18 votes

Doom Eternal Update 1 adds Denuvo Anti-Cheat, anti-cheat software running on ring 0

Various blog/forum posts:

Various articles:

More links will be added as they show up, if you come across any worth including feel free to comment them or PM me.

37 comments

  1. [4]
    Grzmot
    (edited )
    Link
    Why? The game has been cracked for a long-ass time. It was cracked at launch because the devs forgot to remove a separate executable in the game file which launched the game and was not protected...

    Why?

    The game has been cracked for a long-ass time. It was cracked at launch because the devs forgot to remove a separate executable in the game file which launched the game and was not protected by Denuvo. Do they seriously think that whatever they're going to add with the DLCs is going to be so good that people who played through the game cracked are going to want to buy it now?

    This seems like a waste of money.

    EDIT: My bad, it's Denuvi Anti-Cheat, not Anti-Tamper.

    Well, I'm still uninstalling anyway, I finished the campaign ages ago and I really don't want to play the online game mode.

    13 votes
    1. [3]
      Bauke
      Link Parent
      This is about Denuvo's Anti-Cheat, not their Anti-Tamper, that's a different thing altogether.

      This is about Denuvo's Anti-Cheat, not their Anti-Tamper, that's a different thing altogether.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        Grzmot
        Link Parent
        I realized that about 1 minute after I posted the comment and edited it at the same time you replied. It doesn't matter, It's still another ring 0 application devs want to force down my throat. I...

        I realized that about 1 minute after I posted the comment and edited it at the same time you replied.

        It doesn't matter, It's still another ring 0 application devs want to force down my throat. I was thinking of buying the season pass for Eternal, good to know that the devs made that decision for me.

        6 votes
        1. Bauke
          Link Parent
          Ah I see, great timing. :P And yeah, it's worrying that this is what anti-cheat has come down to.

          Ah I see, great timing. :P

          And yeah, it's worrying that this is what anti-cheat has come down to.

          5 votes
  2. [10]
    HanakoIsBestGirl
    Link
    Would it be wrong to call this sort of stuff a rootkit? It's certainly malware. I don't get why the games industry can't handle verification like every other thing does and should do, that is...

    Would it be wrong to call this sort of stuff a rootkit? It's certainly malware. I don't get why the games industry can't handle verification like every other thing does and should do, that is doing it server-side. Never trust the client. People will still find a way to get around this anti-cheat as they almost always do. This, like DRM only really hurts legitimate customers.

    And to sneak it in after the game has already been released is just scummy. This is one of the few games I was considering buying - but no longer. I imagine this would also kill any chances of the game ever running on GNU/Linux (people seem to be reporting that the game no longer starts on protondb). I wonder if it would still let you play the singleplayer without the anti-cheat installed.

    If I had purchased this game, I would be requesting a refund. This is like purchasing a car and then after 6 months the car company takes your car and limits the top speed to 80kmh or something. The cracked version of the game from before this malware was introduced never looked better...

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      While the Denuvo Anti-Cheat does have ring 0 priviledges, it probably isn't a rootkit because it does not hide itself to prevent installation. However, programs with such permissions have been...

      While the Denuvo Anti-Cheat does have ring 0 priviledges, it probably isn't a rootkit because it does not hide itself to prevent installation. However, programs with such permissions have been used in the past to gain access to them and execute arbitrary code with the same priviledges. Literally the same thing happened in Street Figher V when Capcom deployed a level 0 anti-cheat and a user reverse-engineered, found out it was just a function being called, changed the pointer and suddenly gained level 0 priviledges with any code he wanted to execute.

      I wonder if it would still let you play the singleplayer without the anti-cheat installed.

      As per the changelog, Denuvo Anti-Cheat launches when the game starts and quits when the game exits. They say you only need it for multiplayer but apparently it's refusing to start if you don't have Anti-Cheat installed, even if you only want to go into singleplayer.

      If I had purchased this game, I would be requesting a refund. This is like purchasing a car and then after 6 months the car company takes your car and limits the top speed to 80kmh or something. The cracked version of the game from before this malware was introduced never looked better...

      I would refund it, but at this point I finished the campaign and got what I wanted out of the game. It'd feel dishonest to request a refund now after I've gotten 20 hours enjoyment out of it.

      9 votes
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        I would actually argue that you still should refund the game. Sure, you received twenty hours of enjoyment for your purchase, but now they have gone and changed the product. Can you still receive...

        I would actually argue that you still should refund the game. Sure, you received twenty hours of enjoyment for your purchase, but now they have gone and changed the product. Can you still receive enjoyment from the game? Are you still capable of playing the game?

        For a minority of users who run the game using something like Proton, the answer now seems to be that they can no longer enjoy the game. They should 100% get a refund.

        As for you specifically, you might play games on Windows and not be affected by this. I don't know.

        I still think you should request a refund.

        id changed the product, made it worse, and more dangerous. If you're not okay with these kinds of changes, you should seek a refund as a form of protest.

        It's a bit of a stretch, but to keep going with @HanakoIsBestGirl's car explanation, this to me is like buying a car, and then six months later the manufacturer issues a software update that makes a safety feature of the car less reliable, and overall makes the car more dangerous to operate.

        That's what these sorts of anti-cheat systems are. Dangerous.

        So, I don't know if you can get a refund, like if the store you bought it from will grant you one, but I would absolutely request one and make a polite fuss about it.

        8 votes
    2. Bop
      Link Parent
      Plenty of well-known anticheats used by millions have a kernel driver that runs on ring0. When you install anything that isn't open source there always has to be a level of trust between you and...

      Plenty of well-known anticheats used by millions have a kernel driver that runs on ring0. When you install anything that isn't open source there always has to be a level of trust between you and the developers: they could do more than enough malicious stuff without running at ring 0.

      I agree that adding it in well after release is kind of scummy, and that it's never good to increase the attack surface on your machine, though.

      6 votes
    3. [6]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      Yes, it's wrong to call lit a rootkit. No, it's not made with malicious intent, and we have no evidence it does anything malicious. I think most legitimate users like playing multiplayer games...

      Would it be wrong to call this sort of stuff a rootkit?

      Yes, it's wrong to call lit a rootkit.

      It's certainly malware.

      No, it's not made with malicious intent, and we have no evidence it does anything malicious.

      This, like DRM only really hurts legitimate customers.

      I think most legitimate users like playing multiplayer games without cheaters in them. They said in their blog post that the anti-cheat is only active while playing Battlemode. It is idle in the campaign, and not even loaded in memory at all when the game isn't running. We haven't seen this hurt anyone outside of not breaking WINE support.

      This is like purchasing a car and then after 6 months the car company takes your car and limits the top speed to 80kmh or something.

      How so? The game runs exactly as fast today as it did last week.

      Nobody cares that almost every other anti-cheat on the market runs relies on a kernel mode driver, why is this one suddenly controversial? We've never seen this kind of fuss over BattleEye or Easy Anti Cheat. This isn't Vanguard.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Grzmot
        Link Parent
        Maybe for you, but people on r/Doom are already reporting FPS drops even in singleplayer, though in software as complex as a modern video game like Doom Eternal, this may have to do with different...

        How so? The game runs exactly as fast today as it did last week.

        Maybe for you, but people on r/Doom are already reporting FPS drops even in singleplayer, though in software as complex as a modern video game like Doom Eternal, this may have to do with different factors and people are probably just looking for a scapegoat.

        6 votes
        1. TheJorro
          Link Parent
          As long as there has been digital DRM and anti-cheat tools, there have been unverified claims of performance drops, especially with Denuvo recently. People were claiming performance drops before...

          As long as there has been digital DRM and anti-cheat tools, there have been unverified claims of performance drops, especially with Denuvo recently. People were claiming performance drops before the update even launched, yesterday.

          4 votes
      2. [3]
        HanakoIsBestGirl
        Link Parent
        I was probably went too far to call it a rootkit. I would argue it is malware, even if it isn't intentionally so. It breaks support for Linux and has the possibility of introducing security flaws...

        I was probably went too far to call it a rootkit. I would argue it is malware, even if it isn't intentionally so. It breaks support for Linux and has the possibility of introducing security flaws given the high level of access it has (and really shouldn't have, being a videogame).

        As for it only hurting paying customers. This is opinion, but I would rather a few extra cheaters caused by a less intrusive anti-cheat than a couple less cheaters and a ridiculous anti-cheat. My experience playing TF2 (which is full of cheaters because VAC is near useless) tells me that votekicking or a similar system for cheaters usually suffices - and a bit of manual work looking at player reports would also help immensely (although TF2 does not have this). DOOM costs $100 AUD - I think most cheaters would give up after a manual ban or two.

        The anti-cheat not running during singleplayer isn't good enough because it still kills Linux support for singleplayer. If they want to go ahead with this stuff - then the anti-cheat (which should be disabled in singleplayer anyway?) shouldn't prevent people from playing singleplayer! The anti-cheat should be properly disabled until you press the multiplayer button.

        In my car example I wasn't intentionally trying to compare the speed of the game to the speed of the car, I was trying to make the point that they have taken a product which you have already purchased (and therefore own (ok you "licensed" it but that's bs)) and made it worse. Maybe a more apt example would be them removing all the door locks (given the possible security flaws) from the car after you purchase it. Or in the case of Linux removing the entire car.

        And as for other anti-cheats not causing as much of a fuss - I think that sucks (I care but I see that most don't), but it is good that at least there is a fuss over these ones. My hope that is if enough people don't tolerate the anti-cheat then they won't do this kind of stuff. Perhaps wishful thinking.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          vektor
          Link Parent
          Anyone else think that trolls and cheaters are similar enough to warrant a serious look at tildes' way? The social way just seems like the better solution compared to technical roadblocks. The one...

          My experience playing TF2 (which is full of cheaters because VAC is near useless) tells me that votekicking or a similar system for cheaters usually suffices - and a bit of manual work looking at player reports would also help immensely

          Anyone else think that trolls and cheaters are similar enough to warrant a serious look at tildes' way? The social way just seems like the better solution compared to technical roadblocks. The one thing a game would have to deal with is making account creation "hard but simple", i.e. hard if you want to create a whole bunch (or more than one per person), but quick and easy for the honest player.

          3 votes
          1. babypuncher
            Link Parent
            I think the social way is prone to "false positives" and mob mentality. Matches could devolve into false accusations of cheating against skilled players, or votekicks being used to punish players...

            I think the social way is prone to "false positives" and mob mentality. Matches could devolve into false accusations of cheating against skilled players, or votekicks being used to punish players who don't play "the right way". Tildes works because it is a relatively small community, and has moderators who are good at acting impartial.

            It's not practical for a game with millions of players to have impartial moderators monitoring every single match in real time to deal with these problems.

            1 vote
  3. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    Over on /r/doom people are trying to get refunds, and being denied despite these huge changes. They also locked Master Levels behind a Twitch Prime paywall. EDIT: Apparently, the level block was...

    Over on /r/doom people are trying to get refunds, and being denied despite these huge changes.

    They also locked Master Levels behind a Twitch Prime paywall.

    EDIT: Apparently, the level block was just a string in the game found via a cheat, but it was apparently planned then shuttered.

    6 votes
  4. sqew
    Link
    Well, I just returned it. Bought on Steam and had played under an hour. Wasn't really enjoying it too much, so this was a good catalyst to return it, especially since this will (as OP noted with...

    Well, I just returned it. Bought on Steam and had played under an hour. Wasn't really enjoying it too much, so this was a good catalyst to return it, especially since this will (as OP noted with one of their links) prevent it running on Linux, which is something I value.

    If they fix this, maybe I'll pick it up in a year or two on deep discounts during a Steam Sale.

    6 votes
  5. [4]
    kfwyre
    Link
    This is a somewhat tangential question, but the only time I ever see anti-cheat news is when something has gone wrong or is particularly egregious. Is this just the nature of anti-cheat systems...

    This is a somewhat tangential question, but the only time I ever see anti-cheat news is when something has gone wrong or is particularly egregious. Is this just the nature of anti-cheat systems being an arms race of escalating privileges, or is there a way to do anti-cheat "right" that doesn't compromise the security of the end user but still prevents cheaters? Are there any games/platforms/methods that we can point to as shining examples of "doing anti-cheat right"?

    2 votes
    1. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      I'm hardly an expert but this post from Gabe Newell on r/gaming some six years ago may be insightful.: I'm not surprised if, after all this time, some developers have thrown up their hands and...

      I'm hardly an expert but this post from Gabe Newell on r/gaming some six years ago may be insightful.:

      We don't usually talk about VAC (our counter-hacking hacks), because it creates more opportunities for cheaters to attack the system (through writing code or social engineering).

      This time is going to be an exception.

      There are a number of kernel-level paid cheats that relate to this Reddit thread. Cheat developers have a problem in getting cheaters to actually pay them for all the obvious reasons, so they start creating DRM and anti-cheat code for their cheats. These cheats phone home to a DRM server that confirms that a cheater has actually paid to use the cheat.

      VAC checked for the presence of these cheats. If they were detected VAC then checked to see which cheat DRM server was being contacted. This second check was done by looking for a partial match to those (non-web) cheat DRM servers in the DNS cache. If found, then hashes of the matching DNS entries were sent to the VAC servers. The match was double checked on our servers and then that client was marked for a future ban. Less than a tenth of one percent of clients triggered the second check. 570 cheaters are being banned as a result.

      Cheat versus trust is an ongoing cat-and-mouse game. New cheats are created all the time, detected, banned, and tweaked. This specific VAC test for this specific round of cheats was effective for 13 days, which is fairly typical. It is now no longer active as the cheat providers have worked around it by manipulating the DNS cache of their customers' client machines.

      Kernel-level cheats are expensive to create, and they are expensive to detect. Our goal is to make them more expensive for cheaters and cheat creators than the economic benefits they can reasonably expect to gain.

      I'm not surprised if, after all this time, some developers have thrown up their hands and decided to go with Ring 0 anti-cheats but it does feel like it's a bit bruteforced of a solution.

      9 votes
    2. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      Things like Punkbuster that scan your memory, or even game checksums to make sure what you're running matches the server are the best I can think of. Even Steam does a decent job of locking games...

      Things like Punkbuster that scan your memory, or even game checksums to make sure what you're running matches the server are the best I can think of. Even Steam does a decent job of locking games up, without completely screwing the consumer. Any problems I've had with DRM on Steam were third-party schemes. Even Steam provides a mechanism for playing single player if you're offline (offline mode).

      There will always be a balance between privilege for the player and privilege for the developer, though. Too far in favor of the consumer, and it's easily crackable. To far to the developer, and it's a kernel-level system.

      3 votes
    3. babypuncher
      Link Parent
      In this case people are just on edge because Vanguard turned out to be such a shitshow (thanks to a perfect storm of running at boot, buggy implementation, and ties to the Chinese government)....

      In this case people are just on edge because Vanguard turned out to be such a shitshow (thanks to a perfect storm of running at boot, buggy implementation, and ties to the Chinese government).

      This anti-cheat doesn't look any worse than EAC or BattleEye, which people have been using for years without complaining.

      3 votes
  6. [6]
    vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    Any clue how to implement reliable (= one that cannot be circumvented) client-side anti-cheat software on a PC without being in ring 0? Because I haven't. Of course Doom's singleplayer should work...

    Any clue how to implement reliable (= one that cannot be circumvented) client-side anti-cheat software on a PC without being in ring 0? Because I haven't.

    Of course Doom's singleplayer should work without it, though.

    2 votes
    1. LukeZaz
      Link Parent
      Quite frankly, you don't. No matter what you do or use – including ring 0 access – nothing will stop a determined cheater from bypassing software on their own computer any which way they want. The...

      Any clue how to implement reliable (= one that cannot be circumvented) client-side anti-cheat software on a PC [...]

      Quite frankly, you don't. No matter what you do or use – including ring 0 access – nothing will stop a determined cheater from bypassing software on their own computer any which way they want. The only good answers are either A) take a fully-authoritative server approach wherein the server verifies almost anything a client does, and deal with the inevitable input latency that results; or B) implement a good-enough anti-cheat that stops most cheaters while periodically updating it to handle new cheats, then ban the few that get past it case-by-case.

      7 votes
    2. [4]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      Yeah people are weirdly freaked out about installing a new driver that only runs when the game is active. It's a question of how much you trust the developer of it, not the basic premise of...

      Yeah people are weirdly freaked out about installing a new driver that only runs when the game is active. It's a question of how much you trust the developer of it, not the basic premise of allowing a driver to run in ring 0.

      Odds are the driver for your stupid RGB lighting system is less secure, but I don't see mobs with pitchforks swarming ASUS.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        loto
        Link Parent
        Not that this is the issue most people are freaking out, but my main problem is the singleplayer won't start either without it, which means I can't play it on linux through wine/proton anymore. I...

        Not that this is the issue most people are freaking out, but my main problem is the singleplayer won't start either without it, which means I can't play it on linux through wine/proton anymore. I don't think it'd be too hard to allow singleplayer to work with it inactive , but I'm not sure how the tech works, might be all or nothing.

        Oddly enough, Microsoft has a great solution to this with the Halo PC ports - when you launch it, you can launch w/o anti-cheat or with, so people with ideological/OS issues can play without issue.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Denuvo says they are working on a solution to get the game working in Wine again and hope to have it out soon.

          Denuvo says they are working on a solution to get the game working in Wine again and hope to have it out soon.

          2 votes
          1. loto
            Link Parent
            Nice to know they're aware of the issue I suppose, and good to know they aren't just leaving wine players by the wayside. In a perfect world we wouldn't need anti-cheat in the first place, but...

            Nice to know they're aware of the issue I suppose, and good to know they aren't just leaving wine players by the wayside. In a perfect world we wouldn't need anti-cheat in the first place, but people cheating is still a project

            1 vote
  7. vegai
    Link
    If any of you guys trying to play Doom Eternal on Linux haven't tried Doom 2016 yet, I can easily recommend it. I think it's a better game than Eternal, and does not suffer issues like this one.

    If any of you guys trying to play Doom Eternal on Linux haven't tried Doom 2016 yet, I can easily recommend it. I think it's a better game than Eternal, and does not suffer issues like this one.

  8. [4]
    Grzmot
    Link
    Slightly related to this topic: The 2005 Sony BMG copy protection scandal happened because the company installed rootkits on your computer when you inserted your CD with apparently only music on it.
    4 votes
    1. [3]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      I don't think that is related at all. This isn't a rootkit.

      I don't think that is related at all. This isn't a rootkit.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Grzmot
        Link Parent
        Not yet. But Sony's DRM is a cautionary tale of digital rights management gone too far.

        Not yet. But Sony's DRM is a cautionary tale of digital rights management gone too far.

        6 votes
        1. babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Sony's DRM on audio CDs was an enormous clusterfuck, and absolutely a cautionary tale. I don't think Denuvo's DRM or their new anti-cheat solution go nearly that far though. Their DRM is downright...

          Sony's DRM on audio CDs was an enormous clusterfuck, and absolutely a cautionary tale.

          I don't think Denuvo's DRM or their new anti-cheat solution go nearly that far though. Their DRM is downright benign compared to StarForce and SecuROM, and their anti-cheat doesn't appear to do anything other established players like BattleEye and Easy Anti-Cheat haven't been doing for years.

          3 votes
  9. [6]
    Jedi
    Link
    Off-topic, but you don't have to worry about this with Stadia.

    Off-topic, but you don't have to worry about this with Stadia.

    1. [4]
      Bop
      Link Parent
      The latency on stadia makes it untenable for any serious gaming, it’s great for casuals and more relaxing games but FPS like doom eternal would never be competitive.

      The latency on stadia makes it untenable for any serious gaming, it’s great for casuals and more relaxing games but FPS like doom eternal would never be competitive.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        Jedi
        Link Parent
        Have you actually tried it? After this patch, which cites reduced input latency, someone tested it and it went from 142ms to 83ms. Digital Foundry even found Stadia had lower latency in RDR2 than...

        Have you actually tried it? After this patch, which cites reduced input latency, someone tested it and it went from 142ms to 83ms. Digital Foundry even found Stadia had lower latency in RDR2 than the Xbox One X (they have not retested DOOM Eternal since the patch.)

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Bop
          Link Parent
          I’ve tried it before the patch, but tbh even 83ms is a huge lag for competitive games. My ping in the games I play is like 10-15

          I’ve tried it before the patch, but tbh even 83ms is a huge lag for competitive games. My ping in the games I play is like 10-15

          1 vote
          1. vektor
            Link Parent
            Yup. 80ms is doable with good client side prediction, but that doesn't work on stadia does it? 80ms uncompensated sound baaaad.

            Yup. 80ms is doable with good client side prediction, but that doesn't work on stadia does it? 80ms uncompensated sound baaaad.

            1 vote
    2. vegai
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Nor with consoles. But both Stadia and consoles are one huge protected sandbox anyway, so there's no reason to build anti-cheat software.

      Nor with consoles. But both Stadia and consoles are one huge protected sandbox anyway, so there's no reason to build anti-cheat software.