Akshon Media

Hacking Players Causes Apex Legends Tournament to be Postponed

Date: March 20, 2024, 4:45 pm

The Apex Legends Global Series Regional Finals have been postponed by EA and Respawn after the competitive integrity and security of the tournament were compromised by an unprecedented hacking incident.
In Game 3, team DarkZero’s Genburten had their computer compromised, and a hacker remotely installed cheats mid-tournament, despite the event taking place on a private server.
While streaming his tournament run on Twitch, a UI popped up on Genburten’s screen, followed by a message that was sent to the lobby from his account, reading:
“Apex hacking global series by Destroyer2009 & R4ndom”
The hackers then took over Genburten’s aim, turned on wall hacks, and spammed in-game chat, all caught on stream. Genburten was understandably shocked and decided to leave the game to avoid ruining the match. Despite going down a player, his DarkZero teammates were able to still secure second place as a duo and were first place in the tournament going into Game 4.
While it appeared that Genburten quit fast enough to avoid impacting the game, FURIA ImMadness pointed out that during the small window that the account was taken over, one stray shot from the possessed body of Genburten killed E8 Zaptoh from across the map.
During Game 4, the hackers struck again. This time TSM’s ImperialHal was the target. As TSM was about to engage in a fight, ImperialHal noticed that something was off about his aim feeling snappier than usual despite using a high recoil gun. He immediately told his team that he had been hacked with an aimbot on. TSM took cover inside of a building with ImperialHal saying how he couldn’t shoot and his teammates told him to leave the game.
Shortly after, the private server was shutdown by tournament admins, leaving thousands of viewers confused as to what was happening. ImperialHal left the private session after the hacking incident and found that he could no longer startup matchmaking queue or enter any game mode for that matter. He didn’t have to speculate for long as he received an account ban notification while live on Twitch in front of thousands of viewers.
While no official statement has been made from the developers, it is speculated that ImperialHal’s ban was triggered after the hacks on his account were detected by the game’s anti-cheat system. Approximately 15 minutes after the server was shut down, the ALGS admins announced that the NA Finals would be postponed, with no concrete date set.
“Due to the competitive integrity of this series being compromised, we have made the decision to postpone the NA Finals at this time. We will share more information soon.”
The Anti-Cheat Police Department posted a PSA stating that a remote code execution (RCE) exploit was used to inject cheats into the player’s machines. They had advised against playing any games protected by Easy-Anti Cheat or any EA titles given how this exploit could allow hackers to install ransomware software to lock up PCs.
However, the Easy Anti-Cheat Twitter account contradicted this statement, saying that, after an internal investigation, they found no evidence of an RCE exploit utilized by the hackers.
With suspicions mounting, Epic Games who bought Easy Anti-Cheat in 2018 issued a statement of their own to reassure players that there is no RCE vulnerability with EAC for the hackers to exploit. This has since led people to believe that the problem may be with the Source engine that Apex Legends uses.
As news of this is spreading the Apex Legends community and beyond are calling out to Respawn and EA with questions on how this has happened and for better security to protect their players.
With the developers have postponed the North American Finals in the wake of the competitive integrity of the game being compromised and how publicly it was broadcasted, what went down at the NA ALGS Regional Finals has gone down as one of the biggest hacking incidents in esports history.
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