Providers of paid video game cheat engines have a long and well documented history of exploiting their customers in various ways, and this latest allegation is hardly unheard of. It seems that a provider of Call of Duty: Warzone cheats has stolen cryptocurrency from users while mining their own with users' hardware - a tactic used often in the paid cheat engine market.
The allegations were raised against provider Cobalt Solutions, and first raised by a user going by Xav in the provider's own Discord server. Screenshots of messages warning other about the mining software, and of stolen bitcoin were leaked. Apparently, Cobalt has stolen $900 in cryptocurrencies within a day, and Xav claims they stole more in the past.
Cobalt reacted to the accusations with denial, and immediately went as far as pledging to shut down the business and pay $20,000 to whoever can provide hard evidence, if such evidence exists. Cobalt claims that they recieved similar accusations in the past, but no evidence was ever provided of these acts. We're more than a little skeptical that the provider would own up to this promise if said evidence would actually appear.
It wouldn't be surprising if the allegations turned out to be true however, as similar cases of theft and hardware hijacking have frequently occurred with cheat engines. Many users of these "services" don't understand how they work, and essentially when you use a cheat engine you are providing the operators unmitigated access to your machine - you are willingly allowing people who sell cheats into your PC. It's no accident that many of these engines only work if you disable just about every security feature of your operating system.
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A Warzone cheat provider is being accused of stealing BTC from their users and mining BTC on their PCs 😬
This behavior isn't unheard of in the industry, so it's not really a surprise. pic.twitter.com/tuXqT3kAHZ
— NYSL Mavriq (@MavriqGG) April 24, 2022
Many other high-profile multiplayer games with a big cheat market have been targeted by similar schemes in the past, possibly biggest among them being Rainbow Six Siege, where cheat users were often finding their hardware being used to mine someone else's crypto. Outright theft is rarer, but not unheard of.
While these controversies ought to reduce trust in cheat engine providers, the market is unfortunately saturated - a rising issue in mainstream games as a whole, Call of Duty: Warzone in particular has felt the sting of rampant cheating. The issue has been one of the most pressing in the game's history, present practically from the day the free to play battle royale went live.
Even now, after countless anti-cheat overhauls the game continues to struggle with those who can't win fairly. Hopefully with Warzone 2 on the horizon, the developers will pay more mind to ensuring the game is harder to hack.