'Overwatch' Hacks and Cheats: Blizzard bans 10,000 accounts for aimbots, "nuking" exploits

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Korea just banned 10,000 Overwatch accounts caught using two different exploits that have been running rampant lately. The first cheat that brought down the banhammer was aimbots — programs that automatically aim with incredible precision. The second Overwatch hack currently under fire is "nuking," an exploit similar to a distributed denial-of-service attack that overloads the opposing team's connection with traffic, according to PVP Live.

Unfortunately, these bans are likely to only be a temporary solution to the hacks and cheats plaguing the Overwatch community.

Overwatch hacks: What can be done to stop cheating?

Though cheating in Overwatch is a problem in every region, it seems to be particularly rampant in South Korea — mostly in its "PC bangs," a term that describes its public gaming cafés and literally translates to "PC rooms."

In these PC bangs, according to VentureBeat, players can pay the equivalent of $1 per hour to play Overwatch, which means if one of their accounts get banned for cheating, they can simply make a new account and start over again without having to actually buy a new copy of the game.

A 2001 image of a PC bang in South Korea
Source: 
Kim Jae-Hwan/Getty Images

According to Reddit user Mehknic, you have to provide the equivalent of a Social Security number to make an Overwatch account in South Korea. In theory, this should stave off a majority of hacking, since getting caught would identify you personally. But Mehknic says players in PC bangs will use virtual private networks — VPNs — to make it look as though they're making accounts in other countries, thus circumventing this restriction. So once their accounts get banned they just make new accounts and the cycle of cheating continues.

"Creating and delivering a pleasant game environment for the majority of our rule-abiding players is of paramount importance to us," Blizzard Korea said, according to a translation from VentureBeat. "And we are committed to taking all the steps we can to stop players who create, distribute, and use these nuking programs."

So why not just make these kinds of programs illegal? They already are. In South Korea, manufacturing and distributing these aimbots and nuking tools is punishable by up to five years of jail time or $43,000 in fines, according to PVP Live

Unfortunately, the problem of Overwatch hacks and cheats persists.

More Overwatch news and updates

For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is a full explanation of the different types of health in Overwatch, the latest rumor of a Terry Crews-voiced Overwatch character, an update on that Mei ice wall exploit, hilarious video of a play of the game involving the jump pad on Oasis, a roundup of the best Overwatch plays of the week, our definitive ranking of every Overwatch hero and a giant Overwatch FAQ for beginners.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tim Mulkerin

Tim Mulkerin writes about video games for Mic. You can reach him at tim@mic.com.

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