Most Counter-Strike 1.6 and Source servers are VAC secured. If you get VAC banned, it means you can't play on these servers. You can recognize a VAC server by the little "shield" in the server list.
You can filter VAC servers by choosing "Not secure" in Anti-cheat.
If you use an old hack, there is a big chance that you get banned. When you are caught cheating, it can take up to two months before you get banned, this is called a delayed ban. Steam uses delayed bans, to make it more difficult to know if a hack is proof or not. VAC Proof means that the hack can't be caught by VAC.
How to stay unbannedMost hacks are undetected at its release, but it can be detected at any time. We recommend that you assume that hacks are detected after each VAC update. So how do you know when VAC is updated? Well, actually we can't know for sure because all VAC updates begin on the server side.
Hacks can be detected at the release!
This is because VAC uses a CRC32 detection system. CRC32 is a unique code that are placed in all program files. What is also does, is to look at all modules and hooks on your client, and if it recognize a string of code used in hacks, you will get banned. This means that hacks with a weak protection may be detected from the beginning. Note that you can change the CRC32 with a HEX editor (more about this another time).
Another good rule of thumb is, not to use hacks which has been released more than 1-2 weeks ago on VAC secure servers.
If you wants to be 100 % secure, there is only one way - don't play on VAC secure servers at all! This is the only way to be 100 % safe. Another good thing with just playing on unsecure servers, is that you don't ruin the game for others. :-)
Note if you get bannedIf you get banned, and buy another copy of the game and install it on your banned account, you will still be banned. You have to make a new Steam account and install/activate your game there instead.
Read more from the official Steam support
- Valve Anti-Cheat System (VAC)
- I've been banned
Thats it for now.