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

Luxury cars seized by Chinese police
(Image credit: Weibo)
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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 (opens in new tab)).

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.

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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 (opens in new tab). Cheat makers seem to be popping up everywhere recently, with both Activision (opens in new tab) and Bungie (opens in new tab) hunting down cheat services in the last few months. 

Games like Call of Duty: Warzone (opens in new tab) has huge problems with hackers too, with massive monthly ban waves (opens in new tab) 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. (opens in new tab)

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.