GTA Online Hackers Can Now Steal Your Cash


In the past few weeks GTA Online’s hacker issues have seemed to quiet down a bit. Granted, the modders and cheaters still didn’t disappear entirely, however their numbers seemingly began to thin out. Some players took this as a sign that they could finally breathe easy without having to fear hackers pouncing upon them.

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Rockstar has been waging a quasi-war on hackers pretty much ever since GTA Online went live. They tried all kinds of approaches, including hidden stat tracking, disabling all mods entirely and clogging up the game files with dead code to try and slow them down.

When that last method backfired, the dev team decided to go back and rework the hidden stat tracking system – and by “rework” we mean “pump full of the programming equivalent of steroids”. The new system initially seemed like overkill, however looked to have done the job and plugged most of the holes.

The new stats system tracked where you are, where others are in relation to you, what you are doing, how much cash you have, what you spend that cash on, what missions you did, how you interacted with other players, etc. – the list just keeps on going and going. It also saves all this data for future reference, so that it can track your movements and spending to sniff out any foul play. Sounds good right?

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Hackers have been up to all kinds of trouble for years now, ranging from the mildly inconvenient to the absolutely game-breaking. Either they pull pranks like spawning a massive satellite dish inside your garage, or they saddle you with a piggy-backing clone of yourself with the side effect of spawning other clones which are hostile – oh, and all damage you deal hurts you.

A while back when Rockstar began to clean things up, hackers started using PC mods which implicated others, allowing them to get off with no issue. They used others to spawn in cash, or fooled the anti-cheating mechanics to ban others even if the modder was the one with invincibility.

The most recent thing hackers have started pulling is the worst one yet. Taking the fun out of GTA Online was one thing, but stealing something you quite possibly paid actual money for? That’s serious.

Albeit indirectly, hackers can now “steal” your in game cash. They can now perform so called “insurance frauds”. These frauds involve the destruction of the hacker’s own personal vehicle, except it is billed to the account of another player in the lobby. And for the avoidance of doubt, yes, as far as we know this only affects the PC version of the game.

Unlike money spawning, which doesn’t technically hurt anyone directly, this takes money directly away from the other players. They have to cover the insurance with their own cash.

By kicking players from lobbies during jobs, instantly killing everyone during deathmatches or spawn-winning races, hacker cause potential-losses for other players. This means that they simply lose the possibility of making money. However with this new insurance fraud, they take cash which actually belongs to the victims. They could have gotten that GTA $ from Shark Cards, which are purchased with real money.

This was only an issue of fair play and fun factor until now. Adding in the question of actual money loss makes the hacker issue more severe by magnitudes.

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Another negative side effect the victims suffer, though significantly less infuriating as losing money, is that they receive bad sport points for destroying another player’s personal vehicle.  Being bumped into GTA Online’s bad sport lobby isn’t nearly as big an issue as financial loss.

So far this new method of hacking is isolated and limited to the PC platform only. If you find yourself a victim of GTA Online insurance fraud, you can and should contact Rockstar support for a reimbursement.

However, if this becomes widespread and out of hand, Rockstar will have no choice but to crack down on GTA Online hackers like never before. What implications this may have for the game, we can’t speculate.

What are your thoughts on the developing issue regarding hackers in GTA Online?

Aron Gerencser
Aron is responsible for the bulk of the news posts that you’ll find on GTA BOOM each and every day. He loves getting involved with the community and is an avid fan of all things Rockstar Games. When not covering GTA news, playing an RPG or anything sci-fi related, Aron spends his time working on his novel.

13 Comments

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  1. I have a host of friends that have GTA. When hackers get troublesome we use invite only sessions. Not a complete answer but one the works well for me in many instances.

  2. PC games have always been plagued by hackers and cheaters. I was once a proud PC gamer but after frustration with the hacking on counter strike. I jumped ship to consoles. I just couldn’t take it anymore. It wasnt only limited to CS. But Cod. And other games. I still miss PC gaming. I miss it so much I bought my cousin a 400 dollar r9 390x strix graphics card for christmas. He has since built the pc and I come over sometimes to see it in action. But I just couldn’t take the frustration, the constant money drain of upgrading and in my old age. I just don’t have the time like I used to have. So console gaming works out just fine for me.

    1. I’ll be baited.

      > implying it has nothing to do with R* ineffective anti-cheat measures
      > implying it has nothing to do with GTA Online using p2p tech

  3. People keep saying its not so bad if it’s not money you got from a shark card. But it certainly is, I can’t afford shark cards so I’ve spent many many hours of my time MY LIFE! earning the GTA$$ I have. Not glitches not mods but real time effort. I’m so sick of modders ruining the game

  4. Those who have a PS4 or Xbox One, play on console. That’s where the best GTA community is at the moment. Yes, there is the odd ones that have hacked consoles, but you only meet them once in a blue moon. I’m on GTA everyday on PS4 and there’s no significant problems.

  5. I’ve played a total of about 2 hours online because of the fact that the game is not fun because of this BS. I was really looking forward to the game before release only to have hackers/mod puppies ruin the experience. I gave up on RS actually being able to do something, online is dead to me.

  6. They need to get their shit together. Every update consists of forgettable items and novelty jobs that get boring in a week. They also actively target glitches that only affect appearances. But real fundamental issues with the game like the flaky netcode and security vulnerabilities remain. I know GTAO has been a financial success but they really could’ve improved the replayability and player loyalty by focusing on quality instead of gimmicks.

  7. Omfg, I knew it!!! I was in gta online few days ago and yesterday i went in and boom 150k dissapeard. Ban all hackers!!!

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