A new “undetectable” cheat began making the rounds that would essentially allow for an external software to act as an aimbot—and more importantly, would work with consoles—but before development could complete, the cheat was shut down at the request of Activision.
The cheat, called Userviz and developed by User101, would use external software and AI to analyze a video feed of a game and output controller inputs, allowing it to do everything from aimbotting to auto-firing at the right time. Userviz would have required a complicated setup requiring an external PC, capture card, and specific hardware to run the controller through the PC and output the signal back out to the console again. However, this setup made it possible to use the cheat software on virtually any platform and would have made it nearly undetectable. Instead of modifying the game in any way, it is simply modifying the controller inputs, which wouldn’t necessarily register as suspicious.
When the cheat manufacturer sampled the cheat, it used Call of Duty: Warzone for example footage. As one of, if not the biggest first-person shooters out there, Activision is constantly watching for opportunities to nip Call of Duty cheats in the bud before they become a bigger problem. According to a new statement on the Userviz site, it appears that development of the cheat has been shut down following a “request” from Activision, which is to say that the notoriously litigious company likely threatened legal action against the cheat manufacturer, as it has done in the past.
This statement was not required.
However, at the request of Activision Publishing, Inc (“Activision”), I will no longer be developing or providing access to software that could be used to exploit their games. My intent was never to do anything illegal. At the end of the video that brought so much attention to this project, it stated “coming soon”. The software was never published.
This type of technology has other actual assistive benefits, for example, by pointing a webcam at yourself you could control movement without the use of limbs. Unfortunately, because of its potential negative impact I will not be developing it further.
While the statement claims that the technology has “other actual assistive benefits,” it’s clear that the cheat manufacturer’s intention was always to provide the software as a cheat for games. If the video using Warzone—a game constantly fighting with cheating problems—wasn’t enough of a clue, the Userviz brand’s merch centers on themes of aimbotting. I can’t imagine User101 had altruistic intentions when they began development of the cheat software.
User101 had also mentioned in a previous interview that he believed his cheat to not be illegal, since it was all external and didn’t rely on reverse engineering games or hacking code. It sends controller signals to the game as if it were the player, without any additional in-game modification. Everything is handled externally. He said the software is automation that learns via AI and isn’t specific to any one game, however images of the settings menus show a heavy development focus on tracking targets in first-person shooters and landing headshots.
Whatever was part of Activision’s “request” must have shaken User101 from the idea that his program wouldn’t butt up against any legal ramifications. “My intent was never to do anything illegal” seems to prove that Activision threatened some kind of legal action if they continued development of their cheat software.
While cheating in games continues to be a back and forth between developers squashing cheats and manufacturers creating new ones, this is at least one more down to try to keep the playing field a little more fair.[Source: VICE]
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