PC Gamer has a nice article about cheating
Gibson told me that, legally, it’s not worth going after sites like Ultra Cheats. Most of them are based out of Russia, China (Ultra Cheats is registered in Beijing), or other places where extradition is, in Gibson's words, “questionable.” At the very least, Tripwire would have to pay another lawyer in that country, making it prohibitively expensive and complicated.
Criminal justice systems, perhaps understandably, aren't preoccupied with people cheating in online games. “Especially when it’s international,” Gibson said. “Then you’re talking about the FBI and Interpol. If someone stole $10 million in diamonds, call them. If someone is hacking your game, they don’t care.”
If Tripwire, Valve, or other developers want to reduce the number of cheaters, they have to do it themselves. Note that it’s “reduce” and not “eliminate.” Like Newell, Gibson knows that this isn't a battle he can finish. “It’s like the Wild West,” he said. “It’s more about managing the risk and hacks without inconveniencing your legitimate players too much.”
Tripwire’s anti-cheat strategy is three-pronged. The first is technical, using both VAC and Punkbuster. This is one topic Gibson was secretive about, but he said Tripwire uses both because “they handle things in different ways.”
"If Tripwire, Valve, or other developers want to reduce the number of cheaters, they have to do it themselves."
The second is being a proactive developer. When Tripwire notices a loophole, it closes it as fast as possible. When Red Orchestra 2 first launched, it didn't do a whole lot of server-side validation on hit detection. The game was plagued by hacks that allowed your machine to tell the server you shot someone in the head even when you were clear across the map. “Very quickly we put up an update that basically verified, within a reasonable margin of error, that they kind of have to be where you say you shoot them at,” Gibson said. “If they’re not, then we know that it’s a hack and we ignore that shot.”
The third is having an engaged server admin community and giving them the tools to be the third line of defense. “That’s a huge thing for us,” Gibson said. “Hackers come in, it’s obvious fairly quickly that they’re hacking, the server admin bans them from the server and problem solved.”
Punkbuster also allows server admins to take screenshots of what players see. If the server admin captures evidence of cheating, he or she can submit the proof to PBBans, a global database of hackers, making it very difficult for that hacker to join any Punkbuster servers.
This also allows server admins to pass along evidence of cheating to Tripwire, which can use the information to close more loopholes.
Overall, Gibson thinks this strategy works very well. “I have over 1,275 hours in Red Orchestra 2 and Rising Storm,” he said. “I’ve been on a server with about two hackers in all that time.” I asked him if Tripwire downloads paid cheats as part of its efforts to prevent them. “We’re a proactive dev,” he chuckled. “Infer from that what you will.”
The entire article can be found at