It’s been a wild week for hackers making off with video game studios’ private files and using publishers’ services for their own gain. But this time, it’s a major studio accused of doing the hacking. A group of Destiny 2 cheat makers are suing Bungie for hacking into one of their computers. They are seeking a trial by jury, damages, court fees, and for Bungie to destroy the files that it acquired from the hacks.
AimJunkies is a website that sells cheating software for first-person shooters such as Apex Legends, the Battlefield series, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Destiny 2. It’s owned by Phoenix Digital Group, which has been battling ongoing copyright lawsuits from Bungie since last year.
As originally spotted by Torrent Freak, the countersuit claims that Bungie had accessed and downloaded files on the personal computer of defendant James May, who Bungie says is a third-party cheat developer, without “knowledge or authorization” between 2019 and 2021. As proof, the defendants pointed to the Bungie Production Document that had been entered into discovery during the ongoing lawsuits, with file location names that come from May’s private hard drive. Kotaku reached out to Phoenix Digital Group to ask about the contents of the hacked files, but did not receive a reply by the time of publication.
Phoenix Digital Group argued that Bungie used the information it obtained to “conduct further surveillance” on the group, and cites the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the lawsuit. Torrent Freak reported that the 2019 user agreement for Destiny 2 did not provide Bungie with permission to access players’ personal files. Kotaku reached out to Bungie for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Phoenix Digital Group also claims that an agent of Bungie purchased AimJunkies cheat software in 2020. The lawsuit states that Bungie violated AimJunkies’ terms of service by decompiling and reverse-engineering the code.
It’s ironic that the cheat makers are using Bungie’s own court filings to make their countersuit. Just last month, Phoenix Digital Group said in a press release: “Do not believe everything you read in [Bungie’s] filings. In fact, do not believe 90% of what they assert in their filings.”