Valve used secret memory access “honeypot” to detect 40K Dota 2 cheaters



Publisher is advertising its techniques to send out a message to prospective make use of users.

Artist's conception of Valve's anti-cheat tentacles rising up to catch those caught by its memory honeypot.

Enlarge/ Artist’s conception of Valve’s anti-cheat arms rising to capture those captured by its memory honeypot.


The cat-and-mouse fight in between video game makers and cheat makers has actually seen plenty of innovative twists and turns throughout the years. Even in the middle of that background, however, Dota 2 stands apart for a just recently exposed “honeypot” trap concealed inside the video game’s memory buffer.

In a post today, Valve exposed the presence of this trap, which was launched as part of an earlier upgrade to the video game. Valve states that upgrade consisted of “an area of information inside the video game customer that would never ever read throughout typical gameplay.” That memory might be checked out by third-party cheat tools that utilized exploits to smell out (and share) internal information usually unnoticeable to gamers.

To trigger its honeypot trap, all Valve needed to do was expect any accounts that attempted to check out from that “secret” memory location, an occasion that would result in “exceptionally high self-confidence that every restriction was well-deserved,” according to Valve.

While Valve states it has actually now closed the make use of that made this illegal information gain access to possible in the very first location, presenting the honeypot initially implies it had the ability to likewise let loose a “especially big” restriction wave on over 40,00 0 accounts. The business is exposing its shadowy techniques now, it states, “to make our position clear: If you are running any application that checks out information from the Dota customer as you’re playing video games, your account can be completely prohibited from playing Dota” In doing so, Valve most likely trapped a great deal of gamers who cheat for status and in-game material, while likewise assisting to stymie those who cheat to generate income or put in power over the video game makers.

Now that Valve’s honeypot has actually been exposed openly, however, comparable systems appear a lot less most likely to be reliable at capturing cheaters in the future. A mindful cheat maker might likely evaluate a video game’s memory structure to thoroughly identify just legitimate and helpful memory addresses, then develop their cheat tools to only gain access to that “safe” information in a harder-to-detect way.

Still, as a pure message-sending power play, it’s difficult to beat a huge expose demonstrating how, precisely, you captured 10s of countless cheaters who most likely believed they were untouchable. And as the cat-and-mouse fight continues, Valve guarantees it will “continue to identify and eliminate these exploits as they come, and continue to prohibit users who cheat.”

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