Valve's automatic anti-cheat detection system has gone on a banning spree following the company's most recent Summer Sale. The record setting number of bans is almost triple the number of the previous record set on October 12, 2016, when Valve swung its ban hammer on 15,000 users.
In addition to the 40,411 accounts picked up by VAC, 4,972 were banned in-game for throwing games, griefing or cheating in ways that got around Valve's Anti-Cheat software. Often times, during the Steam sales, people who are looking to cheat the system will use the sales to get the games for much cheaper. This looks like it could be the case, since nearly every day after the mass ban, the numbers of people removed from the service has been less than 1,000 a day - normally, it's around 3,000 a day. This is just another way Valve is cracking down on rampant cheating in its top-performing games.
On July 7, the day after the first hit of the ban wave, 954 VAC bans were handed out, while another 735 were delivered on July 9. So what many banned users end up doing is waiting for a sale to create a new account, and then restock their catalog at a discount.
These users have received a VAC ban, which no longer allows them to connect to the Valve servers.
Users cheating isn't the only worry that the staff at Valve have on their minds as earlier this year the CS gaming community on Steam was plagued by a chat bot invasion in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. For comparisons sake, a usual day sees around 3,000 to 4,000 accounts banned. "If a VAC ban is determined to have been issued incorrectly, it will automatically be removed".