Bungie accused of hacking by Destiny 2 cheat maker

Destiny 2 King's Fall secret chest - Guardians with raid armor and weapons
(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie's war against cheat makers rages on. The developer has been locked in a battle with AimJunkies since early this year, filing a copyright infringement complaint against the business and its parent company Phoenix Digital. A Seattle judge dismissed the infringement claims in May, agreeing with AimJunkies that its software was an original creation. Bungie was given the opportunity to amend its complaint, which it did a few weeks later.

Now, AimJunkies has returned—not only with a response but a whole-ass counterclaim—and it doesn't look good for the Destiny 2 developer. It claims that Bungie hacked key member James May's personal computer, combing through files unauthorised "on several occasions" across two years to build evidence for its initial lawsuit, as well as circumventing Phoenix Digital's own terms of service by reverse engineering the cheat software.

As reported by TorrentFreak, Bungie's current license agreement allows the company the right to certain files on players' computers for its anti-cheat. However, the agreement that May signed back in late 2019 did not include that permission. The countersuit claims the developer had no right to go poking around anyone's files unknowingly. 

May's lawyers are accusing Bungie of "unauthorised and clandestine surveillance of private records" on his computer, calling its conduct "intentional, malicious and willful." The counterclaim alleges that Bungie's actions violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, using evidence provided by the developer in its own lawsuit as proof that private files were accessed. It goes on to say that May's computer was also fraudulently accessed to "conduct further surveillance" on other members working on AimJunkies, as well as Phoenix Digital itself.

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Not only that, but the counterclaim is accusing Bungie of secretly purchasing AimJunkies' software and reverse engineering it, despite Phoenix Digital's terms of service expressly prohibiting it. It claims that an employee made a purchase under the alias Martin Zeniu in early 2020, which was then reverse-engineered by Bungie.

"Among the specified terms to which such purchasers agree are agreements that, “You shall not modify, hack, decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer, derive source code, or create derivative works of our software, in part or in whole," the counterclaim read. "You shall not transmit our software or display the software’s object code on any computer screen or to make any hard copy memory dumps of the software’s object code.” 

It's a pretty wild situation—Bungie has been on a tear against cheaters and other ne'er-do-wells in its game for a hot sec and has mostly been successful. But AimJunkies has fought back and done a pretty good job of it, and if the allegations within the counterclaim are true, Bungie may have messed up. Hacking is no joke, even if it is in the pursuit of protecting your brand.

The counterclaim is demanding a trial by jury, as well as damages paid out to both May and Phoenix Digital and the destruction of anything Bungie retrieved during its time accessing May's computer and AimJunkies' software.

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.