Since the release of The Division last month, Ubisoft has been scrambling to stem the widespread use of hacks, cheats, and exploits that have ruined much of the PvP experience in the online-focused multiplayer shooter. But an analysis of client-side cheating programs by an experienced network gaming developer suggests the game may need a "complete rewrite" to fix major holes in its online security.
Glenn Fiedler is a game-networking consultant with credits on Sony's God of War series, Respawn's Titanfall, and more. In a detailed blog post this week, he lays out what he sees as a core problem of client-side trust in the way The Division's basic networking is structured.
For his analysis, Fiedler makes reference to a recent hacking video that which shows a client-side program modifying local memory locations to give a player infinite health, infinite ammo, the ability to warp around the level and shoot through walls, and more. These kinds of demonstrations suggest to Fiedler that the game is using a trusted client network model, where the server essentially accepts the client-side reports of in-game events like player position, weapon fire rates, item inventory, and even when players are hit with bullets.