Massive ‘Apex Legends’ Hack Disrupts NA Finals, Raises Serious Security Concerns

Something rather terrifying has disrupted the North American Finals of Apex Legends, and players are now starting to potentially worry about their own accounts and the overall safety of the game.

Respawn and EA have postponed the North American Finals in the wake of the “competitive integrity” of the game being compromised. This involved a wild situation where someone was giving the pros hacks like aimbots and wallhacks as they were playing in the Finals event, effectively ruining the entire thing without anyone actually attempting to cheat. Here’s what that looked like (warning: language):

This shocked players and one even got banned from the game for using an aimbot cheat before Respawn shut the entire thing down.

What’s unclear is the extent of the breach. There is some concern that it might not just be for messing with the pros at the finals, but a larger security issue with the entire game that could affect the wider playerbase. Some creators are claiming on social media that they’ve scanned their PCs and are finding viruses, though there’s so much panic going around there’s no evidence that has to do with this hack. But if the hack could breach a pro match, it would seem to be something that could breach normal players, even if it’s not actually doing so right now. Many believe this is the work of one hacker, Destroyer2009, who has previously been hacking pros, and this was an RCE remote exploit using their PCs, but none of that has been confirmed.

It’s hard to understate just how unprecedented something like this is in a major esports event. A finals event getting put on ice because someone breached the game to give players hacks is simply something that does not happen.

This has led to a mass of complaints about Apex’s anti-cheat systems, which clearly failed in a massive way for this situation. But it also speaks to just how advanced cheats have become as this is a private lobby for pros playing in an esports final.

Not that this is necessarily related, but Respawn was just hit days ago with 23 layoffs including Apex Legends developers, some of whom were longtime veterans. Though if anything, this shows that EA needs to beef up Apex’s security team to some extent as something like this requires all hands, or more hands, on deck than they currently have now, it seems.

Again, there is so much panic going around it’s hard to give actual advice. At baseline, it may be wise to avoid logging into Apex for the time being until EA and Respawn have something declarative to say, as all they’ve done right now is postpone the finals. I would not imagine you have to go to the extreme extent to actively uninstall the game from your PC, but just hold tight for a bit until the dust settles. Hopefully not radioactive, poisonous dust.

Even if this ends here, injecting cheats into pro players accounts to disrupt an event and even get one insta-banned is out of this world. This will need serious exploration and statements from Respawn as soon as possible to get a more clear picture of what happened and how things will be fixed from here.

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