EA’s new anti-cheat tools dip into the dreaded “kernel mode”

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Better let a company with a long record of shipping broken garbage install a rootkit on the machine I do my work and banking on, to make it marginally harder for people to cheat at video games /s
Artist's conception of EA trying to fake out cheaters with its new tools.

Enlarge / Artist's conception of EA trying to fake out cheaters with its new tools.

EA announced its latest salvo in the endless cat-and-mouse battle of PC gaming cheat detection on Tuesday, and the effort prominently features one term sure to raise a red flag for some users: "kernel mode."

The new kernel-level EA Anti-Cheat (EAAC) tools will roll out with the PC version of FIFA 23 this month, EA announced, and will eventually be added to all of its multiplayer games (including those with ranked online leaderboards). But strictly single-player titles "may implement other anti-cheat technology, such as user-mode protections, or even forgo leveraging anti-cheat technology altogether," EA Senior Director of Game Security & Anti-Cheat Elise Murphy wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

Unlike anti-cheat methods operating in an OS's normal "user mode," kernel-level anti-cheat tools provide a low-level, system-wide view of how cheat tools might mess with a game's memory or code from the outside. That allows anti-cheat developers to detect a wider variety of cheating threats, as Murphy explained in an extensive FAQ:

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