Some exploits are in the form of programs or injectable DLL files, which explicitly break the Roblox TOS, and can lead to a permanent ban by Roblox. An example would be the popular "Hacking GUIs" in which many exploiting tools are put in the form of a GUI for the player.
Other exploits take advantage of flaws in a game's scripts or building. A good example would be the infamous "Noclip" glitch in Jailbreak, where players take advantage of the crawl script and thin walls to get into otherwise inaccessible areas. Such exploits are not bannable by Roblox, but players caught doing this can be banned by a developer if the game has moderation infrastructure, like an admin script.
Many users believe that the correct term for programs that change Roblox for a player's advantage is “exploiting”, and others believe “hacking” is the correct term. However, hacking is the act of gaining unauthorized access to a system while exploiting is abusing a vulnerability to do the same.
Reporting an exploiter
Once you've confirmed that there is an exploiter in the server, use the Reporting feature (Report Abuse) and report the exploiter for Cheating/Exploiting. Before submitting the report, make sure to include as much as detail as possible. Once done, click "Submit" to send the report to Roblox's moderation team.
Types of exploits
Bytecode through loadstring function
When Lua runs programs, the Lua virtual machine compiles code to Lua bytecode before it is interpreted. This process is irreversible without artifacts (via decompilation) and thus was frequently used for Code Obfuscation.
Lua bytecode does not have the same structure as Lua and allows, by unconventional means, manipulation of the stack and other things that are not possible in normal Lua programming. It is possible, though difficult, to write Lua assembly code manually and to assemble it into Lua bytecode. The Roblox process can load Lua code and Lua bytecode through use of the
loadstring function (which can be toggled on the ServerScriptService.)
It has been proposed on the Lua mailing list that direct stack manipulation could be used to access the environment of other functions during their execution and, therefore, to steal values from these functions (including C functions that Lua has access to), something which is not possible in pure Lua.
The Roblox user NecroBumpist proved the idea to be true and possible. Using Lua bytecode, he created a function that allowed a script to steal values from other functions, including C functions. This made it possible to steal values from Roblox's API's, but months passed until someone found a way to use this bug to modify the global environment and to become capable to make the core scripts and the join script execute any Lua code in a game server.
This resulted in the removal of bytecode from Roblox and the ability to use it with the loading function. Despite common belief, this exploit was unrelated to a Direct Dynamic Library (DLL) exploit in the same time period. The removal of bytecode had no other side effect than rendering code obfuscation impossible without other means.
After the removal of the Lua compiler from the client, Roblox made heavy changes to the Lua VM. Roblox-compatible bytecode after the change contained heavy use of encryption and obfuscation and required special signing from the server, which is where all client scripts were compiled. Generating this new bytecode from scratch would prove near impossible for would-be exploiters.
In the summer of 2015, a user on an underground Roblox exploit development/marketplace forum came up with an idea: By using the regular vanilla Lua compiler to generate a Lua function prototype, then modifying it to be compatible with Roblox's VM, he could achieve script execution. This process was made easier through use of C++'s very flexible data types, where after reversing the right structs, accessing all the data from a Roblox function prototype was trivial.
After solving the encryption, this user achieved script execution, and dubbed his method "proto conversion." He then created an exploit, which was the first of many exploits to use the new method. Some of the most prevalent and infamous exploits in history have used this method to execute scripts.
A new method to obtain script execution was also in the works after the heavy VM changes that Roblox implemented. This method - dubbed "Lua wrapping" or just "wrapping", became the second most popular method to obtain script execution. This method worked by generating a fake Roblox environment in a normal Lua instance and emulating the regular Roblox environment in C functions implemented by the exploit. This made Roblox's attempts to patch these exploits extremely hard, allowing them to survive major security updates without any features lost.
Early attempts to implement this method of script execution was included in a few highly popular exploits - made by the some of the major exploit developers of the time. Both of these exploits were later rewritten to use Proto Conversion instead.
Around 2 years later, a new class of wrapper exploits was born with an exploit which, to this day, is one of the most popular exploits. Around a month later, another exploit also implemented the same method of obtaining script execution. Both of these exploits largely used the same methods described at the top of this section.
Most current exploits are DLL files that are injected into Roblox using a DLL injector. Once injected, the exploit is able to function correctly. Injecting a DLL into a process is not all that is required, as Roblox has introduced many safeguards to prevent memory from being manipulated easily.
Lag switching is an exploit that has not been patched since a demonstration in 2015. Loading up a lag-switch will allow you to use the hotkeys available. If the user triggers the activation, their computer will stop sending signals to the modem in this case the user is already using Roblox and can roam around freely, the user must reconnect their computer to the internet in 9 seconds or Roblox will shut down. If the user deactivates the lag switch, their client returns to normal. People complain about this exploit as users can "teleport" to almost anywhere in the game. One major advantage to the lag-switch, for exploiters, is that the client side of the game, GUI etc., still works as normal, so do workspace items, so they could, in a puzzle game with moving levers, disconnect and change the levers the complete wrong way and then reconnect to mess up the game.
Another exploit known as process freezing allows the user to freeze themselves by pausing all execution of Roblox code. An example of this was the Jailbreak exploit where people could pause the game's process to exit the train faster.
Levels are the Roblox Thread Identity that the script executed through the Roblox exploit is running. Normal LocalScripts run with Level 2, Roblox Scripts usually run with Level 3–4, the Command Bar on Roblox Studio runs with Level 5, and Plugins in Studio run in level 6. It is a common misconception that levels assosciate with how well an exploit is, but in reality, if you could already execute in Roblox, you could set the level. Most exploits run their scripts in Level 6 and intentionally downgrade their levels when calling certain functions in-game to avoid detection. Level 7 is an upper level that is suspected of being fake and a scam though probably existed with exploits like Synapse X before Filtering Enabled (FE).
Aimbots are most common in many Major FPS games and are mainly a highlight of exploiters who use them. Aimbots are scripts which function in 2 ways, silently or blatantly.
Silently refers to the script forcibly altering the hitbox of the weapon ammunition to better hit the target, while blatantly is your crosshair perfectly tracking. Silent Aimbot is usually used when trying to mask aimbotting as it has the ability of altering the range of its usage. These scripts usually will not work with games with a projectile based weapon system, however exploit developers may use trajectories to calculate where to hit. Smarter hackers will use hacks that aim for different parts of a body ( i.e. stomach ) so that they don't have suspicion raised from only head shots. Of course, it can be easy to see through them.
Anti-Exploits are scripts or plugins coded by the player/developer themselves, it is currently used against exploiters who try to alter the game. Anti-Exploits will never be perfect, as there will always be new exploits and bypasses created by the exploiting community which the developer has to keep on top of.
Reader discretion is advised for this section. Read at your own risk.
Some exploiters have inserted inappropriate models, decals, and sounds and used scripts to do inappropriate things to avatars in game, prompting concerns of parents when such exploits are exposed to children. The most severe case of this and exploits in general was on the 4th of July 2018 when two exploiters were doing strongly inappropriate actions to a 7-year-old girl's avatar. This incident was featured heavily on several news websites, leading to Roblox permanently banning the exploiters and applying restrictions to Experimental Mode games (see Experimental Mode game restrictions for more info). Please note that antiviruses find exploits as a malware. Exploits are viruses on certain cases and others not, they slow down devices if executed.
- Necro's Magical Bytecode Exploits, Roblox forums, http://www.roblox.com/Forum/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=57817090
- John Shedletsky, Bye Bye Bytecode, Roblox Blog, http://blog.roblox.com/2012/08/bye-bye-bytecode