated that they are actively working on the exploit. While players have been getting impatient due to the duration of the downtime, the gaming community has also been more receptive and open about the server suspension since it involves resolving a known security issue.
A Redditor in r/darksouls3 recently posted a screenshot of a reply ticket from Bandai Namco regarding the downtime. When the Redditor asked about how long till the servers go back online, the publishers replied, “the developers are actively working on resolving the issue in question and re-launching the Dark Souls servers for PC as soon as possible.” While some have been skeptical about this reply being an automatic response ticket, several have taken this as a sign that servers will be back soon.
Elden Ring Regarding the Security Issue
While Elden Ring was identified as one of the games having this potential risk, the issue was resolved faster than the Dark Souls servers. The game was able to launch on schedule without any problems despite the vulnerability being reported a month before. Many have speculated that the developers focused on hot fixing the exploit in the new game so that their first week’s sale would not be affected.
Bandai Namco and FromSoftware Have Been Warned Before
While the exploit only made its highlight recently, the publishers have been notified about the RCE issue before. Several people who discovered the security issue have already reported it to developers years back. An older RCE vulnerability hack was already announced to the company in 2020. Unfortunately, these people have noted that the publishers were hard to get in touch with or were dismissive of the claims.
Bandai’s support team had allegedly already sent the documentation of the exploit to the developers when it was reported in December 2021. However, it seems it was FromSoftware who took little to no action regarding the security issue. The lack of action prompted nrssr, who discovered the exploit, to make the vulnerability public.
The grey hat hacker made a public demonstration to show how the exploit worked. This demo was done by executing the RCE on a Twitch streamer’s Dark Souls Livestream. The clip showed streamer The__Grim__Sleeper caught off-guard as his stream and PC crashed as he was met with an unknown command. This instance was the only confirmed public demo made by nrssr as he stated any other examples of the exploit being used in different streams were either fake or were not initiated by him.
Players are hoping that online servers will be up and running soon so that they can enter PvP or fight Dark Souls bosses in cooperative mode again. While there has been no confirmation on when the issue will be resolved, many believe that the online co-op will be up within the year. Hopefully, the developers will be more receptive and prompter for any potential security risk in the near future.
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