During a series of arrests, Chinese police discovered the world’s largest online video game cheat sales syndicate, netting luxury vehicles and millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.
The Kunshan Public Security Bureau detained the group’s core members last Friday with the help of tech giant Tencent.
The Jiangsu Provincial Political and Legal Affairs Commission (Jiangsu PLAC) said authorities discovered “world-class online video game ‘waigua’ circulating in the black market supply chain.”
Cheat programs — software that modifies online game data to help a player — are referred to as “waigua” in Chinese.
The websites at the center of the police operation were advertising a cheat software for the video Game For Peace called “Chicken Drumstick.”
The cheat software gave gamers access to features not accessible to normal users, such as automatic shooting aim and the ability to see through walls to see other players and objects.
“For a long time, plug-ins [cheats] have been regarded as a ‘cancer’ in the game industry, especially malignant plug-ins, which seriously damage the player’s gaming experience and affect the normal operation of the game,” the Kunshan Public Security Bureau said.
The case involved six provinces and 17 cheat program trading websites, with ten cheat program vendors arrested, according to Chinese police.
They are accused of selling multiple cheat systems to people in a number of countries for a total of $100 million.
One of the perpetrators was identified with more than $5.2 million in cryptocurrencies and a range of high-end vehicles from Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.
Those trading in the cheat programs are said to have mainly used bitcoin transfers to avoid being tracked by the police.
“Kunshan Public Security Bureau has busted the world’s biggest video game cheat program organisation,” Jiangsu PLAC said.
The suspects detained in China are facing criminal charges, while inquiries into suspected co-conspirators working outside of China continue.
They’ve been charged with unlawfully distributing programs and software for hacking and manipulating computer systems.-ABC World News