Skip to main content

Blizzard Swinging Banhammer on Diablo 3 Cheaters

On Monday Blizzard said that it soon plans to swing its mighty banhammer on any Diablo 3 player discovered to be cheating. The news arrives just after the company said players must use a Battle.net authenticator in order to use the Real Money Auction House, which is scheduled to open its doors today.

"Playing Diablo 3 legitimately means playing with an unaltered game client," the company said in a blog. "Doing otherwise violates our policies for Battle.net and Diablo 3, and it goes against the spirit of fair play that all of our games are based on."

Blizzard said that if a Diablo 3 player is found to be cheating or using hacks, bots, or modifications in any form, then that player can be permanently banned from the game as outlined in the Diablo 3 end user license agreement. This means the player will be permanently unable to log in to Battle.net to play Diablo 3 with his or her account - essentially $60 down the drain for good, as there's no offline play thanks to the game's strict online-only DRM.

"We strongly recommend that you avoid using any hacks, cheats, bots, or exploits," the company said.

Since its launch, Diablo 3 has suffered a widespread number of account hacks, with gamers reporting stolen gold and virtual items. Blizzard claims that only a small percentage of accounts have been compromised, but one gold farmer stepped forth last week claiming that around 10,000 accounts have been infiltrated using the traditional method. Countless others have been infiltrated from non-traditional methods, he added.

According to the unidentified hacker, he makes around 4 million in gold an hour from compromised accounts. He also said that people who use the same username/e-mail/password on a forum, fansite or any other internet hub is a prime target for gold farmers. Blizzard forums are "bulletproof" he said, indicating that the hacked Diablo 3 players use the same info on external sites.

In the interview below, he goes on to say that he actually wants Blizzard to update its security protocol named Warden to weed out the other small-time gold farmers and bots that are eating into his profits. He believes his methods will be undetectable for the next few months -- long enough to collect virtual gold worth millions in real-world cash.

UPDATE: Blizzard has already started banning suspected cheaters, as reported here.

  • cumi2k4
    welcome to the era of new gaming...where you can play anyway you want, as long as it's according to our way....
    Reply
  • evismang
    To be fair, 10k is a small percentage of all the people playing.
    Reply
  • The Greater Good
    cumi2k4welcome to the era of new gaming...where you can play anyway you want, as long as it's according to our way....
    Cheating/hacking in games is cheap and they should be banned.
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    evismangTo be fair, 10k is a small percentage of all the people playing.He didn't say it was only 10,000 total. He said it was 10,000 by traditional methods. And he is only a one hacker.

    Let's be honest, so far we have had duping, which was suppose to be impossible, multitudes of hacks, even to accounts with authenticators, likely due to proxy attacks exploiting the athentication gimp Blizzard themselves created.

    And because of the RMAH what incentive does Blizzard have to kick off those with bots? If a ton of account bots are selling a ton of items on the RMAH and Activision Blizzard is making a lot of money from it, there is no incentive for them to end the acitvity.
    Reply
  • aoneone
    I'm so glad i didnt pay 60 bucks ^_^ I'm still waiting on skidrows diablo 3. Sigh...
    Reply
  • magicandy
    aoneoneI'm so glad i didnt pay 60 bucks ^_^ I'm still waiting on skidrows diablo 3. Sigh...
    Hope you don't mind waiting up to a year or longer, like it took for WoW piracy to finally get it together. D3 works similar to WoW where most of the game content is handled server side so you literally need to be connected to their servers to be able to play even single player.

    The only way D3 will be hacked/pirated is the same way as with WoW - private hacked servers hosting the game for pirates. This isn't going to come in the form of a simple crack (like with Ubisoft's simple DRM check cracks), it's going to take a while for any release group to hack Blizzard's official servers and develop a proper server emulator, like with WoW.

    And Skidrow of all groups? Don't hold your breath.
    Reply
  • Instead of working harder to fix many D3 issues they are talking the cop-out ban hammer way. This will
    only hurt the legit players that got their accounts compromised by haxs that will violate the eula
    Reply
  • proxy711
    When selling of items for real money is involved cheaters should be banned.
    Reply
  • booyaah
    magicandyHope you don't mind waiting up to a year or longer, like it took for WoW piracy to finally get it together. D3 works similar to WoW where most of the game content is handled server side so you literally need to be connected to their servers to be able to play even single player. The only way D3 will be hacked/pirated is the same way as with WoW - private hacked servers hosting the game for pirates. This isn't going to come in the form of a simple crack (like with Ubisoft's simple DRM check cracks), it's going to take a while for any release group to hack Blizzard's official servers and develop a proper server emulator, like with WoW.And Skidrow of all groups? Don't hold your breath.
    Sorry but your opinion is just not accurate. Most of the work is done client side, one just needs to know the proper response codes that need to be sent back from the server for the client to recognize them properly in order to know what to do next. Once you get into and figure out how the network stream works a majority of the rest of it is just tedious, redundant boilerplate work. All you needed was a legit client/server account to analyze the traffic.

    There were private hacked servers for WoW in during beta before vanilla came out...probably easily a dozen different groups with their own server which usually could hold 1-2k people simultaneously.

    Vanilla beta client was getting patched every week or so and it would usually only take a day or two to for the groups to figure out how to adapt their emulated server to the new changes. I think making the initial startup server code from scratch usually took ~2 months. Obviously the quality and bandwidth of these servers was not that great (i.e. not 100% of combat features implemented), and the user database usually would be wiped after each patch.

    It really just comes down to the amount of people in the group working on the server emulator and having the right people for all the areas (encryption, memory analysis, udp/networking, etc). I would imagine people have already been developing emulators for D3 since early beta. They probably exist, they just don't advertise them to avoid drawing too much attention.
    Reply
  • The_Trutherizer
    It's extremely simple. The people selling gold ingame (advertising) are usually the ones farming. I mean are you serious? I hope Bliz gets it right, because as important as the AH is in the game this has a serious impact on gameplay.
    Reply