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MMO Tera Disables In-Game Chat Due to Malware Threat

Ask anyone to name a massively-multiplayer online game and chances are their response will be World of Warcraft. But there are many more MMOs out there that have been running for years and continue to attract millions of players. One of those games is Tera, developed by Bluehole Studio and published by En Masse Entertainment.

Tera has been available to play since 2011 and counts over 26 million registered players, with over six million in North America alone. What it didn't have last week, though, was an in-game chat system as En Masse decided to disable it. The reason why came as a surprise: malware.

As Kotaku reports, Reddit user Gosukek discovered an exploit existed in Tera due to the fact its in-game chat system uses HTML. It means players can send external images, links, execute functions, crash the game client, and worst of all, perform remote code execution which opens up the risk of malware distribution.

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En Masse decided to disable the in-game chat as soon as it learned of the potential for malware. In a forum post the publisher made it clear there is no evidence of the vulnerability being exploited or player information being compromised. However, the chat system is now being reviewed and a hotfix applied to allow chat to work again. I suspect a new chat system may also appear in the near future that doesn't rely on HTML anymore.

As the hotfix was applied over the weekend, it should be safe to start playing Tera and using the in-game chat system again. I wonder how many other free-to-play MMOs need to review their in-game chat system following this discovery?

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