EA has announced the launch of a kernel-level anti-cheat mechanism for PC games
EA is introducing a new kernel-level anti-cheat technology for its PC games. The EA AntiCheat (EAAC) technology, created in-house by EA developers, will make its debut in FIFA 23 later this autumn. It is intended to safeguard EA games from tampering and cheating, and EA has said that it will not add anti-cheat to every game and will apply it on a case-by-case basis.
Kernel-level anti-cheat systems have been criticized by privacy and security activists because the drivers they employ are sophisticated and operate at such a high level that if there are security vulnerabilities, developers must respond quickly.
EA claims that kernel-level protection is “extremely critical” for competitive games like FIFA 23, since current exploits work in the kernel region, making it impossible for games running in standard user mode to detect tampering or cheating. “Unfortunately, the past few years have seen a significant rise in cheats and cheat tactics working in kernel-mode, thus the only viable way to identify and block them is for our anti-cheat to also function in kernel-mode,” Murphy continues.
EA’s anti-cheat technology operates at the kernel level and is only activated when a game with EAAC protection is launched. EA claims that their anti-cheat procedures are disabled once a game is launched, and that anti-cheat will be confined to the data collected on a machine.
Anti-cheat mechanisms at the kernel level are becoming more widespread these days. Last year, Activision released its own unique Ricochet anti-cheat system in Call of Duty using a kernel-level driver, and the world’s top PC games have been utilizing similar approaches to combat a recent spike of hackers and cheats.