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Ban Evasion and Its Impact on Online Platforms

As users become more adept at finding ways to return after being banned, businesses are left grappling with the consequential impact.
Written by
Verosint Team
Published on
November 28, 2023

Digital businesses across various sectors can fall victim to the challenges posed by ban evasion. Whether it's an online marketplace, a social media platform, a gaming community, or a content-sharing website, the threat of users violating terms of service, disregarding community guidelines, or engaging in inappropriate behavior is a shared concern. When such breaches occur, businesses often resort to banning the user from their platform to maintain a secure and respectful online environment.

Unfortunately, banning an account isn’t as easy to do as one would think.

As users become more adept at finding ways to return after being banned, businesses are left grappling with the consequential impact on user experience, brand reputation and overall platform integrity. In some instances, such as with Twitch, keeping banned users out is key to protecting the safety of its platform users shielding them from cyberbullying, harassment, or abuse. Losing valued users not only tarnishes the brand, but can lead to lost audience, subscribers and, ultimately, revenue.

Another gaming company, Bungie, took an individual cheater to court earning a $500,000 settlement for ban circumvention where the then 17-year old created 100 accounts and caused more engineering work to be done by injecting code.

Ban evasion is a serious concern and the fallout can wreak havoc on digital platforms, their users and employees. However, recognizing and addressing ban evasion is no simple task, and this challenge is exacerbated by the evolving tactics employed by users seeking to regain access. The current technological landscape presents a myriad of ways for banned users to circumvent restrictions, making it an uphill battle for digital businesses to stay ahead of the curve.

The Ban Evasion Conundrum

Ban evasion occurs when users who have been previously banned find ways to re-enter a platform under different aliases or with altered identities. This poses a multifaceted threat to online businesses, ranging from increased instances of fraud and abuse to a decline in user trust and engagement.

The sheer ingenuity of ban evaders is a primary factor complicating the detection process. Basic tactics involve creating new accounts with altered user details, a process as simple as changing an email address or username. Even more concerning is the practice of persuading friends to share legitimate account credentials, enabling banned users to slip back into the platform unnoticed.

Beyond these straightforward methods, more sophisticated techniques come into play. Ban evaders may resort to using proxy servers and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to mask their IP addresses, making it challenging for platforms to trace their origin. Manipulating browser configurations and other device details adds another layer of complexity, creating the illusion of a completely different device accessing the platform.

The crux of the matter lies in the adaptability of ban evaders. As soon as one method is identified and countered, users swiftly pivot to new tactics, staying one step ahead of conventional detection mechanisms. This constant cat-and-mouse game makes it challenging for digital businesses to enforce bans effectively and maintain the integrity of their platforms.

Current Solutions Are Ineffective to Stopping Ban Evaders

The landscape of online account fraud has undergone a paradigm shift, rendering traditional fraud detection approaches ineffective in addressing the nuanced challenges of modern requirements. Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems and Online Fraud Detection (OFD) mechanisms, once stalwarts in the realm of security, were not originally designed to contend with the sophisticated tactics employed by today's account fraudsters.

Further, the reliance on manual review and approval processes presents its own set of limitations – being not only costly and slow but also failing to scale effectively in the face of the ever-expanding digital landscape.

The prevailing "cost of doing business" mindset, accepting a certain level of fraud as inevitable, inadvertently provides a breeding ground for further illicit activities that can become financially burdensome and further erodes trust in the digital platform’s safety and validity.

Adopting a post-mortem analysis approach after successful fraud occurs does little to deter repeat offenders, necessitating a shift toward proactive and adaptive solutions like Verosint, capable of real-time account fraud detection and prevention, to stay ahead in the battle to adequately block banned accounts.

Identifying Signs of Ban Evasion

Recognizing ban evasion is the crucial first step in tackling the issue. Without reliable tools that can adapt to the ever-changing landscape of user evasion tactics, businesses risk allowing banned users to persistently infiltrate their platforms. As the digital realm continues to evolve, businesses must invest in advanced solutions like Verosint to not only identify ban evasion but also stay ahead of the curve and protect their communities from those who seek to undermine their terms of service and community guidelines.

Verosint can identify any banned accounts that are still active on your platform. Leveraging AI, Verosint evaluates data about an account, including IP address, device, and user behavior, along with OSINT data about the account and its connections to other accounts on the platform. Verosint presents a SignalPrint for the banned account and can detect anomalies that may indicate ban evasion instances for that account.

Raising the Bar for Automating Access and Account Registration Approvals

One of Verosint's standout features is its ability to dynamically adjust access levels based on the perceived risk of ban evasion. Instead of implementing broad and potentially inconvenient measures that affect all users, Verosint seamlessly integrates with third-party identity proofing solutions and authentication systems to initiate proper verification actions and can suggest increased friction only when the risk is deemed high. This targeted approach ensures that legitimate users are not inconvenienced, maintaining a seamless experience while thwarting ban evaders.

Verosint's Edge: Battling Banned Accounts

When it comes to fighting account sharing, Verosint stands apart, with advanced identification and detection, as well as seamless integration with MFA solutions that makes access harder for unauthorized users and fraudsters—but easier and less cumbersome for legitimate users.

Specifically: Verosint can easily detect when a banned account is still active on your platform and take action to stop it—without inconveniencing legitimate users.

  • Identify signs of banned accounts accessing platform content.
  • Use access context clues to assess the risk of ban evasion.
  • Raise the bar for access only when ban evasion risk is high.

With Verosint, you can keep banned users from returning—which keeps your customers happy and your business running smoothly free of cheaters and fraudsters.

Want to see where banned accounts may exist in your platform? Request a free fraud risk assessment today!

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Verosint Team

Verosint, a leading provider of account fraud detection and prevention, helps digital businesses answer the question of “who’s there?” using signal-based identity assurance. By combining verified open source intelligence, identity graphing techniques and risk signal orchestration, Verosint stops account fraud before it starts. With real-time account fraud detection and proactive, persistent fraud discovery, online businesses can deliver trusted convenience to customers, minimize risk and reduce fraud management costs. To learn more, visit