Update: Denuvo parent company Irdeto has issued a statement saying that Voksi was arrested by the Bulgarian Cybercrime Unit, following an Irdeto investigation into Denuvo hacking.
“Piracy is a threat that is now firmly established in the gaming industry, and we are focused on securing the content of game publishers and ensuring that hackers cannot distort the gaming environment for personal gain at the expense of other players,” Irdeto Cybersecurity Services Vice President Mark Mulready said.
“The swift action of the Bulgarian police on this matter shows the power of collaboration between law enforcement and technology providers and that piracy is a serious offence that will be acted upon.”
The Bulgarian Cybercrime Unit confirmed the arrest and confiscation of computer equipment in the statement, and said that the investigation is ongoing.
Voksi disputed that characterization, however, saying that he “was not arrested,” but went to the police voluntarily to provide a statement. He then made two attempts at contacting Irdeto to resolve the matter, but was told that it was out of their hands, and that the decision on how to proceed “will be done by the prosecutor.”
That obviously makes it sound like criminal charges could be pending, although it’s not clear whether they could come alongside a civil suit, or if this was actually a criminal matter all along. Voksi said the police have been “really vague,” and that he’s still not aware of the details of the case; the police told him his confiscated equipment will likely be returned, but not until after the investigation is complete. A timeframe for that wasn’t provided.
The Denuvo DRM software faces a lot of criticism for the purportedly negative impact is has on game performance, such as in November 2017, when a cracker/pirate who goes by the name Voski claimed that the software was putting an excessively heavy load on CPUs in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Now Denuvo has struck back by suing alleged cracker Voksi and forcing his “Revolt” website offline.
“It finally happened, I can’t say it wasn’t expected, Denuvo filed a case against me to the Bulgarian authorities. Police came yesterday and took the server pc and my personal PC. I had to go to the police afterwards and explain myself,” Voksi wrote on the r/CrackWatch subreddit. “Later that day I contacted Denuvo themselves and offered them a peacful [sic] resolution to this problem. They can’t say anything for sure yet, but they said the final word is by the prosecutor of my case.”
Denuvo isn’t as formidable as it used to be—Chinese pirate group 3DM swore off cracking games because of it in early 2016, but in late 2017 it held up for just a day in Middle-earth: Shadow of War—but it’s still commonly used and reasonably effective in deterring launch-day piracy. It’s fair to say that a good number of seasoned PC gamers don’t like DRM as a matter of principle, but what really brings out the knives against Denuvo are claims that it has a negative impact on game performance—even though those claims are sometimes dubious at best.
Voksi confirmed in a follow-up conversation that he’s had no further contact with Denuvo since his Reddit post, and that he hopes to reach an amicable, out-of-court resolution. For now, he’s still waiting for more information from the local authorities about what happens next. I’ve reached out to Denuvo for comment, and will update if I receive a reply.