Call of Duty gets anti-cheat at the kernel level

Yesterday Activision warned that bad news was on the way for Call of Duty scammers. “Fraudsters are not welcome,” it says. “There is no tolerance for scammers and you will soon know what we mean.” Today it kept that promise with the announcement of Ricochet, a new anti-cheat technology that uses a kernel-level driver to “help identify fraudsters and strengthen and strengthen overall server security”.

“The Ricochet Anti-Cheat Initiative is a multi-faceted approach to fighting fraud with new server-side tools that monitor analytics to detect fraud, improved investigation processes to eradicate fraudsters, updates to improve account security and more,” said Activision. “In addition to the Ricochet Anti-Cheat server enhancements, a new PC kernel-level driver is being introduced that was developed in-house for the Call of Duty franchise and will be launched first for Call of Duty: Warzone. This driver will be launched at help identification. ” of cheaters who reinforce and strengthen the general server security. “

Kernel mode anti-cheats, as we’ve seen before in games like Valorant, Doom Eternal, and Genshin Impact, are often controversial because they’re always on – essentially that means they always keep an eye on what you are are doing. Activision stated in a special FAQ that Ricochet only works when Call of Duty: Warzone is running, however: The Ricochet kernel is required to play online, but when players exit the game the kernel driver will also exit . Riot’s proprietary anti-cheat program Vanguard, on the other hand, has to be running all the time to play Valorant.

Activision emphasized this point on Twitter:

Your privacy is our top priority. When first rollout to #Warzone, the kernel-level driver will ONLY work if you are playing the game on the PC. In addition, the driver ONLY monitors and reports activities related to # CallOfDuty.13 at the kernel level. October 2021

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Ricochet will only be available on PC, but “further on, console players who play crossplay against players on PC will also benefit,” said Activision. Considering that the most popular cheating tools are Aimbot and Wallhack programs, which are easily available on a PC, stamping out these cheating methods would theoretically be effective in stopping most scammers.

“There is no single solution or policy to fraud. The commitment of the Ricochet Anti-Cheat team is the relentless pursuit of fair play that combats the challenging issue of fraud. We are dedicated and committed to the Ricochet Anti-Cheat System fight for the community against those who want to spoil their gaming experience. “

It’s going to be a tough sell, especially after the significant backlash against Riot that came in via Vanguard around the launch of Valorant, but there seems to be some support for the new system on social media. Unsurprisingly, Warzone is inundated with scammers, and conventional efforts to stop them haven’t made much ground. A lot of gamers really need to do something effective: As redditor t_hugs3 put it, “Something about giving Activision kernel-level access to my computer doesn’t suit me … but at the same time, I’ve been killed by so many scammers that I honestly don’t give a shit now. “

Call of Duty’s new backend anti-cheat features will go live with the launch of Call of Duty: Vanguard on November 5th. The kernel-level driver will be rolled out later this year with the Pacific update for Call of Duty: Warzone.


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