This is what cheat codes have become in 2016

“We, as humans, like to believe in the best in people. Many of us believe that people are inherently good,” says Sam (not his real name) a security consultant for a large video game studio.

“But whenever there is a way to get money out of a system, you’ll see exploitation.”

But in today’s gaming world that’s much, much more than just entering the Konami code or lowering your Wanted level.

Whether it be the advent of achievements/trophies, games that are always-online or just a move away from fun, the days of memorising an input to unlock a cool Easter egg are long gone.

Instead, in today’s online world cheating usually takes the form of account selling, account hacking, in-game item selling, and stolen credit cards.

Sam laid out some standout exploitative schemes people were using today:

  • “The spam many people receive from “Legitimate Game Company” saying their account has been compromised or banned continues to be sent out because it works. People follow those links and input their account information. I cannot say this enough: we will never ask for your username or password, and you should always check the URL after clicking a link. Better yet, contact the customer service team directly if you get an email saying your account has been suspended. The sheer size and persistence of this spam keeps it on my radar”.
  • Once, there was a specific person that was creating accounts to sell. We had our own mini arms race, as I found and removed their accounts. Then they began to get better, which forced me to improve my methods, which forced them to vary their actions and activities. This continued for a good year, as we sparred back and forth. Ultimately, they left for other games, but the experience and tools I built to combat them would continue to prove useful against other fraudulent players”.
  • “There was one person in particular who refused to admit they did wrong, and contacted us many, many times, through mechanisms like the EU consumer protection divisions and the Better Business Bureau. They even sent legal documents, trying to prove they were innocent. Of course we had all the data, but it got so bad that we had to contact several members of their clan and say that this person was lying, just so our side could get out”.

All we can say is, after reading his stories – we miss the days where cheating meant just clipping through walls to find secret levels.

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This is what cheat codes have become in 2016

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