Valve capped off the holidays with a massive wave of banhammer strikes targeting users of the Team Fortress 2 botting software catbot. Initial reports on GitHub alleged that anyone running Linux with username catbot would be issued a VAC ban. The username is commonly used in tutorials for setting up the botting software on Linux.
New Year’s Day was marred with a bit of confusion and understandable fury at the possibility that Valve’s anti-cheat software would issue bans on the basis on username and operating system.
Like most companies, Valve is being tight lipped with exactly how their anti-cheat software work. Valve has closed the bug report on GitHub and posted a clarification on the situation, saying the ban is not strictly based on username, including Steam or Linux usernames, and alleging that the reports are part of a disinformation campaign by cheaters.