Apex Legends Tournament Postponed After Players Hacked Mid-Game | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

A big Apex Legends tournament came to an abrupt end after a handful of pro players were hacked during one of the final matches of the competition. Developer Respawn Entertainment and publisher EA have yet to comment on the situation, leaving folks frustrated with the state of the game and its anti-cheat tech.

The Apex Legends Global Series is a massive competition for Respawn’s first-person battle royale that started in 2019. This year’s tournament was one of the biggest in ALGS history, with a $3 million prize pool and over 60 countries and regions participating in the event. Over the March 13 weekend, though, everything came to a screeching halt when a couple of pro Apex Legends players, Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose and Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen, were hacked in the middle of the North American finals. It was a strange thing to watch, because instead of those hacks insta-killing them or otherwise breaking the game, they gave both players distinct advantages.

In Genburten’s case, he was given a wallhack, a cheat that makes in-game walls non-solid or transparent so that you can see every single player on the battlefield. “I’m getting hacked,” he said repeatedly before telling someone “it’s cheating” when they asked if he could still play the game. He ultimately left the match.

Meanwhile, ImperialHal found himself in the possession of an aimbot, which gave him pixel-perfect accuracy when shooting his in-game gun. “I’m cheating, I’m cheating, I’m cheating,” he told his team, who told him to leave the game. “I have aimbot right now. I literally have aimbot. What if I just don’t shoot?” Unlike Genburten, though, ImperialHal kept playing despite the hack.

No one really knows who disrupted the tournament. However, in the footage of Genburten getting hacked, the words “Apex hacking global series by Destroyer2009 and R4ndom” popped up on the screen.. According to Eurogamer, Destroyer2009 is a cheater who’s been showing up in Apex Legends more recently, and players have clips of them wreaking havoc.

While EA and Respawn Entertainment have yet to comment on the series of unfortunate events (and whether they affect all Apex players), the Apex Legends Esports Twitter account posted on March 17 that the North American finals were postponed “due to the competitive integrity of this series being compromised.” The account said more information would come soon. Meanwhile, the Anti-Cheat Police Department (ACPD), a group that gathers cheat and hack information in online games, said players should “take immediate measures to protect your personal information” following the ALGS breach. This includes changing Discord passwords, securing email addresses, enabling multi-factor authentication, and performing “a clean OS reinstall” as soon as possible.

Though the ACPD said that a remote code execution (RCE) exploit was used to “inject cheats into streamers’ machines,” which could allow hackers to install ransomware software to lock up PCs, the Easy Anti-Cheat Twitter account contradicted this statement, saying that, after an investigation, there was no RCE exploit utilized by the hackers.

Kotaku has reached out to EA and Respawn Entertainment for comment.

Whether a result of an RCE exploit or not, it’s a bummer all the way around. These folks were trying to show off their skills in a competitive setting for the big bucks. For the tournament to get ruined and ultimately postponed is a shitty thing to watch unfold in real-time. Hopefully, when EA and Respawn Entertainment figure out what happened, the event can get underway again. Until then, I guess be on the lookout for Destroyer2009, and backup all your accounts.



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