iRacing – New cheat prevention & detection system coming
Whenever there is a competition at hand, it is possible that certain individuals will try to use non-standard methods for creating an advantage beyond normal gameplay. In other words, people might be cheating. This can also be true for racing games and simulations that trigger a competitive behavior.
While most game developers try their best to prevent cheating attempts in-house, there is also the possibility to make use of an external professional solution.
iRacing has always tried to minimize cheating practices by implementing counter measures. To take the anti-cheat implementation one step further, the new iRacing build, coming early September will include new cheat prevention & detection system in partnership with a professional gaming anti-cheat company called Easy Anti Cheat.
This third party anti-cheat system will run the iRacing service inside a “sandbox”, preventing external programs from hacking into and modifying the simulation as it runs. The system will also verify the integrity of all the iRacing installation files and will make sure that no system level components can be compromised. Furthermore, the iRacing development team also implemented their own set of counter-measures which are not documented for obvious reasons.
Tony Gardner quote:
iRacing has always invested significant time, energy and development effort into trying to stop “cheating”. There are many different types of cheating. In the last June build for example we installed software code to prevent on-track tire heating during qualifying for oval racing. Poor sportsmanship on track could even be construed as cheating as another example. However more often than not, the main concern for members are potential software hacks that essentially attempt to change the game in some way for the cheater’s benefit. In that regard, all of the prevention and detection code we have put in iRacing in the past was done by us internally. We never included any of that work in our release notes mainly for the obvious reason that we did not want to provide the cheaters with any information.
However in our next quarterly software update (early September) our current plan is to include new cheat prevention & detection in the update and release notes for several reasons. Mainly because the new cheat prevention and detection comes in the form of a partnership and integration we did with a professional gaming anti-cheat company called Easy Anti Cheat. We are excited about this partnership as we have enhanced our ability to detect and prevent cheating significantly. The EAC system prevents cheaters from using several common methods to try to gain an advantage over other players. This includes things like: running the iRacing simulation inside a “sandbox”, to prevent external programs from hacking into and modifying the simulation as it runs; or modifying the iRacing installation files (cars and tracks) to gain an advantage; or replacing system level components used by the simulation with versions that include cheat hacks.
When applying this next build on a Windows computer, the installer program for the EAC software will automatically be run. On Mac OSX and Linux, the EAC software is able to operate without this explicit installation step. In all cases, the EAC software is only active on your computer when you are running the iRacing simulation software – when the sim exits, the EAC software exits, too.
If you launch the simulation and an issue is detected before the simulation has connected to the race server, a message describing the problem will be shown to you in a dialog box, and the sim will not run. If an issue is detected after connecting to the race server, a message describing the problem will be shown in the Chat Pad, and you will be disconnected from the server.
The error messages are intended to be sufficient to identify what caused the issue. But if it’s not clear how to resolve the issue, email iRacing customer support at support@iRacing.com to help get you back to racing. We will work diligently with you to correct any issues. However, we do not expect many issues as we have done extensive testing already.
The most likely error to arise will be if you are using replacement versions of system libraries (d3d9.dll, for example) that are not already flagged as being innocuous. Since such replacement libraries could potentially contain hacks to enable cheating, they are not allowed unless they have been validated. You can also check out the FAQ’s at Easy AntiCheat if you want here: http://faq.easyanticheat.net/index.html
We are excited to add another significant level of cheat prevention to iRacing.
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