'World's largest' hacks distributor brought down by police in China

Luxury cars seized by Chinese police
(Image credit: Weibo)

Members of a Chinese cheat distribution operation have been collared by police in Kunshan, with a little help from Tencent along the way.

Dubbed 'Chicken Drumstick,' the operation has been described as "the world's largest" by Chinese police. While the group mostly dabbled in cheats for mobile phone shooters—unsurprisingly including a few from Tencent's library—apparently there were also hacks being designed and sold for the likes of Valorant and Overwatch (thanks, BBC).

The operation was raking in its members some decent dough, netting around $10,000 (£7.2k) a day. The group charged anywhere from $10 a day to $200 a month for a subscription key to access the hacks, according to a translated Chinese news broadcast.

Police were tipped off to the operation a year ago, and have now since closed down 17 websites, with 10 resellers arrested. Assets of around $46 million (£33mil) were seized, including several luxury cars. 

It's not actually stated what Tencent's role in the raids was, but their involvement isn't a surprise considering how many pies the company has fingers in. Cheat makers seem to be popping up everywhere recently, with both Activision and Bungie hunting down cheat services in the last few months. 

Games like Call of Duty: Warzone has huge problems with hackers too, with massive monthly ban waves for those darn dirty cheats. It's something that's frustratingly becoming the norm, though there are ways to spot and report cheaters in Warzone.

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.