Guild Wars 2 Caught Applying Spyware to Catch Cheaters

The developer of the preferred on-line role-playing game Guild Wars 2 banned just about 1,600 players accusing them of utilizing cheating software – and it allegedly employed spyware to determine the suspected cheaters.

On Saturday, a spokesperson for ArenaNet, the company that develops Guild Wars 2, announced in a forum post that it had suspended for six months 1,583 accounts of gamers who were working with “programs that let players to cheat and obtain unfair gameplay advantages.”

As outlined by Fabian Wosar, a security researcher and among the Guild Wars 2 players banned, ArenaNet was able to spot the alleged cheaters thanks to what basically amounts to spyware. In a Reddit post, Wosar explained that he reverse-engineered Guild Wars 2 updates over the last couple of weeks and stated that a March 6 update incorporated a plan that surreptitiously scanned the player’s pc looking for other apps and processes that may be used to cheat inside the game.

“Arena decided it was okay to just snoop about in the processes I was running and decided it found something it didn’t like,” Wosar wrote on Reddit. “The dilemma is, that simply because you’ve a approach operating that could potentially be utilised to cheat within your game, does not mean it can be used to cheat within your game. Based on the data Arena gathered on my method, Arena doesn’t know no matter if I cheated in their game either. All they do know is, that I had processes operating that may be used for cheating.”

Wosar stated that he never ever cheated or used bots in Guild Wars 2, but stated he had the apps that ArenaNet deemed as suspicious running on his laptop or computer since of his job. He said he does not believe this method to monitor players is uncommon, but within this case, it was sending each of the data gathered from the player’s computer in an insecure solution to ArenaNet’s servers.

In line with Wosar, the strategy ArenaNet utilised was also not very sophisticated, as it could not truly tell if the player was using the suspected computer software to cheat on Guild Wars 2.

Josh Watson, a senior security engineer at Trail of Bits, mentioned he agreed that the anti-cheat program could possibly be deemed “spyware” but that it could be trivial to bypass this detection technique. Even so, it likely was highly successful anyway.

Adrian Bednarek, a security researcher at Independent Safety Evaluators who has completed study on video games, mentioned he has noticed a few games applying equivalent strategies to catch cheaters.

In February, Motherboard reported that a flight simulator was looking to catch folks making use of pirated software by infecting them with malware created to steal their Chrome passwords.