18 votes

Cheat-maker brags of computer-vision auto-aim that works on “any game”

10 comments

  1. tesseractcat
    Link
    I'm not surprised that something like this is starting to be possible. In the end, there won't be any way to completely prevent it, because of the analog hole. I suspect that we'll see an arms...

    I'm not surprised that something like this is starting to be possible. In the end, there won't be any way to completely prevent it, because of the analog hole. I suspect that we'll see an arms race where anticheat tries to detect 'inhuman' movement, and the bot developers try to make their movement more similar to a very skilled human.

    In the end I suspect this won't be that big of a deal though, as there are plenty of games where it's really easy to cheat undetected (like chess). And it will probably struggle significantly with games that have friendly fire (see: Rainbow 6 Siege).

    15 votes
  2. [2]
    DataWraith
    Link
    I found this talk from 2018 interesting. It details how Valve deals with cheaters in CS:GO, and I think the method should work for analog hole cheats, up until the point where cheating truly...

    I found this talk from 2018 interesting. It details how Valve deals with cheaters in CS:GO, and I think the method should work for analog hole cheats, up until the point where cheating truly becomes indistinguishable from skilled play.

    In summary:

    • They try to segregate suspected cheaters from normal players, so the cheaters only play amongst themselves and don't ruin everyone else's fun
    • They have a system in place ("Overwatch") that lets people spectate games after the fact to identify cheating
    • They train a deep recurrent neural network to detect cheating, trained on data from convicted cheaters

    The caveat is that it only works for cheats that can be identified by a human spectating, so extremely subtle cheats won't be detected. Then again, extremely subtle cheats are probably less attractive because they don't provide as much advantage...

    14 votes
    1. JXM
      Link Parent
      True, but if game makers can cut down on cheating such that all that remains is the more subtle cheats, then those become more attractive.

      Then again, extremely subtle cheats are probably less attractive because they don't provide as much advantage...

      True, but if game makers can cut down on cheating such that all that remains is the more subtle cheats, then those become more attractive.

      4 votes
  3. [7]
    Deimos
    Link
    The developer of this tool seems to have ceased all further work on it, "at the request of Activision": https://www.userviz.com/ Ars hadn't named the actual tool in their original article, but...

    The developer of this tool seems to have ceased all further work on it, "at the request of Activision": https://www.userviz.com/

    Ars hadn't named the actual tool in their original article, but they posted a new one today that makes it clear that is the one they were referring to: Auto-aim cheatmaker halts development at Activision’s request

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Does Activision have any real legal power here? Or are they just scaring the cheat author with the threat of lawyers?

      Does Activision have any real legal power here? Or are they just scaring the cheat author with the threat of lawyers?

      4 votes
      1. AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        That is a good question and one I'm not sure has been challenged in court just yet. The console/developer/publisher should have every right to ban anyone that violates their terms of service, but...

        That is a good question and one I'm not sure has been challenged in court just yet. The console/developer/publisher should have every right to ban anyone that violates their terms of service, but does the platform have legal standing to sue over the creation of something that can be used to cheat?

        There's Galoob v Nintendo over Game Genie, but Nintendo sued (and lost) on the basis of copyright with the ruling stating "Having paid Nintendo a fair return, the consumer may experiment with the product and create new variations of play, for personal enjoyment, without creating a derivative work." The court stating that you can do what you will with the property you purchase.

        Of course Galoob v Nintendo was single player games, not online, and no company with millions of dollars to back them up has (to my knowledge) offered an online cheating tool that could be targeted in such a lawsuit to establish the precedent. I'm sure part of the lawsuit will involve the ever present purchase vs license BS that nearly every piece of software claims these days. If it ever gets to a point that some major company creates an online cheat device and is sued, I'm sure neither side will be exactly chomping at the bit to take it to court. I the cheat company loses then they're out everything they've built, if the game company loses then it's open season and a cheat device arms race the likes of DRM vs crackers.

        4 votes
      2. [2]
        stu2b50
        Link Parent
        It depends on what country the author resides in as well. For example, in South Korea, forget civil liabilities, it's straight up a crime with penalties up to $40k in fines and 5 years in jail. A...

        It depends on what country the author resides in as well. For example, in South Korea, forget civil liabilities, it's straight up a crime with penalties up to $40k in fines and 5 years in jail.

        A SK cheat developer for OW got 1 year in jail, for instance.

        3 votes
        1. teaearlgraycold
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I think people that create or use cheats in online games are dicks, but jail time? That's insane. Honestly I do like the pressure that hackers and game cheaters put on developers. I'm a web...

          I think people that create or use cheats in online games are dicks, but jail time? That's insane.

          Honestly I do like the pressure that hackers and game cheaters put on developers. I'm a web developer, and while I don't want to think about super advanced exploits, I appreciate that I need to think about how permissive my server is in its interactions with the client. Video game servers allow clients to do so much more than web servers do with their clients. That's for performance reasons, but maybe one day we can have game servers with hardware and software fast enough to determine if a player's packets are human-capable or not. Client-side anti cheat should be a blip in multiplayer software history.

          The ultimate level of the client/server adversarial relationship is in Ethereum smart contract development. There is constant pressure on every line of code for perfection. People are out there running static analysis on the blockchain after every transaction to determine if there is some finite number of VM cycles between a method call and free (stolen) Ethereum. It's like a force of nature, and the money always wants to seep out of the container you put it in.

          What I don't like is that it's impossible to fix bugs after you deploy a smart contract. But the overall environment is super interesting. People like to say that there are so many eyes on open source code that it's got to be more secure than closed source code. The amount of CVEs for open source packages proves that's not remotely true. But the payout for breaking an Ethereum smart contract, combined with the convention of publishing verified source code for a compiled contract, gives those packages tons of free security audits. In the traditional software world you need to publish a bounty program. With a smart contract you just stick enough Ethereum inside. If it's still there a year later the contract is probably safe.

          8 votes
    2. [2]
      Bullmaestro
      Link Parent
      Saw that story earlier on Reddit. Didn't realise it was the same machine learning project. I guess litigation is one way publishers can protect themselves from this. Because honestly something...

      Saw that story earlier on Reddit. Didn't realise it was the same machine learning project.

      I guess litigation is one way publishers can protect themselves from this. Because honestly something like this would be far more difficult to detect and would have made most anti-cheat software useless.

      3 votes
      1. Octofox
        Link Parent
        Until someone from another country builds the same thing and ignores the legal threats. The cat is out of the bag on this tech now.

        I guess litigation is one way publishers can protect themselves

        Until someone from another country builds the same thing and ignores the legal threats. The cat is out of the bag on this tech now.

        8 votes