Dark Souls servers shut down after RCE exploit discovered

This hack is not, in fact, “very good.”

After discovering a dangerous remote code execution (RCE), Dark Souls publisher Bandai Namco was forced to turn its player-versus-layer servers offline. Initially thought to solely be an issue with Dark Souls 3, all PC servers have since been shut down in order for Bandai Namco to investigate the reports.

The hacked streamer

A Twitch streamer witnessed the exploit in the middle of a stream. While playing Dark Souls 3, streamer The__Grim__Sleeper’s game crashed before a text-to-speech voice came streaming in criticizing his gameplay. 

“What the fuck?” The__Grim__Sleeper exclaimed in confusion. “Are you seeing this?”

As the insults continued streaming in, The__Grim__Sleeper told his audience that Microsoft PowerShell opened on its own, suggesting the hacker used a script through the program to make use of text-to-speech.

“I’m talking to a bunch of sissies who can’t stand that their playstyle is being shit on a game that is literally dying,” the hacker mocked in their text-to-speech voice.

The__Grim__Sleeper playing Dark Souls 3 with the aid of other players
The__Grim__Sleeper playing the game with the aid of other players.
He might need to pull out the “help me” carving in a minute.

RCE exploits cause concern because it allows hackers to execute malicious code to access someone’s computer and steal information. However, the hacker may not be as bad as everyone thinks. A post from SpeedSouls’ Discord server suggests the hacker’s intent was to actually raise awareness. After discovering the new RCE exploit, the post says, the hacker reported it, but FromSoftware ignored it. He began targeting streamers so the issue could no longer be ignored.

When will Dark Souls servers be back up?

FromSoftware and Bandai Namco finally seem to be taking the issue seriously. On their official Twitter, they informed the player base they temporarily disabled all PVP servers for Dark Souls 3, 2, and Remastered to give them time to investigate the RCE reports. Players who use Xbox or PlayStation consoles can still play PVP, as the hack exclusively exists on PC.

As of January 26, there have been no updates to the state of the servers or if they’ll be back up anytime soon. Players can still play on their own without the use of online services—that means no invading, even if you want nuke others into oblivion with your pyromancy build, and no using summon signs. It seems you’ll just have to play Fashion Souls on your own without other people seeing how great you look.

In the meantime, what does the game’s fanbase play while waiting for the servers to be back up?

Dark Souls, obviously. Just offline.

Erin Vieira

Writer, artist, cosplayer, D&D player, Final Fantasy lover, and Bayonetta enthusiast Erin Vieira says that although they were born amongst mortals, someday they will exist as an unknown entity of the void. There will still be video games there, of course.
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