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Why New Anti-Cheat Software Might Be A Problem

How Epic Games has more control of your computer than you.

DISCLAIMER: I do not condone cheating; I do not cheat; please do not buy any hardware from the linked video. This is purely for educational purposes.

A lot of games today have anti-cheat: Fortnite, Valorant, and even Roblox are examples. All these anti-cheats run on different privilege levels of your computer. Your computer has four levels: The application level (level 3) allows the anti-cheat to monitor your software when the application is open. Levels 1 and 2 can access your memory and code more, but at level 0, that’s where things get serious.

Anti-cheat software works by monitoring what you do, and they monitor the code. The first way they detect cheats is, for example, if you’re hacking in Fortnite, and the anti-cheat detects that a piece of code is missing, and you’ve attached another one that lets your cheat software get injected into the code. It would ban you. Or if you connect an external device that’s not a standard piece of equipment, it can detect that and ban you. Because of all this, the nature of cheating is a game of cat and mouse; the cat is anti-cheat and is constantly trying to get the cheaters (mice). When the mice escape the cat, the anti-cheat fixes it, but eventually, the mouse will find another workaround, and the cycle continues, getting more and more extreme. This leads to the hackers getting their code into the kernel level; thus, the anti cheat is now also moving into the kernel level to stop the hackers. However, on the kernel level, the anti-cheats and the companies have more access to the computer than the user themselves. Do we really trust these companies with everything? Especially just so that we can play a game of Fortnite? Even this might not be enough to stop the hackers because, with new tech, hackers are using a whole separate computer to hack and run the cheats, which are undetectable by anti-cheat running on the gaming computer.

With all the advancements and cat-and-mouse nature of fighting cheating, the anti-cheats will eventually find a way to stop this. Still, it might let them have even more access to our things, so you could push for this to all stop and just let hackers hack, or you could let these big companies take more and more control over your system just so you can play a game of Fortnite and not have cheaters in it.





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