In the past several weeks, over 40,000 Dota 2 accounts have been permanently banned for utilizing illegitimate third-party software to cheat the game. Valve fixed a bug that was being abused by cheating third-party software in Dota and also set up a honeypot to detect gamers who were falling for the trick, the company said in a blog post published on Tuesday.
Valve claims that the cheating program gave its users an unfair advantage by allowing them to see data that should have been hidden by the Dota client. After learning the system’s inner workings, the developer decided to root out all the bad actors from the Dota 2 community.
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As soon as we figured out what these cheaters were doing, we put out a fix, Valve added. This fix built a honeypot or an area of the game client that is accessible to exploits but is never accessed by players. After banning 40,000 accounts, Valve said it was very confident that every ban was well-deserved because all of the banned accounts had accessed the secret data.
Valve emphasized that a large number of banned accounts was a direct result of the pervasiveness of this family of cheating clients and that the measures implemented are part of a larger effort to combat those misusing the popular MOBA game.
Valve warned that if a player is using a third-party program that accesses their Dota account while they are playing, their account could be banned permanently.
“While the battle against cheaters and cheat developers often takes place in the shadows, we wanted to make this example visible, and use it to make our position clear,” the company said.
Valve isn’t the only major developer or publisher taking measures to prevent cheating by its players. This week, Ubisoft claimed that it has created a mechanism to “mess” with players who cheat using XIM devices by increasing latency and so making it more difficult for the gamer to hit their target. Courts this week also sided with Destiny 2 creator Bungie, awarding the company almost $4 million after finding that cheat developer AimJunkies had infringed on Bungie’s copyright.
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Meanwhile, earlier this year Riot Games issued a warning to players of League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics that new exploits might be developed after the source code for both games and the legacy anti-cheating software they employ was stolen in a data breach.
Valve traps and bans 40,000 cheaters in ingenious way: https://t.co/6wd1966uFK pic.twitter.com/1Vwe24v9tG
— Kotaku (@Kotaku) February 23, 2023
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Frequently asked questions
Why doesn t Valve ban cheaters?
Valve realizes that banning the IP Addresses of hackers won't stop them from playing the game, as those players would simply utilize a virtual private network (VPN) instead. Instead than going after the MAC address, which would be easy to fake, they avoid it altogether.
What does Valve Anti-Cheat do?
When a user installs a cheat program on their computer, Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) will alert them automatically. The VAC system will permanently ban the player from playing that game on VAC-Secured servers if they login from a machine with detectable cheats installed.