Blizzard declares war on Battle.net cheats

The Warcraft III developer shutters nearly 300,000 accounts tied to illicit programs.

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In what might be one of the biggest cheat purges ever, Blizzard today closed 282,000 Battle.net accounts associated with game hacks and illicit programs. "In keeping with our aggressive stance against cheating," said a post on Battle.net, "we have permanently closed 263,000 StarCraft accounts and 19,000 Warcraft III accounts."

In addition, Blizzard permanently banned 1,100 Warcraft III CD keys used with the shuttered accounts and forbade another 8,000 from ladder play for one month. "Repeat offenders risk having their CD keys disabled, which will result in the permanent removal of their copies of StarCraft or Warcraft III from Battle.net," said Blizzard, which also issued a stark warning to would-be cheats: "We will continue to monitor Battle.net for cheating and take action as needed."

Blizzard's actions are the latest in an ongoing anticheat offensive by developers of online games. At the end of January, DICE included Punkbuster anticheating software in the v1.6.19 patch for its ultrapopular online WWII shooter Battlefield 1942.

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