Hackers Abuse CS:GO Overwatch System to Ban Innocent Players


Hackers Abuse CS:GO Overwatch System to Ban Innocent Players

Aditya Singh Rawat
Published On: 
  • Cheaters use multiple tools to influence the CS:GO Overwatch system to manipulate bans.
  • They simultaneously avoid getting banned while grief banning innocent players.
  • One of the biggest drawbacks of the Overwatch system is its lack of security to protect player identity.

In recent times a lot of false VAC bans have been issued to multiple players without any rhyme or reason and in most cases, the accounts that have faced this tend to have an expensive inventory. As more such cases pile up popular CS:GO YouTuber ‘Sparkles’ has revealed the reason behind all of this and it might just be the most awful thing to have hit the community since the numerous string of exploits.

Cheaters Control CS:GO Overwatch System To Ban Legit Players

The CS:GO cheating community have actually found a way to manipulate bans, evading the Overwatch system themselves while at the same time banning other innocent players for ‘griefing’ through private cheating services.

Hackers Abuse CS:GO Overwatch System to Ban Innocent Players

Overwatch is nothing but a community-driven regulation system that allows members to spot suspicious players in-game or by reviewing gameplay demos, who might be ruining the experience for other players by using cheats or file modification exploits in order to gain an unfair advantage.

Sparkles in his recent video engages in conversation with who he claims to be an expert (hacker) called ‘Kessie’ “To fully explain what is going on with Overwatch and how it is being massively abused by the cheating community.” Kessie goes on to reveal how various services have been built by hackers to specifically target a player’s game ID either to avoid them from getting banned or influence the Overwatch system to take some kind of action against it. 

These methods have also been used in recent times to ban legit players, who have been handed both temporary and permanent ‘Grief Bans’ for team kills, being AFK, or anything else that would make the Overwatch system perceive them as being involved in the act of ‘griefing’. According to prominent Counter-Strike personality Haci (@DonHaci) both Jacob "Pimp" Winneche and Erik "fl0m" Flom were victims of this Overwatch scam, who were handed a 30-day griefing ban.

Hackers Abuse CS:GO Overwatch System to Ban Innocent Players

Players who have been handed a ‘Grief Ban’ once in the past need to be extra vigilant as getting a second one can lead to a permanent game ban. But cheaters do not ever worry about this as they keep their accounts blacklisted from these Overwatch bots, this ensures that they are never banned and makes it very easy for them “To maintain high trust accounts, with little risk of being banned and being able to queue into high trust matches easily.”

Hackers Abuse CS:GO Overwatch System to Ban Innocent Players

‘Kessie’ while acknowledging that it is really tough to combat these problems did mention that Valve could simply increase the security surrounding the anonymity of players in Overwatch cases that can currently be accessed using third-party network traffic app. This will make the initial step a lot harder to pass through instead of being a one-step process, making the Overwatch system a little less vulnerable.

Valve with its recently released ‘Trusted Launch’ option has shown that instead of stopping cheaters completely they instead wanted to bolster their ‘Trust Factor’ mechanics to distribute the player base according to their actions. But despite the devs preventing the launch of third-party apps the cheating community has found a new way to influence the game, their presence now prevalent more than ever before.

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Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.

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