I think its obvious a bunch of big game publishers want to have some level of anti-cheat, now with cheating, basically regardless of what the hacker is trying to achieve with a game hack it will all eventually end up doing some form of memory manipulation on the game. Thus anti-cheat and in fact kernel level anti-cheat that observe other processes that try to stop unauthorized processes from reading/writing memory in a game.
However one of the main issues with such anti-cheat is the fact that you need to have some kind of proprietary malware that is probably used for spying.
And thus my question: Would it not be possible to have optional (at compile time as with most things in the Linux kernel) anti-cheat features? And honestly this is not a -just for Linux- idea, since even Windows developers could have a trusted, standardized solution that works without having an extra kernel process that probably reduces system security.
I am not a developer at all so any input on this topic i would be thankful for.
Now I’m not an anti-cheat developer, nor a kernel one so it’s possible I’ve overlooked something here.
The thing that makes an anti-cheat secure is that it isn’t standardised. If an anti-cheat was a simple thing to implement, then we wouldn’t need all the different solutions we have today.
In practice, cheat developers are constantly searching for and exploiting vulnerabilities in each anti-cheat solution, to enable them to provide functional cheats for each game. By providing a singular standardized solution you, in effect, are putting all your eggs in one basket and making life easier for the cheaters.
Another unfortunate fact is that anti-cheats use (and need to use) security through obscurity to protect themselves from bad actors. For an implementation to be widely accepted at the kernel level, it would have to be open-source, which at this point in time is effectively impossible for an anti-cheat.
The best hope I can see currently is Valve. Their current anti-cheat solution is not kernel level (VAC), although it is also not particularly effective. However, as Valve have a great interest in Linux, there is a chance that they would make a move to enable game developers to more easily integrate a secure anti-cheat solution into their games. I can’t really speculate what Valve might do to achieve this though.
So my TLDR is: I think a standard anti-cheat solution for Linux (and potentially other OSes) would be very cool, but likely impossible as things currently stand.