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Valve Caught 40,000 Dota 2 Cheaters By Adding Hidden Data




Dota 2 is Steam’s second most popular Game behind CS:GO, and just like with CS:GO, Valve has to be on the constant lookout for cheaters. Today, Dota 2 is down 40,000 accounts that were using illegal software to cheat in Dota 2 because Valve employed an interesting strategy to catch them in the act.

In yesterday’s blog update, Valve confirmed 40,000 accounts were banned for using software that "was able to access information used internally by the Dota client that wasn't visible during normal Gameplay, giving the cheater an unfair advantage." Valve fixed the underlying issue, but rather than just issue a patch to render all that cheat software useless, the Dota 2 developer instead set a trap.

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"We released a patch as soon as we understood the method these cheats were using. This patch created a honeypot: a section of data inside the Game client that would never be read during normal Gameplay, but that could be read by these exploits," explained Valve. "Each of the accounts banned today read from this ‘secret’ area in the client, giving us extremely high confidence that every ban was well-deserved."

Valve Ban Hammer Dota 2
via Valve

When all was said and done, Valve discovered 40,000 accounts accessed the hidden code, so they all got the ban. Valve noted it was an unusually large ban wave due to the prevalence of the exploit among cheat manufacturers.

"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: If you are running any application that reads data from the Dota client as you're playing Games, your account can be permanently banned from playing Dota," Valve added. "This includes professional players, who will be banned from all Valve comPetitive events."

Valve expects new cheats to come in the way of this ban wave, but has vowed to develop further countermeasures and ban more accounts that get caught cheating.

Valve isn't the only one fighting the good fight against cheaters. Bungie recently won its lawsuit against AimJunkies and was awarded over $4.4 million in damages.

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