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Infinity Ward wields MW2 Steam-powered banhammer

Infinity Ward wields MW2 Steam-powered banhammer

Infinity Ward and Steam have swung the banhammer, but is it enough?

Infinity Ward and Steam have completed the first wave of bans for players using cheats for the PC version of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 claims Infinity Ward's Rob Bowling, with 2500 accounts now blocked from connecting to the game's multiplayer service. Posting on Twitter, Bowling claimed "the Steam ban hammer is coming down" and it certainly doesn't look like it was an an empty threat - we've found plenty of accounts now serving Modern Warfare 2 bans.

This is the first public statement regarding cheating in Modern Warfare 2 from Infinity Ward since the game's release and its controversial switch away from dedicated servers. New anti-cheat abilities were touted as a major benefit for the game with the move from Punkbuster to Valve's inhouse anti-cheat system VAC, promising a hack free experience for gamers.

It's likely more hackers will face the wrath of Steam's banhammer before long, although this will come as little consolation to those who've had their games ruined by cheaters, especially as VAC's automated banning procedure is typically slower than manual methods - it's taken over two weeks for this first round of bans to emerge, for instance.

Infinity Ward and Steam have also been working to make things difficult for those trying to get online with pirated copies of the game, releasing regular small updates to the game's executable via Steam that invalidate pirated copies from the IWnet matchmaking service.

Have you experienced cheating in Modern Warfare 2? Think VAC is too sluggish to be an effective anti-cheat? Tell us your thoughts in the forums

52 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Gremlin 30th November 2009, 14:04 Quote
Good luck plugging the leaky boat when its already on the bottom of the ocean

this wont do squat, if you have to wait 2 weeks before you can find a decent game, within those 2 weeks even more people will have started cheating thus making this an exercise in futility
cjoyce1980 30th November 2009, 14:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlin
Good luck plugging the leaky boat when its already on the bottom of the ocean

this wont do squat, if you have to wait 2 weeks before you can find a decent game, within those 2 weeks even more people will have started cheating thus making this an exercise in futility

cheat much :P
Baz 30th November 2009, 14:11 Quote
Incidentally, neither myself nor anyone I play MW2 with has encountered someone that was clearly cheating. Skilled players yes, hackers with wall hacks or aimbots and impossibly high scores? No.

Gremlin - the way VAC works is by analysing the cheats themselves - cheat comes out, gets added to VAC and then VAC bans everyone using it. This is the same for TF2, CSS, Left 4 Dead and they don't have a reputation for cheating. Sure it's not as immeadiatley effective as direct admin bans but it has a much wider reaching effect.
mi1ez 30th November 2009, 14:14 Quote
At least they're trying...
Gremlin 30th November 2009, 14:18 Quote
I play it a fair bit and ive come across cheaters in most games I've played, so much so I've stopped playing MP until they sort their **** out

I know how it works, but without direct bans it seriously destroys your game when you run into them
Jack_Pepsi 30th November 2009, 14:27 Quote
Still better than PunkBuster.
Zero_UK 30th November 2009, 14:40 Quote
Good on IW and steam. :). Hopefully hackers will stop their hacking if they know the ban hammer is out
Lord_Azrael 30th November 2009, 14:57 Quote
I thought there was some cheating going on! 3 days after release I came across a player touting a Veteran Level 70, and surely that wasn't physically possible? I've seen a few others since....but maybe not for much longer!
Eloquence 30th November 2009, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gremlin
Good luck plugging the leaky boat when its already on the bottom of the ocean

this wont do squat, if you have to wait 2 weeks before you can find a decent game, within those 2 weeks even more people will have started cheating thus making this an exercise in futility

There are plenty of good reasons for a delayed-ban system.
Psytek 30th November 2009, 15:01 Quote
The thing is, having your steam account banned means nothing to these hackers. They are using copied versions of the game, so they can just make a new account and go right back to cheating.

At least with PB it banned your CD key, this is the one place where steam falls down, once something is hacked, its hacked for good.
Omnituens 30th November 2009, 15:03 Quote
Should work on reducing the time it takes for bans to com into effect, but it's good to see something is being done!
Mr Happy 30th November 2009, 15:13 Quote
Dedicated servers and admins would be better
smc8788 30th November 2009, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Incidentally, neither myself nor anyone I play MW2 with has encountered someone that was clearly cheating. Skilled players yes, hackers with wall hacks or aimbots and impossibly high scores? No.

Likewise, I've not seen any cheating either, and TBH what's far more annoying to me than any potential cheaters that might be out there is accusations of cheating being thrown around in every single game I play. It gets old very, very quickly.

I can only guess that people aren't very good at spotting cheaters. I only ever encountered a couple of wallhackers in COD4, and you could spot them a mile off just by watching the killcams. I'm currently rank 60 and I haven't seen anything like that (though I have seen people that are already rank 70 on the 10th prestige level already, but that doesn't really harm anyone else's experience). People say they're just 'good' cheaters so disguise it well, but when the alleged cheater has a negative kill/death ratio it just makes the people that throw these accusations around sound like whining kids that don't like it if something doesn't go their way.

All I can say is that if there are any cheaters out there, they're probably better off trying to actually play the game rather than using those crappy hacks, because they're obviously not very good.
adam_bagpuss 30th November 2009, 15:37 Quote
i suspected a couple fo people.

1: i was a TDM 6-6 and the top player got 48-1 kill/death ratio (next nearest was around 20ish-5). i didint call it but looking at his kill cam some shot were amazing accurate in a split second. cud have been a pro player i guess.

2: was a guy with something silly like 65-6 K/D and alot of his kills to me and my friend were knife attacks. The guy just seemed to run through you.

thats about all ive seen. The thing that annoys me most is the bunny hoppers and dolphins drivers whcih kill the experiance for me.

They make a game which is supposed to slightly-realistic with fast game play and tactics and it gets reduced to bunch a idiots prancing around shooting.

i really wish they would ban jumping and shooting like the MOD for Cod4 that prevents firing at all when jumping.
Baz 30th November 2009, 15:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Incidentally, neither myself nor anyone I play MW2 with has encountered someone that was clearly cheating. Skilled players yes, hackers with wall hacks or aimbots and impossibly high scores? No.

Likewise, I've not seen any cheating either, and TBH what's far more annoying to me than any potential cheaters that might be out there is accusations of cheating being thrown around in every single game I play. It gets old very, very quickly.

I can only guess that people aren't very good at spotting cheaters. I only ever encountered a couple of wallhackers in COD4, and you could spot them a mile off just by watching the killcams. I'm currently rank 60 and I haven't seen anything like that (though I have seen people that are already rank 70 on the 10th prestige level already, but that doesn't really harm anyone else's experience). People say they're just 'good' cheaters so disguise it well, but when the alleged cheater has a negative kill/death ratio it just makes the people that throw these accusations around sound like whining kids that don't like it if something doesn't go their way.

All I can say is that if there are any cheaters out there, they're probably better off trying to actually play the game rather than using those crappy hacks, because they're obviously not very good.

My thoughts exactly - paranoia quickly sets in if you get a few lucky kills. Watching kill cams should be enough for most people but some people just can't accept a bad beat. Many don't realise moving makes noise - even the heat beat sensor's "beeps" can be heard by enemies and have given me away more than a few times.
Digi 30th November 2009, 15:53 Quote
I am in agreement with Baz and smc8788, people are too quick to call cheat when more than likely it was luck or skill. Sometimes people happen to be looking the right way or standing in the right place or they do those things on purpose with skill and tactics.

I think the ''cheats'' that they are talking about are mostly achievement hacks and those don't worry me. I don't think having all the weapons will make you any better than me on rank 1 and I usually make a beeline for the high ranked players because I expect to have a more skillful encounter. If they cheated their way up then they are going to get shot by me repeatedly.

And MR HAPPY, if you believe dedicated servers and admins would have been better then you're dreaming. 75% of servers never have the admins on because they are just hosted and of the rest with active admins, half go on a power trip so it becomes impossible to play there if your good and half are incompetent, so there is little left to actually do some proper banning.

I welcome this news item.
frontline 30th November 2009, 16:11 Quote
The problem with vac (and part of it's success too) is that it is a delayed system, it has to be to stay one step ahead of the cheats. The problem on MW2 is, there are no server admins to get rid of obvious and blatant cheats in the meantime. Plus it depends largely on how often Valve update vac.
Quote:
This is the same for TF2, CSS, Left 4 Dead and they don't have a reputation for cheating

I'm not so sure that CSS doesn't have a reputation for cheating. The game is constantly in the top 20 sales on Steam due to people 'losing' their old steam id.....
javaman 30th November 2009, 16:32 Quote
think it was reported by bindi that knifing people like that isn't impossible to do.

discussion ==> http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=2160606#post2160606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
This is absolutely true. And I'm guilty of it myself: the "increased attack distance" and "lightfooted" mods make it super easy to run like a chipmunk on crack and knife your way through a few people.
Omnituens 30th November 2009, 16:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by frontline
I'm not so sure that CSS doesn't have a reputation for cheating. The game is constantly in the top 20 sales on Steam due to people 'losing' their old steam id.....
When I was working at GAME someone was buying thier forth copy of CSS, I asked them why and they said its because they had been banned 3 times. I suggested to him that maybe he should stop cheating.

He said "then I couldn't win then could I?"

Silly noobcake.
reflux 30th November 2009, 16:39 Quote
Had my first hacker on the weekend. Called 'Alan Shore BMF'. Got ten kills in the first five seconds. Everyone just left the server. What a moron.
TurtlePerson2 30th November 2009, 16:42 Quote
I wonder if they're also banning people who try to mod the game. If someone tries to add content, but is playing off the ranked game will IW and Steam still ban them?
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 30th November 2009, 16:46 Quote
Nothing is better than ADMINS PUNKBUSTER and DEDIC ATED SERVERS. Infinity Ward has got you guys preprogrammed and screwed in the head to think that waiting two weeks to ban some accounts (2 minutes to make another account) is preventing ppl from cheating.

Ive played the game on a "private" server and on Iwnet and iwnet was full of hacks noticible and not so noticible. horrible experience.
nothing is better than an admin immediately banning someone who using a mod or hack to gain an advantage. Most mods and hacks are not very noticible but make an average player a good player. The game is fun but i'll stick to playing multiplayer on a "Private" server so to speak.
fodder 30th November 2009, 16:47 Quote
The positive thing about PB and dedi servers is the streaming that can very quickly ban/kick the GUID known for cheating. Secondly, while waiting for PB to incorporate a new cheat into it's detection system, you can manually kick/ban suspected cheats. As pointed out though, this only works when an admin is on. Good servers tend to be well moderated, another perk of a dedi server is you end up with a list of good ones.

The VAC system itself is very good, but the inability to take up the slack before a new cheat gets detected is abysmal. It does lead to a lot of cries of 'cheat', mostly unfounded. I have seen a couple of very very suspect players on MW2, but I have to agree that the bunny hopping is killing the game for me.

Which brings me to another point, slightly off topic. Dedi servers allow a community of like minded players to grow and enjoy a game the way they wish to enjoy it. People are individual. Some don't mind having the talk spammed with obscenities, or bunny hopping and diving, or speed knifing, or choppers, or arty... etc. But, some do. The huge variation of setups and rules on COD4 shows this.

I strongly believe that MW2 online for PC will die a death after the first few months. Once the ranks and perks are done there really isn't anything to keep interest high enough to overcome the crappy parts of gameplay caused by non-like minded players.
frontline 30th November 2009, 16:49 Quote
The problem is, there are always kids that think that the better players are cheating, and to bridge that skill gap, they themselves must use the shortcut of cheats. I play a fair bit of 'day of defeat' source competitively, albeit at a low level and mostly for fun, and whilst cheaters are now rare, we did catch a couple of players from the same clan recently, who both d/l a cheat from the same site. They did admit it, in the end, the second one after it was pointed out that he registered on the cheat site with his in-game nick AND his clan tag... Kids today.
Floyd 30th November 2009, 18:19 Quote
I saw someone using an AIMBOT and wallhack the other day in a Domination match. Ending score for him was 104-3 and every kill from him was a headshot.

I think all pirates and hackers should be banned from the IP level.
Stuff like hacking and all is only considered fun with friends that are just messing around in a non ranked match.
Blackie Chan 30th November 2009, 18:35 Quote
I like how cheating is being discussed as if they were steroids.
Overlord 30th November 2009, 18:37 Quote
Im sure the cheaters are really really really crapping themselves now.

/sarcasm off
Hypno 30th November 2009, 19:11 Quote
Good to see hackers being banned. Don't really care that's its for MW2 as i didn't buy it!
DJNOOB 30th November 2009, 19:15 Quote
LOL @ whoever said CSS didn't have a reputation for cheats. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!! CSS is one of the most hacked games out there. I understand the whole delayed system that VAC has but without dedicated servers and admins there is no recourse until VAC gets updated. Depending on the cheat, that could take longer than a week or two.

For those of you who have said you haven't come across people hacking in this game.....again I say "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!!" Of course someone who is 45 and 1 in 3 minutes of play is obviously hacking but there are a TON of people hacking this game right now. The most popular hack just shows where everyone is. It's amazing how many times I see kill cam shots where the person is looking the other way and then BAM!, they move site right to me when I can I can't even be seen. (This is with ninja and cold blooded on) It's fricken rediculous. So these guys may not have the uber crazy scores but they're doing pretty damn good because they always know where everyone is.

There there are the level 70 prestige douchebags. Next time you're in game, take a look at how long someone has played......45level prestige in 50hrs of online play......that is utter BS. The more you look, the more you'll see that hacks are just rampant in this game.

Oh, and never mind hacking.....but then there is the lovely speed glitch.....that IW has yet to address or even acknowledge exists. IW needs to get their S*** together or this game is going ot be dead in 3months.
hugo60 30th November 2009, 19:16 Quote
Just hit 70 myself and haven't seen a single (obvious) cheater, except those getting a higher level, but that doesn't particularly bother me.
Star*Dagger 30th November 2009, 19:23 Quote
People who are playing MW2 are cheating themselves and PC Gaming in general.

Who wants to play silly 2d games when 6 degrees of freedom are available with elite titles like Shattered Horizon.

Yours in full dx10 3d glory,
Star¤Dagger
fathazza 30th November 2009, 19:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Incidentally, neither myself nor anyone I play MW2 with has encountered someone that was clearly cheating. Skilled players yes, hackers with wall hacks or aimbots and impossibly high scores? No.

ive seen two blatant aimbotters so far...
bahgger 30th November 2009, 19:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Incidentally, neither myself nor anyone I play MW2 with has encountered someone that was clearly cheating. Skilled players yes, hackers with wall hacks or aimbots and impossibly high scores? No.

Sadly I have :( It is highly frustrating especially since MW2 knocks your stats down by ranking another loss for you if you exit the multiplayer round. It doesn't matter to most people, nor me, but I can see where serious gamers would throw a fit.
TobyKing1982 30th November 2009, 19:53 Quote
I really dont understand why people want to cheat in the first place. I usually come near the bottom in mw2 but I enjoy the experience (Im a noob to online gaming). I also like the fact that im learning and becoming more skillful the more I play it. Cheaters really do need to go "straight". Its so much more fun.
Ending Credits 30th November 2009, 19:55 Quote
I've played against one definite aimbotter and there's been a few others I've suspected.

And is it me or does killcam only come on if you're on a death streak?

In regards to knifing, the only thing I can see helping that would be wallhacking. It's honestly not difficult to put on Commando, Lightweight and Marathon and run around with your tac-knife and get a good ktd ratio.
PureSilver 30th November 2009, 20:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
This is the same for TF2, CSS, Left 4 Dead and they don't have a reputation for cheating.

What? CS:S has the highest incidence of cheating of any game online. Literally every time I play, at some point during the session, some prepubescent griefer turns up and knifes 20 people in seconds.

However, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, he's rapidly kicked and banned. It's usually over in two minutes and then play continues unaffected. I worry that MW2 will suffer from the hacking but not be able to apply the band-aid of kick-banning.
dicobalt 30th November 2009, 20:56 Quote
In MW1 I have seen several aimbots on killcam, the bot rapidly instantly changes directions and shoots all the way across the map. Usually the next day or two after there will be a punkbuster update. I have not seen this happen for many months though.
DriftCarl 30th November 2009, 21:03 Quote
never seen a cheat personally and i play quite a bit, i have heard about them tho and seen youtube vids of them.
I am still having a good time in MW2
liratheal 30th November 2009, 21:37 Quote
Cheats are an odd beast.

The free ones - The ones that are likely falling to this first round of bans - are easy to kill.

The paid ones? Not so much. Granted, they all get found eventually, but if the game is remotely popular, the cheat systems will easily be updated.

Punkbuster, though is a piece of ****. I'm only happy with experienced admin bans. Everything automated is either slow, or far too trigger happy.
Jipa 30th November 2009, 22:48 Quote
I've played some 30+ hours online now and seen no cheaters. That being said, the online system is a huge pile of steaming turd the inventor behind it deserves to be shot.

It's hard when I love the game(play) to bits, but the online system just sucks so major cock.
Invader-Zim 30th November 2009, 23:05 Quote
MW2 - great game, badly implemented, riddled with cheaters.
As a seasoned gamer - way back to DOOM multiplayer and every FPS since (I still have fond memories of action quake) it is more obvious to me and my felow old timers when a cheat is in use.

I have seen Aimbots, wall hacks, radar, NOOB TOOB spam, the 3 minute nuke and the long range sniper rifle hip fire kill, all in action.

If your score becomes highly variable ie 45/15 then 15/30 the alarm bells should start ringing.
Ufortunately cheats are sometimes not obvious on the kill cam but the score line should tell the tale if your suspicions are roused.

I also agree that dedicated servers are required and better control of which games you enter and with who.

IW need to sort the problems out or run the risk of losing the ever dwindling, and currently alienated, COD community.
This is a perfect time for another developer to take the gauntlet and capture the disheartened COD players who are longing for a cheat free gaming experience.
GravitySmacked 30th November 2009, 23:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
I've played some 30+ hours online now and seen no cheaters. That being said, the online system is a huge pile of steaming turd the inventor behind it deserves to be shot.

It's hard when I love the game(play) to bits, but the online system just sucks so major cock.

Aye it's not up to dedicated server standards by any means but the gameplay is pretty damn good and thus still very enjoyable.... such a shame they didn't give us PC gamers dedi's.

As for the cheaters then I say get rid of them wherever possible although in I've haven't spotted any in MW2 so far.
Goty 30th November 2009, 23:24 Quote
Hmmm, wait two weeks to ban 2500 out of probably tens of thousands of cheaters or have almost all of them banned on the spot by admins actually taking care of their own servers... tough choice.
Invader-Zim 30th November 2009, 23:33 Quote
Oh and one other thing - lag spikes and host changes mid game are equally frustrating
malcolm 1st December 2009, 00:12 Quote
Hey, this way they don't have to be the 'bad guy'... why be the ones who killed PC gaming, when they can just let it kill itself. Sure no dedicated servers and 2 weeks before a ban is helping it along a little, but it's subtle enough that they can refute responsibility. It will be a sad day.
Makaveli 1st December 2009, 03:05 Quote
Its already a sad day and the same reason why I didn't buy this game for PC.

I might give the single player a run either with a friends copy on 360 or on PC.

There is no way in hell i'm paying that much money for a gimped online experience!
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 1st December 2009, 05:52 Quote
Modern Warfare 2 is a crap game that cost way too much for the PC and offers very little in return. It shows the intellectual difference between console gamers and PC enthusiast. Most PC gamers wont buy this crap (but have already conquered the 4.5 hour single player mode)

Ban all you want....... 5 minutes to make a new account.

The best way to enjoy the multiplayer is without IWnet and using a heavily modded version of the game. (lean mod)
actually I'm tired of this game already. I rather play HALO.......... roflmao....
gavomatic57 1st December 2009, 09:24 Quote
I gave in and bought it, just because I fancied another game and I was curious as to how much of a trainwreck it really is.

Same story as COD4, but far less cohesive - I still don't really understand what is happening and I'm about an hour in. It is almost like they've tried to shoehorn a bunch of different gimmicks - the massacre thing, the snowmobile, the ice climbing and the heartbeat monitors etc into the first hour to keep console gamers happy. It all seems a bit pointless. Incredibly linear, constantly respawning enemies...meh!

Annoyingly, Borderlands is a far better game (in my opinion) yet it doesn't get anywhere near the same hype.

By the sounds of it, Battlefield 2 is still a far better multi-player game too...
Elton 1st December 2009, 14:31 Quote
I haven't.

Well it's pretty blatantly obvious. Of course no one should yell hax until someone gets like 6 headshots in a row anyways.
leexgx 1st December 2009, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
Modern Warfare 2 is a crap game that cost way too much for the PC and offers very little in return. It shows the intellectual difference between console gamers and PC enthusiast. Most PC gamers wont buy this crap (but have already conquered the 4.5 hour single player mode)

Ban all you want....... 5 minutes to make a new account.

The best way to enjoy the multiplayer is without IWnet and using a heavily modded version of the game. (lean mod)
actually I'm tired of this game already. I rather play HALO.......... roflmao....

when steam ban the your account its an VAC ban for All games that use VAC under that steam account you need to make an new steam account if you wish to play online and buy every game again (why its recommended to buy 1 game per steam account just in-case VAC does an injust ban by mistake), if the game uses PB that is its own banning system and buying an new game may not remove the ban if its an hardware ban (you have to change 1-2 parts of the system to get unbanned) soft bans are nom CD key based hardware ban get given out for mutihack software
trig 2nd December 2009, 13:34 Quote
yeah, i know...ur looking...but no one reads this thread, so not going to waste it here...
brock407 6th December 2009, 16:41 Quote
I have seen it two different times once on the reciveing end ,and the other was on my team. Both times they got most of the 75 kills everyone complained, but with the game listed on the bittorrent sites there will always be a work around steam and vac.
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