DOOM Eternal has been one of the more notable releases this year, but its new update has raised a lot of eyebrows. In addition to the typical bug fixes and tweaks, which are always welcome, the Denuvo Anti-Cheat system is added.
Eye, not the same as Denuvo Anti-Tamper, the system that many companies use to prevent the spread of illegal copies of their games (this is what we usually refer to when we say “Denuvo”). Anti-Cheat, as the name suggests, is a new solution designed to fight cheaters in multiplayer titles, and was released with the battle mode of DOOM Eternal.
This was confirmed by Irdeto, the company that owns Denuvo, in this statement. Denuvo Anti-Cheat has been in development for three years and has undergone several tests until its final version. Irdeto boasts of his invisibility, because at no time does his logo appear when we start the game or while we are playing. Now alright this could confuse some players they may not even have realized what they installed.
For this reason, the company wanted to offer some transparency in the details of its operation. Basically what it does is install a kernel-level driver in our program files. Kernel is the name that is usually given to the heart of the operating system, the part that governs everything. When we start the game the pilot starts up (although it only works in Battlemode mode, not in the campaign), and when we quit it stops.
According to Irdeto, despite the invasive nature of the kernel, it doesn’t take screenshots of what we have or scan our files. It only collects data related to the interaction between our computer and the game, that it then sends to servers hosted on Amazon to detect that cheats or traps are not being used. The latter, depending on who you ask, is certainly already ubiquitous.
Complaints have been heard
The community rose up in arms at the news that DOOM Eternal install a file that could potentially collect our most personal data (although Irdeto insists it’s not a kernel driver). User extant_dinero expressed his protest through a post on Reddit that he is already kneading more than 4,200 positive votes. In it, he refers to another of his posts on the official Bethesda forums where he explains in detail the seriousness of the matter.
With the latest patch, id Software introduced Denuvo Anti-Cheat to prevent cheating on Battlemode online. I agree that a solution was needed to end cheaters due to the constant cheats in multiplayer; However, Denuvo Anti-Cheat is one of the most intrusive software you can have on your computer when it comes to security, privacy, and stability.
As I said before, the kernel is the central part of the operating system, ring 0, as you can see in the user explanation. This means that the driver Needs all the possible permissions our PC can give you to work. Typically, a program is placed in Ring 3, the one with the fewest permissions required and the most secure of all, but Denuvo Anti-Cheat runs on 0, which is the most vulnerable. Recall that Irdeto himself admitted that it was kernel software.
What does it mean? First of all, it can cause stability issues in the operating system or in-game performance (Some users claim to have suffered blue screens because of it, others claim to have lost FPS.) Second, you have the option to collect information about whatever the operating system is doing. And thirdly, the author of the article believes that if the hackers managed to manipulate Denuvo Anti-Cheat, there would be a huge security hole that would allow them to control our PC. It’s all still in the air, of course. Until that happens, we may not know for sure, but the concern is there.
Until an official solution is offered, extant_dinero recommends uninstalling DOOM Eternal and Denuvo Anti-Cheat (if you are playing with the Bethesda.net client, you must uninstall them separately). Another of their complaints is that apparently the software ID never warned that something like this was going to be implemented.
It is important to note that this only occurs in the computer version; if you play it on PS4 or Xbox One, don’t worry.
We recently had another similar case with Valorant and its Vanguard system, which can also access certain inside information from our PC to avoid cheating. In this case, it stays open even when we are not playing, so we have to close it manually.