Heads Up: CS:GO And Team Fortress 2 Can Give You Malware


Leaking source code for games is generally bad news, but it’s ESPECIALLY bad news for games that are still being played. Source code is the bare guts of a game laid bare–what’s normally a mess of encrypted jibberish is now plain as day for anyone with a bit of coding knowledge.

It also makes it extremely easy for hackers to figure out a way to shove malware onto your PC through that game. Because games are given permission to do whatever they want after you install them, someone with knowledge of the source code can similarly do whatever they want to your PC thanks to that game’s permissions.

And since the source code for CS:GO and TF2 just got leaked, it means that anyone who plays that game online is under grave risk of a cyber attack.

The news of the leak was initially reported by @SteamDB. Although Valve has yet to comment, we’re taking this threat seriously, and so is the entire TF2 subreddit. The mods over there are calling on everyone to stop playing the game “until this problem has been resolved.”

It’s not just CS:GO and TF2 either–anything that uses the original Source engine is at risk. So that means no retro playthroughs of Half-Life 2, no messing around on GMOD, and definitely no team-play in Portal or Portal 2.

We should note that the source code leaks are of older versions of Source from 2017 and 2018, but considering how little so many Source-based games have changed since then, it’s still a major security risk to play anything built on Source. The only way to ensure your PC’s safety is by literally unplugging your internet whenever you play, which sort of defeats the point of most of these games.

Until we get the all-clear from Valve, we recommend staying away from these games for the time being. On the plus side, CS:GO should be getting ported to Source 2 fairly soon, so when that happens at least you can go back to playing Counter-Strike.

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