An Anonymous Apology from a Former GTAV Mod Menu Developer

Hello everyone,

I was a bad gta player.
I actually was more than just that.
I started as a bad player, though.

I had always been a computer enthusiast.
Relatives and friends were always asking me for help when something was wrong with their computers at least since I was 11 years old.
I was helping people to upgrade from windows 7 to windows 8 (or downgrade, you know…) while still using a Windows XP computer as my main.

Some years ago, when I was 15, I went from a 2007 Pentium 4 desktop computer to an Intel i5+Nvidia GTX one.

That’s how it all started.
It was mind-blowing.

Now I was able to play real 3d games instead of those crappy 2d flash games that we have all played online at least once.

I still remember that I felt so guilty at first because my parents had already spent a lot of money for my computer and I didn’t want to ask them more to buy games

At the same time I didn’t want to crack anything, both for the risk of malware and the inability to play cracked multiplayer games.

So I ended up buying, during a steam sale, GTA IV+SA for a very low price, even if I was not that happy considering that I could have run GTA V, which was already out.

Months passed and I couldn’t resist more, so I grabbed my parent’s credit card and I bought GTA V.

I bought GTA V.
Remove that action from my life and I would be happy today.
And I would have been happy yesterday and every day for the last few years.

At first it felt gorgeous.
That graphics, oh my gosh.
It was unbelievable for someone like me, who was dreaming to play Minecraft a few weeks before but was unable to do so because his windows xp machine didn’t have a graphic card.

Then my hacker (cracker, or whatever you want to call it) soul started to be interested into this game.

After playing online many hours I started to ask myself: “Why am I always being trolled by those modders? They never get banned…maybe I should join the other side to have more fun”.

Imitating others sometimes is not a bad idea, especially if you then become worse than them.

At that time I was barely a script kiddie.
But I was already very curious about everything related to technology.

So I started learning.
I realized that to make mods everyone was using C++…I knew it a little bit because I had red a book about it when I was 12 but I had to study it from scratch again…and so I did.

Then I found tools like cheat engine, ida pro, binary ninja, reclass…so many pieces of software that I considered amazing (and I still do actually, it all depends on how you use them).

With great power comes great responsibility.

Yes, that sounds correct: If you ask a 15-year-old to kill a man in real life he would probably say no.
But if you ask that same young guy if coding a .dll file after school and injecting it by using the load library method into GTA5.exe to get some cool cheats to be better than other players in gta online, he may not realize the consequences of his actions (or extremely underestimate them).

And that’s exactly what happened to me.
I started coding a mod menu for fun, just to experiment stuff.
Then I sent it to some friends for free.
They were interested.
I felt cool because in my crew I was considered a hacker and a gta geek.

Ì was spending 8-10 hours a day on my barely working mod menu, sacrificing my school marks.
After some months I started to realize that my software was getting good (even if now I can definitely say that it still was crap, code-wise and purpose-wise).

So again I was hyped and I wanted to become more famous.
What did I do? Well I released my mod menu on a popular forum where many people upload and talk about free cheats.

I suddenly started to get attention.
Today I can say for sure that the huge attention I was getting came because it was just the right software released at the right moment…combined with way too much griefing features.

After some months someone gave me the idea to start selling the mod menu (to reduce banwave rates) and I accepted, even if I didn’t know how to do it but for that someone offered me his help.

Sales were getting better and better every day (if we ignore the days when the website was online thank to DDoS guys – damn you, you should have DDoS-ed us more often to keep us offline every day).
Anyway, it was fun until it lasted.
I was also very proud of me because not many people at my age were making so much money.

What did I do with those money? Well, I spent a large part of those buying personal stuff. Another big part was spent by helping people. Even if I was a f*cking gta griefer I helped a friend to pay his bills and I bought some phones for friends who could not afford new ones although they really needed them.
Then in the last part we have money spent to pay the server and the website, various software needed for the job and other random stuff that were inevitable.
I was not a bud guy in real life, I just liked to blow up people when I was playing GTA, even if I gotta say that sometimes I was very generous with other players and I used to make them really happy.

I would have happily skipped this money section, but I want to make sure that you understood one thing: I made a lot of money coding and selling a mod menu, but I am going to pay A LOT MORE (money, health, social life, reputation and time), now that Take Two is after me.

So if you are a little guy thinking about coding a small menu to make money, even by keeping it private not to get caught do me a favor: please stop now.
Really, stop.
And yes, even if you live in Antarctica.
It’s not gonna work.

You probably can’t understand how bad I felt in these past few years.
Every day I wake up and I think about Take Two.
When I am not lucky I think about Take Two even when I am sleeping.
When I get an email notification I am scared to open it since it may be something from lawyers.
When after a week it’s Saturday I thank God (even if I don’t believe in it) because I know that nothing bad can happens during the weekend.
Committing suicide? Already considered. It can’t work because it would only make my parents’ lives even worse than now.
And they are not responsible for this. They can barely use a smartphone and they didn’t even buy me GTA V.

I see no way this story could possibly end well.
And I have been thinking about it for a few years by now.

In the best possible scenario my life will be ruined and my parents’ lives too. That’s it.

Sometimes I can’t understand how this all happened since I am now so much different from that 15/16/17 years old guy coding mods for fun and profit.

But it happened and so no big deal.

“This [is] … about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed—run over, maimed, destroyed—but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it…. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished.”

Philip K. Dick (In Memoriam, A Scanner Darkly)

If you have been teleported somewhere in the map, It may have been my fault.
If you have been teleported to an apartment, after the first method teleport had been patched, it may have been my fault.
Other stuff that I am not proud of include: remote ranking, remote (and self) money to the bank, money drop, a wild variety of cages, instant and delayed crash methods, blamed explosions, freezed characters, remote bounties, removed weapons and more

For all of that I am here to apologise.
It was childish and I will never be proud of that as a (wannabe) software engineer.
But at least I did that when I was young.

What sometimes makes me feel weird and sad at the same time is that this could have never happened if Take Two had designed gta online a bit better.
Something like the ability to add unlimited money just by sending some requests from the client to the server (which doesn’t verify those request at all) should have never been possible.
“Never trust the client” is the first rule that every online developer should be well aware of.
If you go to a real bank to deposit $10 million cash money, they will probably check and count them all before adding 10 million dollars to your bank account (chances are those money could be much less, if not 0).
Everyone keeps saying me that if you see an open door you are not supposed to get into the apartment to steal everything.
That’s correct I guess but I truly believe it doesn’t work in the gta context where most players are kids and also you don’t steal anything real (or you can’t directly see it).

If you are still reading, thanks for reading my post till the end.
Again I apologise to all the people who have been damaged by my software.
I also want to apologise to Take Two and GTA’s developers: even if you could have been smarter and maybe a bit more kind I know that in the end it’s my fault.

What I am trying to achieve by writing this? I actually don’t know.
I am not hoping to improve my current situation, at least on a financial level.
Writing this was surely helpful as an outlet…it’s getting harder every day but I learn to deal with it…kind of.

I will be very happy to answer to any questions you have (if possible).

One last thing: if you managed to figure out who I am (should not be very hard) please don’t write it down here in the next posts… really it’s not a good idea.

Thank you all

Edited August 10 by WhiteHackGuy


[ed: Thank-you Gena Feist for helping yet another 16 year-old discover the joys of life-long therapy. You wrote him a letter, and he took his site down immediately — but that just wasn’t good enough for you. This is (at least) the 3rd male minor you have commenced legal action against [with relation to GTAV], one can only speculate about your own formative experiences at that age. “.. best served cold” ?]