Tencent and Yujiang Police shut down new AI Cheating software for Valorant
In a significant move against online gaming cheats, Chinese authorities have dismantled several major VALORANT cheating rings. Individuals, believed to be at the heart of this scandal, have been apprehended. These individuals were allegedly involved in creating and disseminating programs designed to sidestep Riot Games’ Vanguard anti-cheat system.
Local media channels in China dubbed the news: China’s first AI Cheat Case Solved!
The Yujiang Public Security released an official statement on Weibo, shedding light on the meticulous operation that spanned several provinces. The statement revealed that the authorities had been alerted about the cheating program around mid-August. With Tencent’s collaboration, they meticulously planned the operation for over a month before zeroing in on the culprits.
The crackdown led to the arrest of two primary developers and eight others believed to be accomplices.
The official statement (poorly translated) states:
The Yujiang Public Security Cyber Security Brigade, together with the Food, Drug, Environmental and Criminal Investigation Brigades, organized more than 20 police forces to go to Zhejiang, Chongqing and other places to carry out network operations, and captured 10 suspects, including 2 “plug-in” program authors and 8 agents. On the scene, 17 computers, 11 mobile phones, card secret generation programs, “plug-in” source code Several “plug-in” auxiliary hardware and semi-finished hardware.
The official VALORANT Weibo account also acknowledged the operation’s success, emphasizing its significance in ensuring a fair competitive experience for players. Between August 25 to September 20, close to 800 cheat tools have been detected, according to the records shared, resulting in the banning of nearly 40,000 VALORANT accounts found using the various cheating softwares.
These numbers include both account and machine bans.
Read also: Does LoL use Vanguard?
Cheats are evolving
The interesting part of the news is that the “product” is referred to as an AI Plugin, and described as able to simulate the real operation of players, and does not require access to internal data in the game does have the characteristic of stronger concealment.
This means we are heading down the path of cheating software using zero game data to run making it impossible to detect by traditional means or by data scraping. It’s a good thing China has always adopted a stringent stance against online gaming cheats.
This incident is reminiscent of the 2018 crackdown on cheat developers for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Similarly, South Korean Overwatch hackers faced severe legal consequences the same year. The fate of the recently arrested VALORANT cheat developers remains uncertain.
Read next: Riot Vanguard: Myths and Mysteries