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Valve brings ban hammer down on over 40,000 cheaters in Dota 2

Say goodbye to more than 40,000 Dota 2 accounts — which are banned from the game after they were caught using third-party cheats.

The Dota 2 developer ensured that these cheaters will never prosper, using a creative method that ultimately outed the bad actors by themselves — rather than using any anti-cheat software.

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Valve uses innovative “honeypot” in new Dota 2 patch to catch cheaters

Credit: Valve

With a new patch, Valve introduced normally unreadable code, except for a very specific population.

“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,” Valve wrote in a blog post.

“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.”

Essentially, the developer set the bait — and cheaters swam and bit on it all by themselves, without even knowing that they did so.

The specific cheat Valve is referring to is likely the well-known vision hack that uses the Slark ultimate’s unique properties. Shadow Dance would prevent the hero from regenerating health when under vision, which was then turned into a cheat that provided a visual cue when the player is seen on the map.

Of course, even after 40,000 accounts were banned, the work will not end here for the Dota dev.

“We expect that some players will continue to develop and use new exploits, to continue to try to gain unfair advantages at the expense of other players,” Valve wrote.

“As before, we will continue to detect and remove these exploits as they come, and continue to ban users who cheat.”