Apex Legends esports tourney is hacked mid-match, postponing the event and raising security concerns


Nobody likes to see cheaters win in an esports competition (or any competition for that matter), but a bout of cheating occurring in an Apex Legends esports event happened in one of the most unprecedented ways possible: by hackers managing to get into competitors’ machines and engaging cheats during live competition.

As first reported by MMO Fallout, the NA finals for the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) were upended when Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose and Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen both suddenly received cheats while they were competing. Clips show that Ozkose was suddenly able to see player names through walls while Dosen was stricken with an aimbot, and during Ozkose’s match, the shooter’s chat was spammed with the message, “Apex hacking global series by Destroyer2009 & R4ndom.”

Shortly after both incidents, organizers for the ALGS postponed the event indefinitely, citing “competitive integrity of this series being compromised” and promised to provide more information soon.

According to the Anti-Cheat Police Department volunteer group, these hacks were a result of a remote code execution (RCE) exploit, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether this was hiding within Apex itself or within Easy Anti-Cheat, the anti-cheat software used by the game. “I would advise against playing any games protected by EAC or any EA titles once they have fixed this or can comment,” the PSA warns. “Currently, the RCE is being abused to inject cheats into streamers machines, which means they have the capabilities to do whatever, like installing ransomware software locking up your entire PC.” The group also recommended that those who were taking part in the NA ALGS should take steps to protect personal data.

As one might anticipate, this hack has raised numerous concerns about the game’s security as players join in the call to not launch Apex or any EA games whatsoever while others have claimed they were awash with viruses, though whether that’s a result of this RCE in Apex or not isn’t immediately clear. In any case, it’s probably best to exercise extreme caution if you’re a fan of the battle royale shooter.

Readers will remember that this isn’t the first time that Apex was targeted by hackers, as it was used as a target to raise complaints about Titanfall in 2021 – an attack that “achieved nothing of value” according to one dev. Additionally, Respawn Entertainment was hit by layoffs last week as part of EA’s plans to shed 670 employees starting in February.

sources: Twitch via PC Gamer, Twitter (1, 2, 3) via IGN, Forbes, Eurogamer, all via MMO Fallout
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