Over 40,000 Dota 2 players have been banned in the past couple of weeks, having been caught using third-party software to cheat in games. Dota 2 developer Valve hasn’t revealed what the software was but stated in a detailed blog post that the app in question was able to access internal data used by the Dota client. Under normal circumstances, this information should not be available to regular players, as it would provide an unfair advantage.
However, upon learning how the cheats worked, Valve laid out a trap via a downloadable patch, containing a “secret” area in the client that could only be accessed using third-party software. Understandably, the players that fell for the trap were soon hit with the heavy end of Valve’s ban hammer.
“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. 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,” the statement from Valve reads.
This ban wave sure is huge, but Dota 2 wanted to set a visible example for the community, with no exceptions for professional players either, who if caught cheating, will be prohibited from all of Valve’s competitive/ esports events. These initial bans should also deter any potential cheaters, who are safe for now, from continuing their nefarious activities — be it auto-aim for abilities, champions hurling out attacks right when a target comes into proximity range, seeing through the Fog of War, and more.
Valve concludes by claiming that it will continue its pursuit of cheaters in Dota 2 by removing new exploits as they come, and thanking all those who individually reported players and scrubbed through overwatch cases to deal justified punishments. In recent times, the US-based company isn’t the only one trying to ward cheaters from its ecosystem.
Earlier this week, Ubisoft banned nearly 19,000 accounts, the owners of which were found to be using cheats within their games. The company hasn’t revealed the specifics of what games or the type of software that was used.
Additionally, a new ‘Mousetrap’ update to Rainbow Six Siege aims to sniff out players using hardware devices such as XIM to use a keyboard and mouse with an Xbox console — granting better movement and targeting against those using a controller.
However, instead of being handed a ban, Ubisoft will gradually increase input lag on those systems — essentially pestering you until you pick up the controller again. Meanwhile, Riot Games has warned its players that some new cheats could be emerging, given that source codes for League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics were stolen last month.