Treyarch institutes major Call of Duty PS3 security crackdown

After weeks of unrest and bad press for Call of Duty: Black Ops developer Treyarch, the company has apparently switched on what it calls "built-in security" measures for the PS3. Why wait until now to crack down? We don't know, but as for the root of the Black Ops hacking problems on the PS3, Treyarch is placing much of the responsibility on the PS3 itself.

"As a platform provider this problem is much graver and has much broader implications to Sony than it does to us," said Treyarch community manager Josh Olin. "To us, it's like, [the PS3 security issue] has implications on our game security but we built in a lot of in-game security that we were leveraging and utilizing so it was kinda like flipping on a switch for that. I remember the meeting after all the headlines broke, though, and we were like ‘well, I guess, it’s time to turn on the security for the PS3 now!'"

We don't know exactly what Olin means when he says "were leveraging" - when did the switch get flipped? - but we do know that a swath of players were recently banned from the Call of Duty: Black Ops PS3 servers on suspicions that they were cheating.

Olin isn't placing all of the blame on the PS3, however - he also called out the hackers themselves, saying, “It’s unfortunate and I think the hacking community with their rational that it makes their homebrew apps possible on the PS3... I mean, okay, that’s their argument but they know the larger implication to the players who don’t want that and the people who can now modify their game data.”

For now, the problem appears to be somewhat better controlled. But, as Olin points out, if PS3 security flaws are ultimately to blame, there could be significant implications for future titles.

[Source: Now Gamer]

Feb 4, 2011




  • freddyqaqualung - February 8, 2011 midnight

    There may be no such thing as perfect multiplayer. That's 100% true. However, I feel like Treyarch could be doing a better job with fixing bugs and such. There are problems here that were present in COD4, and still no one fixes them. At least the grenades aren't like COD4's. Yeesh.
  • Japanaman - February 7, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    Bout time! My brother was playing MW2 and was running super fast, super slow, and got 1 million points from stabbing one person and unlocked everything in the whole game thanks to that one kill. That just isn't fair to people who leveled up by playing the game fairly.
  • Dragon8992 - February 7, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    @ DarthCockels I'm with you it's getting fucking annoying people theres no such thing as a perfect game there will never be a perfect multiplayer the best the devs can do is fix the issues as they pop up so lay the fuck off you wanna be pissed at someone try being pissed at the asshole that says theres gotta be a new CoD out every year instead of letting them spend some time on the game ironing it out
  • koske - February 7, 2011 12:22 a.m.

    Defenetly BOYCUTTING TREYARCHT.. I've traded mine CoD Bo for Battlefield BC... Bunch of Noobs letting hackers and cheeters exploit the game - not Fair .
  • mrmorozov987 - February 5, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    At the very least, you have to give Treyarch for working on fixing the multiplayer, unlike another, unnamed company who works on the franchise... and Black Ops is fantastic.
  • gannsi - February 5, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    I loved World ar War so thats why i bought Black Ops.. they made it too MW like so thats why i hate BO
  • jmcgrotty - February 5, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    "homebrew" is just a hacker buzzword to try to justify their actions. Here is a list of every good homebrew game/app ever released for any console:
  • Gurkogg - February 5, 2011 8:05 a.m.

    The Call of Duty games may be great for consoles, but I found them boring on the PC. The only ones I played are CoD 4 and W@W and they were too "two-dimensional" like Counterstrike (another boring shooter that the masses seemed to like).
  • waffman11 - February 5, 2011 2:42 a.m.

    I don't get this hate that Treyarch is getting? Yes they effed up CoD3, but W@W was a damn good game, at least on par with CoD4, and the studio was working on three games at the time. Yes, there were some balance issues but CoD4 wasn't perfect either. Treyarch knows that they didn't have much support going into BO so they tried to listen to the community and implement features that they would enjoy and work hard on weapon balance. They also made sure to not make IW's mistake and are supporting the hell out of Black Ops. Now that the community has finally gotten almost exactly what they wanted, minus some issues with lag (mostly due to the ambition of the theater mode)the sommunity can't be satisfied because shit happens and bitches don't know how not to be bitches. This isn't even Treyarch's fault for the most part, as the hack is straight through the PS3's security and Treyarch has implemented a security backup on their end unlike the older games, including MW2, so Treyarch has again learned their lesson. /rant
  • D0CCON - February 5, 2011 2:01 a.m.

    @ChiefLethal There hasn't been any proven correlation I know of, but I did notice that the worst of the PS3 CODBO problems started happening after the rootkey leak, kind of like how the ozone started thinning after CFC's were introduced to it. If PS3 COD problems are going up as PS3 hacking is going up, that is defiantly a sign.
  • d0x - February 5, 2011 1:26 a.m.

    I highly doubt this "security" was built into the retail release. Its more like it came with the recent patch. This has been an issue since days after the game came out and has drawn nothing but massive negative press. If they had this ability from day 1 they would have been using it since then. Developers should just be up front and not BS us. We are smarter than that.
  • ChiefLethal - February 5, 2011 12:26 a.m.

    @AlmightyFuzz Thanks for the links, though they weren't too helpful. The first implies more that people could potentially pirate games, and the second link supports this; its a forum post with instructions to mod a PS3 and have 'backup' copies of games run off the HD. Still don't see anything about cheating in black ops. Although, I can imagine that people would cheat in games using this method. Many have resorted to lesser lengths just to cheat on consoles. I just don't see any evidence of it yet.
  • mentalityljs - February 5, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    One word: RECOIL I can't count how many times i've been killed by people who have virtually no recoil when firing their weapons. Now some of you may say, "well, they obviously have the Grip mod on their gun." Well, u see their friend, that's just not possible. Even if these a**holes were using the Warlord perk, the fact still remains that they were obviously already using rapidfire and some sort of sight mod in unison. I hate these hacking pieces of sh*t to death. I honestly wish their hands would get chopped off. It's either that, or everybody owns that modded rapid-fire controller piece of cheating a** sh*t. What's wrong with people these days? It's almost as if they woke up one morning and felt like they had to prove their worth as a human being by being the best by cheating. Life sucks, deal with it. Pathetic.
  • ChiefLethal - February 5, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    @DarthCockels The problem I have, is the Treyarch community moderators, or anyone else involved with BLOPS, coming out and blaming everyone but themselves for the shortcomings of their game. Problems with security? Its Sony's console. Problems with people exploiting in their games? Nope, not their fault; people can choose not to hack (the remedy for this btw, is creating a method of hack prevention, or just testing your game). Maybe Treyarch IS a good developer. I will never know because their attitude towards their community and customers is extremely poor. BTW, I would choke myself with my PS3 if 1)if I had a PS3 and 2)if the PS3 controllers had cords.
  • AlmightyFuzz - February 5, 2011 12:05 a.m.

    @ChiefLethal Justin Towell of GR UK wrote a whole article on this: Also just a quick search for PS3 hack and Black Ops led to this: So clearly hack is being used by other to cheat at Black Ops.
  • DarthCockels - February 4, 2011 11:55 p.m.

    No matter what FPS it is there will be always be people who hack the game. Not a single person should be suprised that it happens or that it takes time for a developer to catch it and attempt to fix it. You whine ass pieces of SHIT need to give the developers a break. "They shipped a broken game! It isn't 100% absolutely flawless!" - go fuck yourself with a hammer. Black Ops is a great game. Most of you who are talking shit play hours of it daily... and continue to talk shit during the matches about how terrible it is. So stop playing it. Please stop playing it, plenty of people don't want to hear what a self righteous dildo you are. And when you decree that you're done playing the game don't act like you're doing something huge or that you are even making a point. You're not refusing to go to the back of the bus. You are not making some noble stand and frankly no one cares about your flatuation of the mouth. So many act like Modern Warfare 2 was the best game ever; does no one recall the hacking BS on that? The "Prestiege" lobbies? How many just said "Well I know who paid for their rank, so what." and kept on playing? Every FPS has it's flaws and exploits most of which aren't exposed until some hacker exposes it. They try to break the game not play it. Give them a break. As actively as a developer, publisher, or hardware mfc tries to fix these hacks and exploits; the hacker community is coming up with something new at the same time. It will never stop, it is an endless cycle since an ethernet slot was first put on a console. If you cannot understand this please choke yourself on your PS3 you MOTHER FUCKING BABIES.
  • TheCloakandDagger - February 4, 2011 11:55 p.m.

    I'm glad they are doing something about this. It was damn well near impossible to play.
  • Yaro - February 4, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    Damn. SO much hate...I own Black Ops on my Ps3 and I did not encounter nearly as many problems...and I liked the single player too...weird. Wager matches are what makes black ops more interesting to me than any other FPS right now :P
  • ChiefLethal - February 4, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    @AlmightyFuzz Do you have a source for this? I'm well aware that the rootkey was leaked, but since then, I havn't read a single conclusive thing leading explicitly stating that people are using it to hack in games. The reason I ask for a source is because the community people at Treyarch have been the only ones making this claim, at least to my knowledge.
  • Defguru7777 - February 4, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    Why did it take so long? For cripes sakes, Bungie has never not been on top of utilizing its Banhammer on cheaters. If they can do it, why not Treyarch?

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