Call of Duty

Warzone hacking apparently rising as cheaters find way to escape bans

by Theo Salaun
Infinity Ward

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The hacking problem in Call of Duty: Warzone appears to have resurged over the past couple of weeks as cheaters are circumventing Infinity Ward’s two-factor authentication protective measures.

On May 12, CoD’s developers threw a then-thriving hacker community into disarray by levying a ton of shadowbans and requiring two-factor SMS verification for PC players. But, over a month later, desperate cheaters appear to have discovered workarounds—annoying a player base that would prefer competitive integrity. 

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The Cronus Anti-Recoil Mod, discovered on June 19, was a major concern to players and professionals alike since it is usable on consoles and can’t be detected by anti-cheat programs. But its usage is limited, and it is restricted to less sophisticated hacks than the ones most popular on PC.

Of greater concern is the recent rise in PC hacking, which had dropped substantially following May’s shadowbans and verification deterrents. Reddit user ‘aur0n,’ at this point turning into one of the community’s most helpful contributors, revealed that this rise in cheating can be attributed to cheap SMS two-step bypassing options.

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warzone cheaters
Reddit, u/aur0n
A screenshot shows a page where Call of Duty players can suspiciously buy cheap accounts to bypass 2-step SMS verification.

What aur0n discovered is a service that provides non-shadow banned accounts for just $2 apiece, with cheaper rates when players purchase these accounts in bulk. Hackers are already willing to spend over $100 on some of the more sophisticated scripts, so these prices are absolutely negligible for an opportunity to use these high-end cheats.

This exemplifies exactly why many consider the relationship between game developers and trolls to be an arms race. Anti-cheating measures may be implemented, but their efficacy becomes temporary as bypassing techniques are created.

Across the internet, Warzone players are now complaining that hacks are ruining their games. Most recently, the Dallas Empire’s Ian 'Crimsix' Porter brought the issue to light with a clip showing what he called a “spinbot,” but what is more likely a PC aimbot with a very wide FOV.

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In the replies, others shared similar clips with ridiculously unfair hacks ruining their gameplay experiences. While Crimsix and many are able to laugh these off, the rage will only increase should Infinity Ward not nip this problem in the bud sooner than later.

Like the last major anti-cheating wave, it’s very possible that developers are secretly dealing with the issue and will announce another set of bans without any prior warning. But, given how easy account creation is, the community will likely remain dissatisfied until IW institutes new detection programs or more efficient reporting processes.