Chinese police arrested 15 individuals suspected of developing and selling hack programs for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. PUBG Corp updated the public with an official statement on the matter. The suspects have been fined for $5,1 million
PUBG Corp's statement started off with reassuring the player base that they are doing everything possible to root out cheating from PUBG, with the ultimate goal being creation of an environment that's completely safe from hackers and cheaters. Now, while that goal might seem unreachable for the foreseeable future, it is still nice to see an them cracking down on illegal software.
"RKRIGNEY" continued the statement by saying that PUBG Corp take cheating "extremely seriously" and that developing, selling, promoting or using hacking programs is against the law in certain countries, on top of being detrimental to other players' experience in the game.
PUBG Corp have upgraded their security measures and added anti-cheat solutions that saw some results in the past, but the hackers and other cheaters were still lingering in the game. While this was happening, Bluehole have been collecting information on hack developers and distributors. They have subsequently notified local authorities and worked with other non disclosed partners in order to bring these individuals to justice.
And bring them to justice they did. On 25 April 2018, Chinese authorities have arrested 15 individuals suspected of hack program development and distribution, and it was confirmed these programs were made to have an impact on PUBG. Malicious code was also confirmed, using Trojan horse software, which would later be used to steal user information.
Chinese authorities have stated that "OMG", "FL", "须弥", "炎黄" and "火狐" were arrested for developing the aforementioned programs, hosting marketplaces for selling them and "brokering transactions". These five suspects have been fined for around 30 million RNB which is roughly $5,1 million or £3.7 million. There rest of the suspects are still being investigated.
One of the illegal programs they found is the Heybox Trojan horse. It was later proven that the developers used this program to remotely take control of users' computers, scan their data and illegally acquire information.
This has also confirmed the rumour that the hacking programs could be used for extracting data from users' PCs is true. There was no proof provided for this claim and it could be possible that this is PUBG Corp's verbal way of deterring potential hack users, but such a way of extracting data is still possible.
PUBG Corp have also announced that they will continue cracking down on any hack program developers, distributors and users.