Denuvo faces more setbacks, as more games are cracked in record time
Image/Photo Credit: Ubisoft
Denuvo's usefulness is under question again as not one, but two new games featuring the infamous copy protection system was cracked within 24 hours this week.
A pirated version of 'Middle-earth: Shadow of War' with the Denuvo protection disabled was made available online only 24 hours after the game's official release, while a few days later, 'South Park: The Fractured But Whole' was also cracked in about the same time frame.
And only two weeks ago, the game 'Total War: Warhammer 2' was cracked in only a few hours. This contrasts greatly with when Denuvo first made a name for itself, when games took weeks and even months to be cracked.
Denuvo copy protection differs from other traditional forms of DRM (Digital Rights Management), in that instead of protecting the game directly from being pirated, Denuvo protects tampering of the game's code, which is often required to break traditional DRM. In many cases, games employ a traditional DRM (which is normally easily cracked), but uses Denuvo to prevent the DRM from being tampered with, thus adding a new layer of protection.
While the exact mechanism for Denuvo is a trade secret, most believe it works on the principle of adding specific code, called "triggers", into the game's main code. Denuvo then checks for the presence of these "triggers" to ensure the game hasn't been tampered with. Each "trigger" requires manual removal, and with potentially thousands of "triggers" being present in each game, the process is extremely time consuming.
But in recent months, hackers have found more success with removing Denuvo, and in record time, suggesting some kind of flaw or weakness in the protection has been found, or that hackers have found a way to automate the process of removing "triggers" more efficiently.
These latest cracking incidents may force Denuvo to bring out a new version of their protection ahead of schedule, assuming they can identify the weakness in their current version and plug any holes that may be present.