Hackers are infecting Modern Warfare 2 players with a self-spreading malware

Shawn Knight

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In a nutshell: The original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 featured a plethora of user-unlockable titles and emblems that players could collect. One such title, Infected, could only be earned by getting knifed by an enemy who was actively using the title. The latest "infected" making the rounds certainly isn't that.

Late last month, a Steam user posted about hackers using MW2 game lobbies to spread a worm. Additional digging and analysis seemed to confirm the malware was indeed a worm. Just yesterday, Activision took the multiplayer mode Modern Warfare 2 (Steam) offline to "investigate reports of an issue."

The Twitter account that announced the investigation hasn't commented further, and it is unclear if multiplayer for MW2 is back online as of this writing.

As mentioned, this is the original version of Modern Warfare 2 from 2009 and not the newer 2022 reboot sequel. MW2 is arguably one of the best Call of Duty games ever published and despite its age, it still has an online following.

The game was held in such high regard that it served as the basis for a reboot. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II from Infinity War was last year's flagship CoD launch. The game launched in late October and earned nearly a billion dollars in just three days, the best opening weekend for a Call of Duty game in franchise history.

Call of Duty has been at the center of Microsoft's attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard ever since the deal was announced in early 2022. Sony and others have expressed concern that Microsoft could make the franchise exclusive to its platforms, dealing a major competitive blow to companies like Sony and its PlayStation.

Microsoft fought back and eventually defeated the FTC in federal court, clearing a path for the buyout. Microsoft and Activision recently extended the merger deadline to deal with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The next game in the franchise is expected to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, and it should be dropping in time for the holidays.

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