Valve’s Gabe Newell Responds On VAC Reports; “We do not care what porn sites you visit”

Well, that was quite a surprise. Yesterday, a rumor surfaced claiming that Valve’s Anti Cheat system was collecting your browser history. A lot of people feared that Valve was spying on them, something that is obviously… how should I put it… ridiculous. Valve’s Gabe Newell felt the need to talk about this whole thing and made it crystal clear that they are not getting your browser history and that the company does not care what porn sites you visit.

Gabe claimed that VAC was doing its job and that it was not collecting the players’ browser history. Despite Valve’s policy of not talking about VAC, Gabe made an exception and shed some light on its functionality.

“VAC checked for the presence of these cheats. If they were detected VAC then checked to see which cheat DRM server was being contacted. This second check was done by looking for a partial match to those (non-web) cheat DRM servers in the DNS cache. If found, then hashes of the matching DNS entries were sent to the VAC servers. The match was double checked on our servers and then that client was marked for a future ban. Less than a tenth of one percent of clients triggered the second check. 570 cheaters are being banned as a result.”

Gabe also said that VAC is so good and effective that hackers will desperately try to attack people’s trust in Valve and its Anti-Cheat system in order to benefit from it.

“There is also a social engineering side to cheating, which is to attack people’s trust in the system. If “Valve is evil – look they are tracking all of the websites you visit” is an idea that gets traction, then that is to the benefit of cheaters and cheat creators. VAC is inherently a scary looking piece of software, because it is trying to be obscure, it is going after code that is trying to attack it, and it is sneaky. For most cheat developers, social engineering might be a cheaper way to attack the system than continuing the code arms race, which means that there will be more Reddit posts trying to cast VAC in a sinister light.”

Gabe concluded that they are not sending your browsing history to Valve, that they do not care what porn sites you visit, and that Valve is not using its market success to go evil.

John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities.Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email