The cost of hacking on PunkBuster servers has just gone up significantly. PunkBuster now computes Hardware GUIDs for various pieces of hardware on players' systems while playing on PunkBuster servers. We use multiple private one-way hashes so that no serial number information for individual computers can be determined by admins or anyone else who may try to obtain this information from a Hardware GUID (and as always, no personal information of any kind is examined, stored or transmitted by PunkBuster).
When players raise a violation that corresponds to hacking or interfering with PunkBuster's normal operation, we now (in addition to Global PB GUID bans) are Globally banning the new Hardware GUIDs across all games supported by PunkBuster (including games supported in the future). So punks who are determined to cheat so badly on PB-enabled servers that they try to hack PunkBuster may now need a new computer in addition to a new cdkey in order to return to PunkBuster servers. As with previous PB GUID Global bans, the new Hardware GUID bans are permanent and will not be lifted.
As always, players who are affected by these Global bans will still be able to play on non-PB servers.
Honest users should never "test" hacks that claim to interfere with PunkBuster. We have successfully tested this new feature set over the past few weeks for a few supported games and will be rolling it out to all supported games over the next few days and weeks. Additionally, PunkBuster servers will be updated to signify whether kicks for Global bans are for PB GUIDs or the new Hardware GUIDs.