AS popular Twitch streamer Friendly Baron was in the middle of a GTA single-player mission, his character suddenly died after exiting the vehicle in the during a car chase. Some thought that it was a one-time glitch but the truth is much darker, as the death was caused by a hacker.
In a post on the popular GTA V subreddit, the streamer notes that he and his friends were harassed by a modder while playing GTA Online last week. Friendly Baron is convinced that the same modder used unsavory method in order to kill his character although he was playing the story campaign.
His claim seemed real as other players reported that they were also remotely killed while they were playing the story mode. Another streamer was killed even in creator mode, sparking heated discussions among the fans.
At first the claim seemed to be impossible. How could someone kill you if you are playing the story-mode and there is no obvious way to attack your character? The confirmation came from Rockstar, as they quickly patched the exploit.
People on the GTA modding communities were fascinated by the problem and they rushed to discover the source before Rockstar issued the official fix. It was quickly revealed that the vulnerability exploited by the malicious modders was present in the game since it was released.
The modders gained access to the tools used by Rockstar in order to remove toxic players from online lobbies and which are also employed during certain streaming events. While they are usually used to kick players, the tools can also spawn vehicles at will, or even kill specific players. The tools were available from the start, but until now they couldn’t be used in the single-player mode. The situation changed after another recently released mod allowed interested parties to track down the specific Social Club ID numbers associated with a player. Modders used those numbers with the tools in order to wreak havoc.
As the vulnerability has been patched, players cannot be killed with tool as the command is ignored by the game. The situation may change as modders are developing new tools every day in order to prove their skill and challenge the status quo.
Lisa Adams is a seasoned journalist with 8 years experience as a reporter and investigative journalist. While studying journalism at University of South Florida, Lisa honed her craft before setting out on her career. As a contributor to Miami Morning Star, Lisa covers municipal and state politics.