Fortnite Servers Unstable As Epic Games Combats Meltdown CPU Exploit

One of the biggest advantages Fortnite has over PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is that it’s better optimized than its Battle Royale rival. It isn’t uncommon for players of PUBG to run into lag or lose connection altogether, especially on the new Xbox version of the game. Fortnite on the other hand hasn’t had as many of these issues even though it hasn’t been around as long. Unfortunately, Epic Games’ attempt to protect its services against the infamous Meltdown CPU exploit has made it a little difficult for some players to log in to the game.

Thankfully the team at Epic Games was quick to respond to the issue taking to Twitter to let fans know they were on the case.

Developers were quick to find what the issue was and later released a post on the game’s blog to give fans an idea of what was going on.

We wanted to provide a bit more context for the most recent login issues and service instability. All of our cloud services are affected by updates required to mitigate the Meltdown vulnerability. We heavily rely on cloud services to run our back-end and we may experience further service issues due to ongoing updates.

The following chart shows the significant impact on CPU usage of one of our back-end services after a host was patched to address the Meltdown vulnerability.

Meltdown CPU Exploit

Unexpected issues may occur with our services over the next week as the cloud services we use are updated. We are working with our cloud service providers to prevent further issues and will do everything we can to mitigate and resolve any issues that arise as quickly as possible. Thank you all for understanding. Follow our twitter @FortniteGame for any future updates regarding this issue.

Issues logging into the game’s servers are sporadic and players have reported being able to log in just fine at random moments. Unfortunately, this Meltdown CPU exploit won’t be affecting just Fortnite and players may find the same issues while attempting to log into other games. DFTG is here to keep you updated as other outages occur. For those looking to understand what the exploit actually is as well as some way to better protect themselves from future issues.

Meltdown is an exploit that affects Intel CPUs at least since 2011, which leverages elements of out-of-order execution to cause a change in the cache state of a CPU, and then use that to dump contents of memory that should normally be inaccessible. It may affect many other CPUs as well, basically anything that uses OOOE, which includes all Intel CPUs back to the original Pentium Pro (excluding Itanium and Atom before 2013), and AMD CPUs from a similar time period. While the current full implementation of Meltdown does not work on AMD and ARM CPUs, there are indications that further modification of the code could allow a similar attack to work on AMD and ARM processors. The KPTI (and similar) patches that have been deployed for Windows, OS X, and Linux largely mitigate the problem, though there are still some less critical remaining concerns.

It’s important to note that many of these exploits aren’t actually new. From the whitepaper, “The fact that hardware optimizations can change the state of microarchitectural elements, and thereby imperil secure software implementations, is known since more than 20 years. Both industry and the scientific community so far accepted this as a necessary evil for efficient computing.” What has changed is that Meltdown is a working attack vector on many Intel CPUs. The good news is that all the major operating systems should already be patched to mitigate problems.”

Let us know your thoughts on the server instability of Fortnite and the Meltdown CPU exploit in the comments section below. As always, don’t forget to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter for 24/7 coverage of all things gaming and entertainment.

Chris Calles1500 Posts

Known as "Stash" or Yippee Calles. He's a student of everything, avid adrenaline junkie, and creator of random things. When he's not delving into a game, book, or movie - He's out teaching himself new things or taking part in some pretty epic adventures. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

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