Update: Amazon has deployed a fix that "should resolve this issue and prevent players from abusing and exploiting this feature. This should already be enabled in each region," the forum post (opens in new tab) reads. Item links should be safe from here on out, but stay vigilant.
Original story: New World players may want to turn off global text chat for a while. An exploit in New World's chat system allows some users to send messages containing disruptive images and, in some cases, malicious code that will crash the game.
First noticed sometime yesterday, the earliest uses of the chat exploit seemed harmless—a blown-up picture of New World's sausage art here or a raw chicken there. It didn't take long for players to find more nefarious uses for the vulnerability. As seen in Josh Strife Hayes' video above, it's apparently possible to inject code into an item link message that, when hovered over with your mouse, crashes the game in seconds.
Amazon Games is aware of the issue and "taking a look to prevent this from occurring," but there's no ETA for a fix yet. To avoid malicious links or annoying chat images, we recommend closing your game's chat by pressing Enter and switching off channels or muting them completely by clicking on the gear icon above the typing field.
It seems players have also figured out how to post images other than art that's already in the game, including images that reach beyond the text chat's on-screen borders. Particularly, one player says they were "flashbanged" by a server-wide message that covered the screen in bright yellow boxes.
The exploit is still new and under active investigation. Hayes' video claims that the method for injecting code into item links could also be used to duplicate gold, but stopped short of showing this happen. Unfortunately, the exploit doesn't seem complicated to use, so players should expect the spam and troublesome links to worsen in the coming days. For the time being, it's probably best to limit your chatting to DMs.
MMOs actually have a history with chat-related problems. Reacting to a New World sausage message, Redditor Booner999 shared a memory from when the users were posting funny and malicious images in WoW's chat (opens in new tab) and user chinaexpl0it recounted a similar exploit from Tera Online (opens in new tab). Amazon's problem certainly isn't unique here, so hopefully it won't take long to find a solution.