Motherboard has published a fascinating report that delves into the rise and fall of what's been described as the 'world's largest' video game cheating empire.
Speaking to one of the key players, codenamed 'Catfish,' behind cheat-making organization 'Chicken Drumstick,' which was busted by Chinese police and Tencent earlier this year, Motherboard has confirmed details on how the group's empire unraveled in the wake of the sting, including how Catfish obliterated evidence after realizing the authorities were after them.
"I know the cops were on to my organization for a long time," said Catfish, who claimed their suspicions were raised after some anonymous collaborators started behaving strangely. "Although I never disclosed personal info to [my colleagues] I actually always thought they were kind of invincible and never thought that they could get arrested."
For Catfish, it became clear something was amiss when they woke up early one morning to find a colleague, known as 'IIIIIIIII,' claiming they needed to go on a trip to Shanghai out of the blue. That set off alarm bells for the cheat-maker, who'd helped develop hacks for a number of titles including PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile.
"After I connected the dots I absolutely panicked. I was so panicked that I also hammered every single visible chip in [the solid state drives]," they said. "Then I just drove to a place a few miles away and dropped them off there."
Catfish also suggested that police weren't too wide of the mark when they claimed the group had earned around $77 million from selling cheats, but stopped short of confirming precisely how much the organization had pulled in.
There are more insights from the cheat developer, including how they got their multi-million dollar (and incredibly illegal) business off the ground, in the full report. Be sure to check it out over on Motherboard.