This damned speedhack
Enough FUD (Fear, uncertainty and doubt) here is my collation of real information about the hack.
Part One - Will it destroy these llamas computers?
The answer to this is 'probably not' Many different cheat sites are carrying this file. Some versions have a particularly decent trojan buried in it (designed for remote control of the machine, probably will be used for DDOS attacks on other machines) - but other versions do not.
Whether the origional file had the trojan and some places have stripped it, or whether it was origiaonally clean, but many laces have added it is a moot point. Some of the cheats contain trojans, but these trojans will most likely not be used to destroy the cheaters machines.
The cheat is highly unlikely to burn out a cheaters motherboard/processor etc. As I will explain when I explain how it works in detail it may shorten the lifespan of their computer, but it's not like they are overclocking their machine.
Part Two - What is at risk?
A heck of a lot of things. It was designed to destroy counterstrike, and clearly affects all halflife engine games equally. It also has a large effect upon a number of RTS games, and to REALLY cheer you up, it breaks UO and Diablo2 as well.
Most games that have been rumoured to have a speedhack since october - it looks like this is hand-dandy easy to use packaged version, and will hurt them.
Yahn claims that valve has a fix, and it will be with us real soon now (2140 then) Punkbuster detects the cheat (but are exploiting its existence to force people to move to 'punkbuster required' servers) but only if the cheaters don't use 'pb-avoid' (which randomly renames processes and files so that pb can't find them)
Other games are, presumeably, working on it.
Expect this hack to remain around forever, becoming another standard piece of cheaters kit, like the ASUS drivers.
Part Three - How it works
(thanks go to the forum posts of the dark ages of camelot team for this)
It really is a clever hack. It writes to the clock very rapidly - forcing it to go up faster than it should.
The clock it writes to is probably NOT a clock at the hardware level.
This causes it to skip some numbers, but nothing reads the clock fast enough to notice that.
In addition, we have some reports that this particular hack doesn't work on win2k - which seems highly unlikely, since it works identically to the 'win2k driver hack'
This means that any bit of code designed to wait for a given time, or to send information out every now and then, will act much faster.
NB: This will NOT speed up your computer. That's not possible. It will have to steal time from other things (or idle time) - so it will not affect slow machines.
Sadly, llamas always seem to have high end kit (spoiled brats anyone?)
Anyway, a possible temporary fix is to set a draconian sv_maxuprate - and not listen to much data from the clients.
Alternatively, fiddle with the server tick time, and play TFC on speed for a while. But this REALLY needs to be fixed, it breaks a LOT of games - so we can probably expect the next iteration of directX to include a directAntiCheat API...
Oh - don't bitch and moan and say 'go back to the old net code' - the old netcode had this cheat built in as a feature - the faster your mahcine ran, and the lower your ping, the faster you could move and shoot...
Edited by Vitenka at 2001-02-01 12:41:07