Reportedly leaked Call of Duty: Warzone Ricochet anti-cheat is “nothing special”

Activision will need more than Soap to clean up this mess

Captain Price, the protagonist from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, brandishes nightvision goggles in a dark setting

Just a few days ago, Activision announced its new ‘Ricochet’ anti-cheat system that will soon make its way to both Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard. Unfortunately, according to Twitter user AntiCheatPD, the Ricochet driver has reportedly leaked and has already found its way into the hands of cheat manufacturers and other bad actors.

Ricochet is a kernel level driver, similar to the anti-cheat method used in Valorant, that looks out for any attempts made by applications on a gaming PC to meddle with Call of Duty’s game code. This means of combating cheaters has proven highly effective but naturally raises privacy concerns given its level of system access.

While the leak is undoubtedly troublesome, to make matters worse, the driver’s protections are reportedly “not that great and will be reversed easily”, according to AntiCheatPD. If true, this would make circumventing Ricochet a much easier task for cheat manufacturers. Fortunately, there’s a theory that might provide a silver lining.

It’s possible that the Ricochet development team has leaked this file, posing as the official driver, with the intention of steering cheat manufacturers towards exploiting vulnerabilities that do not exist in the actual driver. However, there’s no way of knowing this for sure as confirmation would only serve to blow Activision’s cover.

Activision previously shared some research, as highlighted by ModernWarzone, of how trojan horse viruses can be disguised as Call of Duty: Warzone cheats and leave your gaming PC vulnerable to all manner of security risks. As such, we don’t recommend anyone download any cheat, or program for that matter, that you’re even a little unsure of.

We’ve reached out to Activision for comment and will update this story when it responds.

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here. In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”.