An in-depth report published by Activision, has shown that malware disguised as Call of Duty: Warzone cheats gave hackers the ability to “make some easy money” by baiting cheaters with high-end CPUs and GPUs.
The report, written by a team of Activision researchers, examines “a hacking tool being promoted for use against games by masquerading as a cheat for Call of Duty: Warzone.” The tool, known as “Cod Dropper v0.1,” is a highly customizable dropper that can install destructive types of malware on a victim’s computer.
A dropper is a program that tricks a victim into disabling their securities to gain access to their credentials, through this can occur without the knowledge of the victim. Droppers are disguised as other, more popular applications. This gives the program a backdoor to the victim’s device, and they often are undetected.
In the case of “Cod Dropper v0.1,” Activision outlined how the bad actors used the dropper to mine cryptocurrency from their victims by promoting the malware as “newbie friendly” and “effective” for spreading a remote access trojan (RAT). Hackers also posted on forums to advertise the RAT as a video game cheat built to “target high-end CPU and GPU users,” according to one hacker who shared a tutorial.
The dropper was first spotted a year ago and spread quickly, gaining traction across forums, spawning discussions and YouTube walkthroughs. It even made its way to a popluar cheating site in April 2020, labeled as a “new cod hack,” and was reposted to the same forum in March 2021 as a “very simple cheat.”
Activision concluded the report by saying that “the dependencies for a ‘genuine’ cheat to work are the same as those needed by most malware tools to successfully execute.” Activision added that “Cod Dropper v0.1” is “a social engineering technique” one that exploits players willing to cheat the system.
Cheaters have been a major issue for Call of Duty: Warzone for quite some time. It seems that no matter how hard Activision and Raven Software clamp down, they can’t seem to fully sift the cheaters out of the game. This has caused high-profile players to abandon the game entirely.