We've rebranded! Find out more about our rebrand to LRQA Nettitude here
Select Page

New cybersecurity threat discovered in the EA Games – Origin Platform

LRQA Nettitude discover a critical vulnerability that compromises the security of user devices.

December 2020

Leamington Spa, UK: LRQA Nettitude today announced we have identified a vulnerability affecting the Electronic Arts Origin Windows client. This discovery is a major find for LRQA Nettitude as we strive to continually enhance and maintain the security of our clients and the digital world we live in.

“EA Origin is used by millions of gamers around the world” says Chris Oakley, VP of Technical Services for the Americas at LRQA Nettitude. “This vulnerability allows threat actors to deploy malware to e.g. compromise banking and payment data, deploy ransomware, and more.”

LRQA Nettitude have found that Electronic Arts Origin Windows client has a vulnerability in the way it handles one of its software libraries. It also runs with excessive service permissions.

This combination of flaws allows an attacker to exploit a machine running the Origin Windows client by moving locally from a low privilege user to a user with the highest privileges. Subsequently, an attacker could easily deploy malware locally and even move laterally to other machines in the network for wider compromise.

A full technical analysis for this vulnerability can be found here. That article explains how we identified and exploited the vulnerability. It also provides guidance to developers on avoiding the same class of vulnerability. The vulnerability was discovered by Tom Wilson (@uint_ptr).

Electronic Arts were receptive to our report and, following communications with us, have recently produced an effective patch. As of the latest version, this local privilege escalation vulnerability in Electronic Arts Origin Windows client has been fixed. This vulnerability has been assigned CVE-2020-27708.

About LRQA Nettitude: Founded in 2003, LRQA Nettitude is an award-winning provider of cybersecurity services, bringing innovative thought leadership to the ever-evolving cybersecurity marketplace. Leveraging our tenacious curiosity, we aim to operate at the forefront of the industry. Through our research and innovation centres, LRQA Nettitude provides threat led services that span technical assurance, consulting and managed detection and response offerings.

We are driven by a desire to build and deliver the best cybersecurity propositions in the industry and stay abreast of the evolving legislative and regulatory cybersecurity landscape. This helps our clients to prioritise their cybersecurity risks, enabling them to focus on the activities that are core to their business.

We aim to empower our clients, imparting knowledge, advice and assistance to help them deploy changes in behaviour, understanding, and where appropriate, culture. This methodology is at the core of our services, helping provide pragmatic cybersecurity for industries such as Finance & Banking, IT, Technology and Engineering, Maritime, Offshore, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Critical National Infrastructure.

About EA Games:

Electronic Arts Inc. is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. EA develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers. EA has more than 300 million registered players around the world.

In fiscal year 2018, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $5.15 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognised for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, EA SPORTS™ FIFA, Battlefield™, Need for Speed™, Dragon Age™ and Plants vs. Zombies™.