mailing list archives
Exploit: Quake 3 engine, con\con and heartbeats (just for fun)
From: Auriemma Luigi <aluigi () pivx com>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 19:43:16 +0000
Well, the following problem is based on the very old con\con bug that
affects unpatched Windows95/98/98SE systems.
If you don't know it take a look here:
I have decided to show this problem to the security community ONLY for 3
- I think that it is a funny method to crash remote systems through an
original way: multiplayer games and an old famous system bug.
- Probably a great number of people don't know that exists a patch to fix
the con\con problem and, moreover, that exist this famous problem.
- I like a lot the exploit I have written and probably someone could find it
interesting for other tests on the Quake 3 engine 8-)
Quickly: some of the games based on the Quake 3 engine have a funny feature.
They display the image related to the current map played in a multiplayer
First, they get the name of the map passed from the server in the "mapname"
parameter, add a .TGA or other image extensions to this name and finally try
to load and display it on the screen.
An example in C language for Quake 3 is the following:
#define Q3 "\xff\xff\xff\xff" \
------> "\\mapname\\con/con" \
I have personally tested some games based on the Quake 3 engine and the
- Quake 3 Arena 1.32
- Soldier of Fortune 2 1.03 GOLD
The games that I have tested and are NOT vulnerables are:
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein 1.41
- Medal of Honor: Allied Assault 1.11
ONLY the clients are vulnerables to this problem.
EXPLOIT FOR QUAKE 3 + HEARTBEAT EMULATOR
I have written an exploit that emulates a Quake 3 server and sends the
It can be compiled on both Unix and Windows and it also sends a heartbeat
packet to the Quake 3 Masterserver (you can disable this feature adding a 0
after the executable name when you launch it).
The heartbeat is the method used by game servers for be included in the
pubblic servers list that is owned by ID-Software.
That mean that the exploit will receive queries from all the Quake 3 clients
in the world and it will send the con/con mapname back to them:
The official patch for the con\con problem (year 2000) can be found here:
PivX Bug Researcher
- Exploit: Quake 3 engine, con\con and heartbeats (just for fun) Auriemma Luigi (May 28)