5 Security Flaws In Games That Caused Catastrophes

When games break down, they can melt your equipment and ruin your life.
5 Security Flaws In Games That Caused Catastrophes

You might already know that some games are actually Trojan horses waiting to enter your computer to fill it horse eggs, or whatever it is that the Trojan horse does. We hope the adrenaline kick you get from learning your computer can explode because of a game will never again allow you to get bored while waiting for the installation of a new game to conclude. 

If you like that, you'll probably be pleased to learn that there are many other flaws in that games, some of them that don't even need to be on your computer, that can wreak havoc on your gaming life ...

PS4's Security Destroyed By Random Messages 

If you think the Ewoks defeating the Empire doesn't make sense, you'll love learning that mere punctuation came closer to destroying PlayStation than Microsoft and Nintendo could ever hope to. When facing cheaters, one usually gets accustomed to the idea of losing the game. For a while, however, you really did stand to lose your entire system. Back in 2018, hackers found a fatal flaw on the PS4 that hackers used to send consoles on an infinite crash loop. 

To make this work, hackers only had to send a specific message to the user they wanted to nuke. The code wasn't even anything that read like a curse adapted to the internet age or anything; it just needed to contain a specific character that the PS4 couldn't process.

PS4 bug character


What a fun coincidence that it looks just like Mario's mushroom crate.

To get hurt, users didn't even need to open the message. The cursed code was so strong that just by receiving it, your PS4 would instantly go on a vacation to the shadowlands. The exploit got so “popular” that even Sony, not knowing exactly what to do, just told people to disable their inbox. While the glitch responsible for the exploit didn't really kill the consoles, they'd need to go through a “simple” procedure ...

... that's more complicated than what you need to do to crash other consoles.

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The Avengers Are Straight-Up Leaking Private Information

The Avengers are probably a better bunch of heroes to depend on in case of alien invasion than Snyder's Justice League, but despite the lower casualties, you'll still have to deal with pretty weird collateral effects. We're sorry to announce that the Earth's most popular and lucrative heroes were caught doxxing players.

Marvel's Avengers by Crystal Dynamics was already disappointing for many reasons, but this one might just take the cake. If players dared to extract a bit of fun by sharing their experience with others by streaming it, the game would flash the streamer's IP address as well as their username up on the screen, which might be more than enough information to invite a SWAT team to 360-quick scope your dog. 

That's messed up, sure, but actually pretty in line with what this racket in the form of a game has gotten us used to. It was likely just a mistake, but one that really feels like it was made by a Hydra operative masquerading as a developer to screw players. Instead of just showing up on the screen, private information moved around the screen so as to seemingly prevent players from creating a static overlay to cover it up.

Amazon Invites You To A New World Where Your Graphics Card Will Explode

The Geforce 3090 is, at the time of this writing, the most powerful piece of video gaming hardware in the world. It's so powerful that handling a simple MMO should be child's play from this $2,000 beast, right? Well, Amazon's new MMO, New World, made a big impression on its open beta not by merely crashing systems running it on the EVGA GeForce 3090 but straight-up burning them.

New World


Legal disclaimer: Jeff Bezos had nothing to do with it. Probably.

What makes New World's debacle especially grueling is on top of it being the most expensive graphics card on the planet, GeForce 3090s are also the hardest one to find on the market due to the pandemic and a lot of people being shitty. The level of anguish in finally being able to play the hot new game only to learn that it's so hot it melts your graphics card can only be surpassed by that of going through all of the previously mentioned while working for Amazon. 

Amazon eventually released a patch preventing future Human Torch impressions from PCs. Meanwhile, EVGA promised those who got their cards reverse-alchemized into coal that they'd give them new ones, a piece of news that the people desperately needing the scarcity to end in order to get new hardware sure are going to love. 

Steam Allowed Anyone To Become A Millionaire 

Grand Theft Auto V once had an issue with Lester Crest's glitch, an exploit that allowed players to bypass having to grind the game or even pay real money to buy game currency by asking for unlimited refunds, thus allowing for Karen-ing your way into GTA richdom. But what if we told you that you could at some point do that with real money on the Steam platform (and totally squandered the opportunity)? Turns out that not just over the course of a few weeks, but over the course of most of Steam's existence, you could use the app's storefront as a real bank account to get money off of Valve and into the real world.

A hacker by the name of Brbrix found out a surprisingly simple exploit that had always allowed anyone to get infinite money on Steam. Luckily (for Valve), it looks like Brbrix was the only person to ever find it.

They awarded this hero $7500, a sum we're pretty sure doesn't feel like a joke and won't have him reconsidering his past good deed forever.

Graves in a cemetery on All Saints Day

Norbert Staudt/Unsplash

He's lucky they didn't assure his silence by "deleting his account," as Valve calls it. 

Accidentally Poké-Punishing Good Players 

Anti-piracy measures are all fine and dandy, at least until the glitches manifest themselves. That's what happened to Pokémon Go when it started harshly punishing players whose only suspicious behavior was still having the adventurous spirit required to play the game in 2021.

Pokemon Go


Kids who played this game in 2016 now have kids of their own. 

Back in June, Niantic -- the non-Nintendo people responsible for that big Pokémon game -- accidentally started chastising a lot of people who were just living that sweet collect 'em all life. The process started off by giving people a seven-day warning straight out of The Ring, then went on to freeze their accounts for 30 days, and concluded by banning them.

The timing was also especially egregious, as the great purge caused a lot of players to miss the Pokémon Go Fest.

Niantic has since apologized but still hasn't announced any kind of compensation for players. It's tough, but you kind of have to understand, though, as Pokémon Go cheaters are a noticeably hard bunch to spot.

Top Image: Square Enix

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