There's no point in cheating if you don't at least try to not get caught. However, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I hate cheaters, I think they are terrible little shit heads and they ruin games. Like, I really hate them, that is part of the reason *why* I'm doing this. I want to learn how it all works so I can actually determine if I think someone is cheating or not. Simply saying 'hax!' or 'shut off your aimbot!' is stupid, 90% of the time it's most likely because the other player is just better than you. But for those 10%... wouldn't it be nice to determine what is really possible? Well I certainly do.
There is one very big problem. I'm starting this project *really* late. I have about 10 years or so worth of catching up to do. I'm sure if any real game hackers are reading my posts they're laughing at me because they know my silly little injection methods will probably get busted immediately. Reading through some anti-cheat forums is depressing for multiple reasons; lack of English ability being a primary one (and I don't mean non-native people, holy hell) and another being for how behind I really am. But that is not going to stop me, I realized when I started this was going to be a long ass project.
From my limited research there are basically three major anti-cheating systems: nProtect GameGuard, Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC/VAC2) and PunkBuster. nProtect appears to be mainly focused on asian MMORPGs like Lineage II and Aion etc. I really don't like asian MMO's, so probably not worth my time. Valve's system is used in a Lot of games, a lot of which I do play like Shogun Total War 2 etc, but not so interesting for me. Finally, we have PunkBuster. This is used by a lot of EA's games. I hate EA. I mean, *really* hate EA. Part of the reason I even took up this project was because they screwed me over on a number of occasions to the point I couldn't play their games. Living in a country outside of the States has it's downsides. If you're keeping tally, I hate cheaters and I hate EA. I think I hate EA more.
So, I think I'll focus on PunkBuster, at least to begin. Free 2 play games are the new thing, and EA has a number of them. Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield free 2 play and so on, and I think these would be an excellent start because, they're free and I don't care if I get banned. One thing I have been reading about is newer versions of PunkBuster do hardware based banning. They have a device driver running in ring 0 and supposedly grab hardware ID's to use as global bans. That's not cool, but I guess I can see the point of it when you introduce free to play games. No point banning if someone can just make a new free account.
I need to create a VM (because I'm sure as shit not going to get my gaming box banned) and download the punkbuster service and start reversing. If you're bored you can read PunkBuster's 'FAQ' to get a general idea of what it does. After reading some cheater forums on these systems I realized most people don't know what the hell they are talking about. Basing anything off these people's information is stupid and dangerous. So yeah, the next few posts will probably be about reversing punk buster and hopefully learning some interesting anti-cheat methods!