The brand new competitive multiplayer shooter, Valorant, has been kicking up a storm; both in the sense of popularity and the discussion surrounding concerns over their use of an invasive anti-cheat software, called Vanguard. Now they have offered a reward up to $100,000 as part of their ‘Bug Bounty’ program to anyone who can prove they have exploited the anti-cheat software.
For those of you that don’t know: Riot Games - the developers behind one of the most popular multiplayer games at the moment, League of Legends - have recently released Valorant, their new competitive FPS that’s like a blend between CS:GO and Overwatch. But the game has recently been found out to install a highly invasive anti-cheat software that installs at the kernel level of your computer, potentially putting your entire system at risk to third parties.
But Riot Games is so confident in the security of it’s software that they have offered a reward for anyone who can find and exploit the program “To reinforce our commitment to our players' security, we are offering special bounties for up to $100,000 for high quality reports that demonstrate practical exploits leveraging the Vanguard kernel driver.” That’s a pretty hefty reward for those of you with some ethical hacking skills.
Though the problem doesn’t stem from the worry of cheaters in-game, the extensive software has such invasive protocols in order to make sure that cheaters and hackers are not a problem in Valorant. But the problem arises from the suspicious way the software works: booting on the system’s startup, the fact that it has the highest level of access to your computer, and the fact that it doesn’t automatically delete itself after uninstalling Valorant and instead must be manually removed from your PC.
But according to Riot Games, the reason for the software to boot on startup is to make sure that no cheats are installed or running prior to the client initialization, and that no data is collected for use by Riot Games or Tencent, “The driver does not collect or send any information about your computer back to us,” reads the official post about Vanguard from Riot Games.
“The bottom line is we would never let Riot ship anything if we weren’t confident it treated player privacy and security with the extreme seriousness they deserve,” the post continues. Though considering how invasive this software is, and how you have to manually uninstall it no matter, Riot probably should have done a better job of communicating how this software works and how to uninstall it, rather than having to explain themselves after the game’s Beta release. Although some may argue that this has turned into some good PR for Riot Games, as Valorant is one of the most popular games on Twitch streaming as of right now.
What do you guys think of Valorant’s anti-cheat software? Have you played Valorant? Are you going to try and go for that reward? Let us know!