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Kaspersky Anti-Cheat targets eSports to make competition fair


You wouldn’t think cheating in eSports is a major problem at first glance, but in online tournaments, toggling cheats is much easier than you think. And even though there have been plenty of times that VAC and other solutions have caught cheaters, it’s not a perfect system.

It’s important to distinguish between cheating in singleplayer versus cheating in online games. If you want to cheat in a singleplayer game, that’s your deal, no biggie. The problem with cheating arises in online games, and takes many forms. Save manipulation, editing item data on the client-side, DoS attacks against other players, account theft, botting, the list of cheating options goes on forever.

But the core of the issue is the negative impact that cheaters cause in the gaming experience of others. And based on feedback from nearly 10,000 gamers collected by DRM firm Irdeto, the impact is pretty significant.

The firm surveyed 9,436 consumers located in six different countries. According to the report, three percent admitted to always using third-party tools to cheat. Another nine percent said “often” while 13 percent said “sometimes.” The report stated that a measly 12 percent claimed to never have cheated online.

This equates to 60 percent of the surveyed gamers felt that cheaters ruined their experience in the past. A larger 77 percent said they would stop playing a specific game if they suspected other players of cheating in that match.

This hole in the market for effective cheat prevention needs to be filled, and that’s where Kaspersky comes in. The anti-malware and research outfit is planning to leverage their extensive experience dealing with malware and hackers to track, analyze and prevent cheating in online games. The software their teams are developing will capture data submitted from players or game companies and then analyze for anomalous behavior. Not only will it be able to do analysis in post, but also capture and report cheating in real-time. Depending on the effectiveness of their methodology, this has the potential to completely alter the landscape of cheating online.

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The tool is being developed to support commonly played titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and more. The anti-cheat service is also being built to natively support engines like CryEngine, Unity, and Unreal Engine. For now at least, the service is being aimed at tournament organizers to help them secure games from cheaters.

“Fair play is highly important to gamers who strive to show their class and skill,” said Anton Selikhov, product owner for Kaspersky Anti-Cheat. “When games like CS:GO, PUBG or DOTA 2 become overloaded with cheaters, honest gamers will either stop playing or even give up the game for good.”

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