Activision launches the Ricochet anti-cheat system, intended to protect Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard, its next title. It is a divisive and potentially dangerous technology. Here’s why.
It is not uncommon to complete a game of Call of Duty Warzone with a bullet fired by a cheater. Activision’s game is so well known for its cheating problems that the publisher of the famous war game has decided to change its mind when it comes to the fight against cheat.
Activision announcement launch a system developed in-house called Ricochet. This one uses a pilot ” kernel», That is to say located very close to the core of Windows. In computer science, the operating system is separated into two parts: the part software, which is the one that users interact with, and the part kernel , often assimilated to the core of the bone. It is this part of the system that will interact directly with the hardware (components and peripherals).
This is RICOCHET Anti-Cheat – a new anti-cheat system arriving on Day 1 of #Warzone‘s Pacific Update later this year.
– Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) October 13, 2021
Activision explains that the interest of placing it there is to set up “New server-side tools that monitor data to identify cheaters, improved investigation processes to eradicate cheaters, and updates to strengthen account security.”
Why is this controversial?
The risk of installing a system so close to the Windows kernel continues to divide, and probably rightly so. Because the security risk is important: in the event of a bug, or if Activision were to be compromised by a cyber attack, the difficulties for the user could be considerable.
Others consider this anti-cheating method to be extremely invasive given that the pilot works similar to a malware and that he potentially has access to things he shouldn’t have.
Is this a first?
No. We have already seen this type of system on the Californian side Riot Games with his game Valuing. The giant’s anti-cheat system works, by default, even when the game is not running. Conversely, Call of Duty here promises that the pilot kernel will turn off when the game is turned off. In addition, Activision specifies that “The kernel-level driver only monitors and reports Call of Duty related activity. “
One thing is certain, game publishers are entering a minefield when they offer such systems. A scandal had exploded in 2005 around an anti-copy protection measure for audio CDs implemented by Sony. The principle was as follows: when you insert the CD into a computer, one or two software programs directly modify the operating system to prevent it from being able to copy CDs. More recently, Microsoft has abandoned an anti-cheat system at the kernel for Halo Infinite facing the outcry of the players.
When is it deployed?
This controversial anti-cheat system will be a ” exclusivity ” (what luck) Pc. Those who practice on console do not risk anything. However, they will be able to see the effects through the magic of cross-playby playing against PC players.
This system will first be launched on Call of Duty: Warzone at the time of its updatePacific, but the next title of the famous franchise,Call of Duty: Vanguardwill also benefit.