Anyone who plays PUBG knows someone who has blamed cheaters when they’ve been killed.
They might not have been wrong, cheating is a huge problem in Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. One of the biggest sources of cheat software comes from China.
Tencent Holdings Ltd., the game’s distributor there, has been working together with local law enforcement for several months now trying to bring down a ring of hackers associated with creating apps that seek to give PUBG players an unfair advantage.
A news report from a Chinese source indicates the total number of arrests are astounding 141 people. Here are a few pictures shared from the arrests.
From the report (translated):
According to national laws and regulations, game plug-ins are destructive procedural tools. Those involved in production and sales are suspected of constituting the crime of “providing intrusion, illegal control of computer information system procedures and tools”, and the offenders must eventually accept legal sanctions.
In total, police seized over 200 pieces of hardware ranging from mobile phones, computers, and other devices during the arrest.
These arrests follow a recent crackdown starting from the beginning of the year. By the time Bloomberg published their piece on this in January, 120 arrests had already been made.
In April, PUBG Corp. wrote a piece on Steam informing players that an additional 15 arrests had been made. This update also confirmed a long standing suspicion that the cheating apps in fact contained a trojan virus, allowing the hackers to access the user’s PC to extract personal information.
The cheating software as well as the stolen information provides these hacking rings with a considerable stream of money. According to the article published by pubg.qq, hacking groups could expect to earn thousands of yuan every day.
PUBG is one of the most popular games right now and these groups have clearly capitalized on its success.
In the Bloomberg article, Allen Zheng, one of the key Tencent minds behind Wechat, had this to say about the war being waged between hackers and software companies:
“It’s a never-ending battle.
You come up with something effective today, but encounter something completely different the next day.”
Hopefully these additional arrests will help deter others from following in their footsteps. Any maybe we’ll one day reach a time when you can tell your mate to just, ‘Git Gud’
Given what Zheng has stated, it seems like a more effective solution to dealing with organizations developing cheat apps is to punish them in real life, rather than attempting to combat the endlessly evolving software they develop.