Riders need not risk administering performance enhancing drugs with needles and pills anymore, a technology security researcher has created a hack allowing Zwift riders to E-dope with the push of a button.
Brad Dixon, a security expert with cybersecurity firm Carve Systems, researched and developed an E-doping hack to manipulate data after it leaves a bike, but before it reaches Zwift’s main computers.
It allows him to cheat by lying to the Zwift system (and other riders) about how many w/kg he is producing.
Dixon presented his E-doping hack at the worlds leading information security event, Black Hat USA, last week in Las Vegas.
The hack uses software, hardware and a Xbox controller to exploit vulnerabilities in the USB ANT+ sensors providing heart rate, power and cadence data to Zwift.
Dixon calls it the eSports Leet Automatic Network Cheating Enhancement, or eLANCE.
It offers an EPO Mode where a multiplier is simply applied to the power data, essentially turning the rider into Superman and making any climb feel like it’s all downhill.
Since EPO Mode is a fairly easy cheat to detect, he also added Slacker Mode that automatically pedals for you (in case you want to get a beer or something) and tosses in random “jitters,” plus terrain sensitive heart rate and cadence data.
The purpose of the hack was not to help Dixon win virtual Zwift races, but to bring attention to the possibility of E-doping entering the sport as technology, cycling and cybersecurity collide.
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