Activision made a strong move against cheaters this past week, sending the message loud and clear that cheaters "aren't welcome," although that didn't seem to last very long, with the new Kernal-level anti-cheat technology already being leaked to cheaters and hackers who are no doubt in the process of reverse-engineering it.
Ricochet, which was announced this week, is a new anti-cheat system in Call of Duty games that installs a kernel-level driver onto your PC to help "assist in the identification of cheaters, reinforcing and strengthening the overall server security." According to Activision, "The Ricochet Anti-Cheat initiative is a multi-faceted approach to combat cheating, featuring new server-side tools which monitor analytics to identify cheating, enhanced investigation processes to stamp out cheaters, updates to strengthen account security, and more."
"In addition to server enhancements coming with Ricochet Anti-Cheat is the launch of a new PC kernel-level driver, developed internally for the Call of Duty franchise, and launching first for Call of Duty: Warzone. This driver will assist in the identification of cheaters, reinforcing and strengthening the overall server security."
Unfortunately, the kernel driver was already leaked and is being reversed engineered even before its official debut, with several anti-cheat specialists calling the situation "very bad." According to the website Modern Warzone, the leak is real and that a number of sources have confirmed the files are only a few weeks old. The article states that "the rate at which this leak has spread along with the number of sources reaching out and confirming this, points likely to the files being of great use to those within the cheating community.”
Kernel drivers are of concern to some players also, being installed at a root level on a system's PC, they could potentially pose a security risk. According to Activision, privacy is a top priority, and that “in its initial rollout on Warzone, the kernel-level driver will ONLY operate when you play the game on PC. Plus, the kernel-level driver ONLY monitors and reports activity related to Call of Duty. We are dedicated and determined to evolve the Ricochet Anti-Cheat System over time, fighting for the community against those that aim to spoil their gaming experience.”
It remains to be seen how effective this new technology will be, and if the leak will effectively render it useless before it even debuts, but we'll be sure to keep an eye on the situation and report any further news as we learn it.