Apex Legends Hacker Claims Tournament Breach Was 'Just For Fun'

Apex Legends hack was for fun

The world of professional Apex Legends esports was rocked over the weekend by a brazen hacking attack that compromised player accounts and forced organizers to postpone the North American Regional Finals. Now, game developer Respawn Entertainment has responded, confirming it is treating the issue as its "highest priority" as it works to restore security.

In a statement Tuesday night, Respawn acknowledged that "a few professional Apex Legends players accounts were hacked during an ALGS event" on Sunday.

Respawn acknowledged the hack incident

This referred to the incident where pro players Genburten and ImperialHal had cheats like aimbots and wallhacks forcibly enabled on their accounts mid-tournament by hackers known as Destroyer2009 and R4ndom.

"Game and player security are our highest priorities, which is why we paused the competition to address the issue immediately," Respawn stated. "Our teams have deployed the first of a layered series of updates to protect the Apex Legends player community and create a secure experience for everyone."

Respawn did not provide details on exactly what vulnerability was exploited or how the hackers compromised the accounts. However, statements from the development team indicate an intensive behind-the-scenes effort is underway to investigate the breach and implement security improvements.

"We are working," Apex Legends Security Analyst Conor Ford assured the community. "The team on this are some of the most talented I've ever had the pleasure of working with. All I can say is, the care and love shown from parties involved makes me thankful for the coworkers and devs on this game."

"Lots of folks across various teams have been working extremely hard in response to this the last few days," added Build Engineer Tyler Owens. "We care deeply about this game and know you do too."

While player concern has spread about the potential risks to the wider Apex Legends community, statements from the hacker Destroyer2009 claimed the exploit never went beyond impacting the game itself. 

In an interview with TechCrunch, the hacker stated they carried out the ALGS attack "just for fun" to pressure Respawn into patching the vulnerability, which they said has "nothing to do with the server" and did not directly hack players' computers.

Easy Anti-Cheat, the developers of the anti-cheat engine used in Apex Legends (and several other games), said in a statement on Monday that it was “confident that there is no RCE vulnerability within EAC being exploited.” 

As for the ALGS tournament itself, organizers say they are "still actively working" with Respawn and publisher Electronic Arts "to resolve the issue." However, the league confirmed it does "not anticipate any changes to the Split 1 Playoffs" at this time while planning resumes for the postponed North American Regional Finals.

While many questions remain about the specific nature of the vulnerability and Respawn's mitigation efforts, the developer has clearly sprung into action to address this high-profile security breach that disrupted one of Apex Legends' premier competitive events. 

Players will be looking for more substantive updates from Respawn in the coming days as it works to get the ALGS Finals back on track and restore confidence in the game's integrity.

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