We rarely announce anything regarding commercial cheats and hacks. However, we are aware of the numerous "You Tube" type videos and posts on various sites where hackers who sell cheats make claims that are false but sound believable about PunkBuster and hack detection status. We receive numerous emails daily by concerned honest players regarding advertisements for undetectable hacks, etc. The truth is that via recent enhancements to PunkBuster's detection capabilities, we have cracked down hard on cheaters who pay for hacks in the games we support. Some commercial cheat sites have closed down due to our new methods and others have private forums where punks routinely complain about getting caught with the "undetectable" hacks, demanding refunds, etc. We have always maintained a strict policy of not giving money to punks, but thanks to community volunteer moles who have helped us obtain access to private hacks via donations of their time, etc., PunkBuster has been catching hacks from virtually all commercial cheat sites in recent weeks and months.
One of the recent enhancements involves our memory scanner which aggressively scans for patterns included in known cheats (public and private). A commercial hack site where we have had recent success catching their subscribers has recently staged a few demonstrations of inserting text-based patterns via certain chat-related systems such as IRC, Instant Messaging, etc. directly into the memory of computers. These are specific text patterns that we have deployed in some supported games in the recent past. It is clear that many of the demonstrators are cheat-supporters willingly participating in the demonstration, but there is evidence that some innocent players had PunkBuster violations triggered during the past few days by the hackers who sent specific text patterns into the chat programs that were open during gameplay. We are removing these text based patterns from our system and encourage admins to not ban for PB violations that occurred during the past few days.
Online gamers who play with other programs running should always enable security features in their messaging and chat programs to deny auto-download of files and only accept downloads from people they know and trust. As always, from PunkBuster's standpoint, if a known cheat pattern is in the memory of the computer during gameplay, then a violation will be triggered. We have always suggested closing other programs while you are playing multiplayer games on PunkBuster servers and that remains the safest policy. Leagues that require chat room usage for competitive play should take steps to ensure that only league participants have access and suspicious activity should be reported to us when there are concerns about manipulating the system.