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‘Rime’ goes DRM-free after hackers crack the game in days

That didn’t take long. Rime developer Tequila Works promised earlier this week that it would remove Denuvo, the anti-tampering/DRM system on the Windows version of Rime, if someone cracked it. Just five days later, and that’s already happened and the makers have already released an update that’s DRM-free. Interestingly, the developer tweeted saying its publisher was the one promising to make the game DRM-free if cracked. The developer says it didn’t implement the protection in the place. The tweet has since been deleted.

Baldman, a member of the game-cracking site Skidrow Games Reloaded, published a workaround yesterday — less than a week since Rime’s release. The makers themselves assumed it would take a few weeks before someone found a workaround to the anti-tampering code. Steam users demanded that the game should have the DRM security (the resource-hogging Denuvo) removed. Many players have noted that Rime‘s DRM is slowing save game load speeds as the software checks you’re running a legit copy of the game. Development studio Grey Box’s Cody Bradley noted that Denuvo could cause “a small performance hit“.

The studio maintains that any game cracks can create quality problems with the title, but has already made good on its promise. On both Steam forums and its own official site, it told gamers that the new update, out now, will replace “the current build of Rime with one that does not contain Denuvo.”

Via: Steam forums, Greybox (Rime)

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There's a good reason why security analysts get nervous about bundled third-party software: it can introduce vulnerabilities that the companies can't control. And Microsoft, unfortunately, has learned that the hard way. Google researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered that a Windows 10 image came bundled with a third-party password manager, Keeper, which came with a glaring browser plugin flaw -- a malicious website could steal passwords. Ormandy's copy was an MSDN image meant for developers, but Reddit users noted that they received the vulnerable copy of Keeper after clean reinstalls of regular copies and even a brand new laptop.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica that the Keeper team had patched the exploit (in response to Ormandy's private disclosure), so it shouldn't be an issue if your software is up to date. Also, you were only exposed if you enabled the plugin.

However, the very existence of the hole has still raised a concern: are Microsoft's security tests as thorough for third-party apps as its own software? The company has declined to comment, but that kind of screening may prove crucial if Microsoft is going to maintain the trust of Windows users. It doesn't matter how secure Microsoft's code is if a bundled app undermines everything.

Source: Monorail, Tavis Ormandy (Twitter)