Blizzard bans 1,600 hackers caught by Overwatch Police Department
Aimbot hacks are not welcome in Overwatch.
An anti-hack Twitter page called Overwatch Police Department revealed that Blizzard had cracked down on players using hacks provided by Xion. The frowned upon tool offered aimbots for hitscan and projectile heroes, the ability to see enemies' outlines, and ways to be unaffected by Sombra's EMP. To take advantage of these services, cheaters would pay $155 per month.
According to the Overwatch Police Department group, Discord servers for Xion had over 1,600 users, all of which were reported and then banned by Blizzard. The accounts were from servers in Korea, Europe, and North America.
Blizzard continues to ban Overwatch cheaters
Overwatch Police Department has been responsible for more than one hack crackdown. Just a few days ago, the OPD exposed over 200 hackers who were using Pentagon, another tool that offered aimbots, hero outline detection, and EMP avoidance. This program, like Xion, also charged a $155 monthly fee. Blizzard later banned the accounts found by the OPD's virtual detectives.
The Overwatch Police Department is an organized group of Overwatch players dedicated to exposing hackers and getting them banned. The investigators are led by Mohamed "Gamerdoc" Al-Sharifi, who started the organization after his friends became frustrated with hackers in the game.
"I like to think that the Overwatch Police Department is a beacon of hope,” Gamerdoc said in an interview.
The "airstrikes" he performs are infiltrations of secret servers and groups. To do these properly, Gamerdoc must gain the trust of the cheat providers, often spending his own money to get information on the private forums.
“Currently I moderate a few cheating Discords and they have no idea it is me. I find it sad though because they make cheating, stream sniping, or intentionally ruining games a sport," Gamerdoc said.
Even though he often gets threatened and stream sniped himself, Gamerdoc continues the good fight against hackers. He is motivated to make the game better for others, even if Blizzard takes a month to ban someone, and even if the hackers find ways to return to Overwatch.
“Blizzard is aware of what I am doing and I am assuming Jeff Kaplan does, too. In an email, one of my Blizzard contacts said they had a meeting with Jeff about the previous information I sent. I think they like what I am doing so long as it’s not a witch hunt," he said.
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