Riot Games is offering up to $100,000 to hackers who can find vulnerabilities in Vanguard, the anti-cheat system that was introduced for hero-shooter Valorant.
Vanguard has already raised controversy because it is automatically installed on computers after downloading Valorant, and it runs with heightened privileges. In a blog post, Riot Games explained that it was necessary to implement the system in such a manner to better protect players against potential cheaters.
Valorant will not run on a computer that does not have Vanguard, which launches as soon as players turn on their PCs. According to Riot Games, this is to make sure that there is no opportunity to load cheats before starting the game.
Riot Games, however, claimed that Vanguard will not collect and process any personal information other than what is already currently used by the anti-cheat solution in place for League of Legends.
“Riot’s committed to achieving the highest competitive integrity in our games. We want you to play in a world where you never have to doubt your abilities or your opponent’s,” the developer said in its philosophy behind Vanguard.
Riot Games believes that Vanguard will protect players from cheaters, and that the high privileges that the system requires will not be exploited by hackers. To support this goal, the developer rolled out new rewards in its bug bounty program on HackerOne that are specifically for Vanguard.
“We want players to continue to play our games with peace of mind, and we’re putting our money where our mouth is,” said Riot Games. The bug bounties for Vanguard range from $25,000 to $100,000, with the highest reward for the discovery of a network attack that does not require user interaction with code execution on the kernel level.
Riot Games said that it has awarded nearly $2 million in bounties to security researchers over the past six years of the program on HackerOne, showing its commitment to player security and privacy.
Valorant is currently in closed beta, with Riot Games planning to release the game this summer. There is currently no specific release date, but the developer is already laying down the foundation for the hero shooter’s esports scene.
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