Following a recent update, Doom Eternal now uses a kernel-based driver as a new anti-cheat solution to keep the multiplayer modes clean and fair. What should have been received warmly has resulted in a severe backlash from players as they stand united against a potential privacy breach in the making.
According to developer id Software, the kernel-based anti-cheat will start when Doom Eternal starts and stop once the game is exited. The developer has also noted that the kernel-based driver will avoid collecting “any personal identifiable information” and only monitor how Doom Eternal interacts with the operating system without scanning any files or taking screenshots.
However, knowing that a kernel-based solution literally runs at the core of a system is enough to be a concern for players. In other words, players have no control over what information Doom Eternal collects and hence, the reason for alarm over a major security risk if someone was able to piggyback the same anti-cheat to breach an operating system. Such a vulnerability could potentially result in giving unwilling access to personal files and data, as well as control.
Since the update went live, Doom Eternal has been review-bombed on Steam. A call has been placed by players to remove the anti-cheat solution from the game, or at least in its current kernel-based form. While not verified, some players have even reported performance issues after running with the new anti-cheat system.
Remember that Riot Games received equal flak when Valorant was revealed to be using a kernel-level anti-cheat called Vanguard as well. The security measures put forth were always running in the background and for many players out there, the functionality brewed concerns that Vanguard could potentially spy and gather private information kept on systems at all times. Riot Games quelled the storm by allowing players to disable or uninstall Vanguard at any point. When starting Valorant though, Vanguard will be installed automatically once again as a mandatory requirement. Basically, Riot Games offered a way for players to remove the anti-cheat from their systems when not playing and when doing so, gain a peace of mind that their systems are safe.