A hacking and cheating forum called ArtificialAiming has hacked Battlefield 3 servers that are running the anti-cheating software PunkBuster. The reason: to ban honest players so as to prove how shaky the anti-cheating protocols are for Battlefield 3.
Focusing on third-party anti-cheating tools GGC and PBBans, junior members of ArtificialAiming have managed to issue bans to over 150 honest Battlefield 3 players. They’ve managed this by “framing” the user accounts so that the anti-cheating systems kick in to ban the player.
According to the cocky little buggers hacking group: “We are bringing back the unerring of PunkBuster back for a third season. We have selected GGC-stream as the target since they have the most streaming BF3 servers and makes it very easy to add fake bans. In 2011 we hit them with a mass ban-wave, and now we are banning real players from Battlelog while GGC-stream is totally unaware. We have framed 150-plus BF3 players alone.”
Publisher Electronic Arts is aware of the situation, although their statements haven’t really acknowledged the bans and have rather referred to them euphemistically as “connection issues”.
This problem is limited to PC versions of Battlefield 3 and neither of the consoles are affected in the slightest. EA’s suggestion is that players choose servers that are not running PunkBuster until such time as they’ve developed a permanent solution to the hack – I mean “connection issues”.