A new Overwatch ban wave has just hit the South Korean servers of Overwatch, with Blizzard permanently banning over 10,000 different South Korean players for a new cheating method known as “nuking”. The bans are only the start as well, as Blizzard has said they intend to make countermeasures to prevent nuking.
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“Nuking” in this context refers to South Korean players hitting the enemy team with a localized DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack, flooding their internet connections with junk data and forcing their servers to drop the connection and thus giving the cheater’s team the win.
Unfortunately, the South Korean Overwatch servers aren’t quite as effective as an Overwatch ban wave would be in any other country. In South Korea, internet cafes are extremely prevalent, and players can go in them and play Overwatch for a dollar an hour, with many of these internet cafes even encouraging cheating.
Normally, Blizzard’s efforts to curb cheating at Overwatch are extremely effective, hitting not just the cheater’s own Battle.net accounts but also their IP addresses; if you log in to a different Battle.net account, you’ll still be banned almost immediately, as the game will recognize your computer’s IP address and ban you again. The only way to get around it is to buy a whole new system, which is prohibitively expensive for many.
Hopefully Blizzard is aware of this and will be able to hit a lot of these internet cafe computers with a new Overwatch ban wave in order to get rid of the cheating problem for them, but depending on how long that takes, players in South Korean servers of Overwatch may have to deal with more nuking in the future. On the upside, this will hopefully not become a problem in servers outside of South Korea (and if it does, hopefully Blizzard will have more success at stopping it.)