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EA's Kernel-Level Anti-Cheat System for PCs Will Debut With FIFA 23

EAAC anti-cheat system
(Image credit: EA)

Electronic Arts (EA) has announced the launch of EA AntiCheat (EAAC), a kernel-level system that it says is “absolutely vital” to take on the cheaters who have increasingly sought to utilize this deep computer access mode. To try and nip security and privacy worries in the bud, EA’s Elise Murphy, Senior Director, Game Security & Anti-Cheat, has given various assurances about the scope of EAAC’s operations and published a blog with a lengthy FAQ about the technology. EEAC will make its debut with the release of FIFA 23 at the end of the month.

(Image credit: EA)

The introduction of EAAC is concerned with “creating a safe and fair experience for all of our players,” assures EA’s Murphy. Sadly, the PC gaming environment in 2022 means that it is essential to implement kernel-level protections to create a level playing field in competitive games, according to EA. Cheat developers have moved into the kernel to avoid detection by traditional anti-cheat and anti-tampering technologies, so like in a military arms race, EA must change its tactics.

Having gone down this kernel-level path, EA says it is coding its new anti-cheat solution with “full stack ownership of the security & privacy posture, so we can fix security issues as soon as they may arise.” The new anti-cheating system “will only look at what it needs to for anti-cheat purposes,” explains EA, allaying some fears that it might snoop at your PC browsing history, personal files or similar. However, EA admits that if a process on your PC seeks to interact with an EAAC game, it “could see that and respond.”

Other key assurances EA’s FAQ provides, are that EAAC:

  • Only runs when an EAAC game runs,
  • Won’t degrade game stability or performance,
  • Will not be in every game, as it will be implemented on a case-by-case basis as required for fair competitive multiplayer gameplay,
  • If you have multiple EAAC games installed, EAAC will be uninstalled when/if you uninstall the last of these games,
  • Will be continually tested by EA and independent 3rd party security and privacy advisors for bugs and vulnerabilities.

EA isn’t the first and probably won’t be the last PC games publisher to implement kernel-level anti-cheat and anti-tamper technology into its games. Last year Activision revealed its Ricochet anti-cheating system, which was custom made for one of its biggest online multiplayer games; Call of Duty, and in June this year it published an interesting blog describing the progress made by Ricochet on this iconic-franchise.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • InvalidError
    Looking forward to reports of kernel-space anti-cheat bricking people's systems like many other low-level anti-cheat/DRM implementations have before.
    Reply
  • DougMcC
    InvalidError said:
    Looking forward to reports of kernel-space anti-cheat bricking people's systems like many other low-level anti-cheat/DRM implementations have before.

    No kidding. I can't imagine being willing to install something like this. I'll just pass on such games, thanks. Besides, anyone who wants to cheat will just implement it at the router, right?
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Fairness? When all the publisher cares about is FUT? The point of which players keep spending to have an advantage - you know, NOT BE FAIR?

    If anything, the cheaters are probably trying to circumvent the 🐮💩 yearly cash sink that is FUT(and other UTs) by not spending all that money.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    isnt this last Fifa game they can make?

    As they wouldnt renew the contract?
    Reply
  • IceQueen0607
    Great! Another rootkit to contend with. Just what we need. I wonder if it will run with Valorants vanguard rootkit or whether they will brick people's system. Time to stop buying EA games.
    Reply
  • KyaraM
    Oh, awesome, even more invasive software plugging right into the very base of the system. Just what anyone needs...
    Reply
  • Colif
    Lots of people seem to happily install Valorant even though its anti cheat has been at ring 0 for the last 10 months.
    But its bad if EA do it...

    its not good when either do it.

    Sorry, refuse to install software that thinks it owns my pc. And really, I didn't need another reason to avoid EA Games, but thanks anyway.

    Vanguard already has issues with Easy Anti cheat. Now another? I hope they recognise each other... this is almost as bad as multiple AV programs. Vanguard can block other programs, I can see some really disfunctional computers coming
    Reply