EA announces kernel-level anti-cheat system for PC games with FIFA 23 for PC this fall, some users warn against granting game system permissions

Electronic Arts (EA), one of the world’s leading video game developers and producers, has announced the launch of EA AntiCheat (EAAC), a kernel-level anti-cheat system for PC games. At Electronic Arts, we are committed to providing a safe and fair experience for all of our players. As stated in our Player Charter, we ask everyone to respect the rules of the game and to refrain from tampering or using cheats. Our Game Security and Anti-Cheat team works hard to develop and support technologies that allow us to better protect the fair play interests of our players,” EA wrote.

EAAC is a kernel-mode anti-cheat and anti-tamper solution developed in-house by Electronic Arts. Software developers for PC are cheating more and more in the kernel. So the world’s video game developers and producers need kernel mode protection to ensure fair play and fight against cheat developers on PC on an equal footing.

Third-party anti-cheat solutions are often opaque to our teams and prevent us from implementing additional privacy controls or customizations that provide greater granularity and granularity to EA’s game modes, EA says. With EAAC, we have complete ownership of the security and privacy mode, allowing us to address security issues as they arise.

According to EA, anti-cheat at the kernel level is necessary depending on the games. For highly competitive games that have many online modes, such as FIFA 23, kernel mode protection is very vital. When cheating programs run in the kernel space, they can make their functionality invisible to anti-cheat solutions that run in user mode.

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Unfortunately, the past few years have seen a massive increase in cheating methods and kernel mode cheats. So the only reliable way to detect and block them according to EA is to make anti-fraud solutions work in this area as well. With FIFA 23 we will see new and exciting cross-play features. In addition to EAAC protecting PC players from cheats, our console players who play against PC opponents will also be protected from cheaters operating on PC platforms.

Since not all games are competitive multiplayer games, EA is working to define anti-cheat requirements for each project. For single player titles, or titles without competitive ladders or leaderboards, the cheat landscape varies. Depending on the title and game type, EA may apply other anti-cheat technologies, such as user mode protection, or even abandon anti-cheat technology altogether in some cases, choosing instead to design the game to be resistant to certain types of cheating.

Cheat software developers use single player game modes to reverse engineer or experiment with fake game files to help them develop cheats and then return those mods to online multiplayer game modes. In addition to preventing active cheating while playing online, EAAC also prevents developers from cheating with single player game modes in this way. Protecting single player game modes is necessary to impede the evolution of cheats.

EAAC only works when playing a game that includes EAAC protection. All anti-cheat operations stop when the game is started. If you uninstall all of your EA games with EAAC protection, EAAC will automatically uninstall and remove itself from your PC. It is also possible to uninstall manually at any time and it will be completely removed from the computer. Note that by uninstalling EAAC, all games that require EAAC protection (eg FIFA 23) will not be playable until EAAC is reinstalled.

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Some users are concerned that granting such a low-level set of system permissions might expose private information on their systems. In an effort to allay some of these concerns, EA’s senior director of game security and fraud, Elise Murphy, said the team has limited the information EAAC has collected and the system will only look for what it needs for anti-fraud purposes.

“Anything less than a process trying to interact with our game is strictly prohibited,” she continued. We have worked with independent IT security and privacy companies and third parties to ensure that EAAC operates with data protection in mind.

In addition to privacy concerns, some users may fear that a new kernel-level driver could destabilize their system or hamper their system (like Sony’s infamous DRM rootkits). But Murphy promised that EAAC is designed to be as capable and lightweight as possible. EAAC will have little impact on your game.

Kernel-level tools can also provide a new and attractive attack surface for low-level security exploits on a user’s system. To explain this, Murphy said his team has worked with independent and third-party security and privacy evaluators to verify that EAAC does not compromise your computer’s security and to ensure strict limits on tender privacy. It also promised daily testing and constant monitoring of reports to address any potential issues that surface.

source : electronic arts

And you?

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In your opinion, are the reasons given by Elise Murphy, Director of EA, relevant?

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See also:

EA buys Codemasters for $1.2 billion to top the racing game competition, winning bid over video game distributor Take-Two Interactive

UK Parliament: EA prefers the term ‘loot box’ surprise mechanism, ensuring it’s not a game of chance but a moral code

At Electronic Arts, it sometimes takes an entire day to edit three lines of code, according to a former employee of the FIFA game publisher.

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