Category Archives: hacks

GTA Online publisher goes after paid cheating services

You'll never take my cheating tools alive, copper!

Just days after shutting down popular Grand Theft Auto V modding tool OpenIV, publisher Take-Two Interactive has forced three major GTA Online hacking tools to go offline.

Lexicon, Force Hax, and Menyoo were all subscription-based paid hacking tools that let GTA Online players spawn infinite piles of cash, teleport other players to arbitrary locations, become invulnerable, or walk through walls while playing with other people. Over the weekend, though, the websites for all three programs were replaced with a simple message:

After discussions with Take-Two Interactive, effective immediately we are ceasing all maintenance, development and distribution of [our] cheat menu services. We will be donating our proceeds to a charity designated by Take-Two. We apologize for any and all problems [our program] has caused to the Grand Theft Auto Online community.

GTA Online has faced major problems with cheaters since the mode launched on Windows in 2015. Almost immediately, players began complaining that the game's online infrastructure, which uses a simple P2P mesh rather than centralized servers, makes it very difficult to cut off hacking tools on a technical level.

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Pokémon Go hackers getting put in Pidgey-filled purgatory

Enlarge / If Niantic detects your bot account, common Pokémon like this Pidgey are all you'll be able to see in the game.

Pokémon Go developer Niantic appears to have opened up a new front in its ongoing war against third-party tools and trackers that use bot accounts to reveal where in-game Pokémon are hiding in the real world. Players are reporting that detected and flagged accounts are being limited so they can only see common Pokémon—not the most coveted, rarer beasts.

Pokemon Go Hub reported on the new security measure earlier this week, showing screenshots where two different accounts in the same exact location showed different Pokémon on their "nearby" lists. The site estimates that tens to hundreds of thousands of accounts may have been blinded in this way, based on reports from inside the Pokémon Go hacking community.

That said, reports suggest the enforcement has been somewhat sporadic, with "some botters claiming zero accounts blinded, and others reporting complete annihilation of their account farm," according to Pokémon Go Hub. And while bot-makers can create free new accounts to try to get around the blinding, The Silph Road subreddit reports that many new accounts seem to be blinded quickly and automatically, signaling a change from the more manual ban waves Niantic has issued to bot makers periodically. Some suspect Niantic is making use of machine-learning algorithms to detect bots quickly while limiting false-positive punishments on legitimate accounts (the company was publicly searching for a Machine Learning Engineer last year).

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