A team of five counter-terrorists is running around the Rooftop Control map of the popular game Counter Strike: Global Offensive when one of them—unexpectedly—just jumps off a staircase and into the void, killing himself.
Somewhere in Europe, a hacker who made the fake cheat that killed the player, is having a laugh.
The hacker, who goes by ScriptKid, creates fake cheats that are booby-trapped and will backfire on the cheaters, making them kill themselves, blow themselves up with grenades, or blind them with a flashbang in the middle of a gunfight.
ScriptKid has been trolling cheaters—or "sheeters" as he calls them—for almost a year now, creating two fake cheats for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and two for CS:GO. His goal is not to mine cryptocurrency or steal passwords from the cheaters that install his booby-trapped cheats.
"I don't do anything permanent to them," ScriptKid said in an online chat. "I feel like just pranking them and ruining the cheaters game for once is punishment enough."
"I see a lot of people wanting me to blow up their PC and do other bad stuff to the cheaters or expose their names and stuff but I'm not really interested in any of that or the legal problems that could follow," ScriptKid continued. "My goal is just for people to have a good laugh about it and making a cheater lose a game because he jumps off the map on de_vertigo is pretty sweet but harmless revenge in my book."
The hacker, who said he lives in Europe and is in his early 30s, said he got fed up playing against cheaters in PUBG last year and started thinking of ways to get revenge. During that time, he saw the viral Mark Rober glitter bomb video, which motivated him to go after cheaters and prank them. He started learning how to create cheats by analyzing open source cheats and other cheats that were going around on popular cheat forums. When he had a proof of concept, he realized the best way to get cheaters to use it was to create a site for the fake cheat and buy ads on Google so that it would appear as the first result when someone searched for strings like "PUBG free cheat." That was the perfect way to spread it because "there are no comments and ways for them to give away to the next person searching that it does not work," ScriptKid said.
ScriptKid said his first PUBG fake cheat duped more than 1,000 people, and motivated him to keep going. He then focused on CS:GO as he said he's been playing the game since 2001, and knew very well how to mess with players. His latest fake cheat— or "bait" as he refers to them—changes the cheaters settings, making the crosshairs so big it covers the whole screen and changing the opacity to the maximum, covering the whole screen in a white light that looks like a flash to the player.
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His latest cheat is designed to run as background every time the cheater plays CS:GO and only triggers after a few matches, in order not to be too evident. In some maps, however, the cheat is set to make the cheater always jump off the ledge and kill himself.
"Even having that happen one time is funny enough for the YouTube video," ScriptKid said.
In less than a year, and with just four videos, ScriptKid has amassed almost eight million views on YouTube, and tricked a few thousands cheaters. Now he also livestreams on Twitch, appearing on camera dressed in a Salvador Dali mask and a red jumpsuit, like the characters in the Spanish Netflix Show Money Heist.
An employee of a gaming company who works in their anti-cheat department, and who asked not to be named because he's not authorized to speak to the press, said that ScripKid's exploits are funny, but unlikely to make a dent in the cheating ecosystem.
"His stuff is cool. But it's just for shits and giggles," the employee said. "It’s not something that stops the cheats."
Despite the success of his videos and the fact that he has trolled a few thousand cheaters, ScriptKid said he knows this won't stop cheaters, nor discourage others from cheating.
"I think it will have zero impact on cheating. After seeing how many people literally search Google for hacks every day, and how many people get banned every month, what I do has zero impact and I never thought it would either," he said.
That, however, is not gonna stop him.
"For me it's always been very obvious that it won't have any impact like that," ScriptKid said. "I do it because it's fun :D it's fun to see cheaters being trolled."