So who else got banned for the stealth lib glitch?

Discussion in 'Player Support' started by sagolsun, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. sagolsun

    I agree with you Gary, having reported a bug is no excuse to keep abusing it to the point where it's only reason is to wreak mayhem and anger other players. I generally follow a policy of responsible disclosure - test a bug, file a detailed report and if that fails after a month, publish it. Which is what I did with the sunderer C4/blockade mesh or the adrenaline pump resupply speedhack. I can't tell whether I was the first to report those, but I followed a reasonably non-disruptive procedure.

    Fortunately for me the lib cloak wasn't the reason I was banned.

    Unfortunately it's because I tried to get some performance data on PS2's sluggishness and used a software profiler, which the technical team assures me is the same thing as a debugger (which can be used for cheating).

    Now that I think of it, if that's what the tech guys really believe, no wonder each game update has it's share of problems.
    • Up x 3
  2. sladuog

    Post it all.

    Get rid of that, it's passive aggressive itself and won't help you. And the die in a fire bit above too. Don't risk losing your forum access by insulting them at this point. Edit: that last sentence of your last post too.

    Post source for that (reddit?), at the moment it looks like a second assertion on your part. In large organisations the right hand often knows not what the left hand does, and it could be the case that some have the authority to overrule that anyway.

    Yeah that was dumb.

    At this point you're getting into a technicality of the definitions of "debugger", "profiler", etc. Where's CyclesMcHurtz when you need him?

    Edit: formatting
    Edit 2: Added a line in second reply.
    • Up x 1
  3. sagolsun

    Complete log follows:


    You're right, blame the policy not the man. I forget this way too often. Not appropriate, no matter how jaded I might be, but I can't edit the post right now.

    I'm a traditionalst, just google it:"as no doubt exists" "suspension"

    And those aren't people who've accidentally done something wrong. Those are people who've deliberately and knowingly paid for and used hacks to their advantage. The 7-day suspension is something of a running joke on the cheating sites. It even warranted a thread on the forums, which are among the search results.
    • Up x 2
  4. werzinator

    I'm surprised some of you guys were permabanned.. Cajual himself was only temporarily banned on Jaegerson, now he's back on top of the leaderboards again
  5. HeyRocketMan

    i hope SOE can give him a chance, i think his actions were for the good and intended on making the game better :) i kinda like how he gives videos and photos of it lol but still congratz on your job in trying to report bug's and exploits to help the developers.

    • Up x 2
  6. CaNsA

    I have been playing with Sagolsun from my 1st day of PS2 and I have not seen any evidence of foul play on his part.
    The fact that SOE think he is a "hacker" is ridiculous.

    The evidence is clearly laid out on the table and yet SOE refuse to acknowledge it.
    It seems that SOE do not want any help from anyone, which sort of negates the upcoming PTS.
    • Up x 2
  7. Terramorph

    Well said!

    This seems a bit harsh to me as well, but then again I don't know if I am getting the whole story. A perma ban for cheating via third party programs is good thing, but a temporary account suspension and a warning would seem more reasonable for someone caught using game exploits. The perma ban could still apply for repeat offenders...:cool:
  8. sagolsun

    You're not. The whole picture is that the lib is irrelevant, I got banned for trying to profile the game.

    What's a profiler?

    It's something like a Task Manager on Steroids. A profiler is to Process Explorer what Process Explorer is to Task Manager.

    PE is something every power user should have and be familiar with, by the way.
    • Up x 1
  9. sladuog

    You're making a pretty good case. I forgot about that edit limit.

    What does that mean? They checked the loaded DLLs and there was still something suspicious going on? I really wish they were able to talk about exactly why a user was banned.

    Well, I suppose that's it. Seems like this program falls under that category of unauthorized third party programs and that's what got you an automatic ban. Not sure why you weren't suspended first though, maybe the rage from that "is SOE being too lenient" thread was a turnaround in policy.

    Well, make a new character, find out if there are any authorised third party programs that will do what you want and see if you can continue playing and developing. If not, leave it to the overworked devs and put it behind you.
  10. sagolsun

    It's habit I guess? Some months ago it annoyed me Dwarf Fortress ran slow after a while, so I wanted to check out why. Turns out the items were tracked through a pointer array which never got culled. Deleted/destroyed items were just kept as null pointers, new items just increased the counter. In addition some functions worked on a copy of the array and game dumped the whole array without cleaning it. Was fun figuring it out and writing a save cleaner.

    I also did the same thing for BF2142 back when it was new, turns out it a USB controller driver causing performance drops, of all things. That had a single-player mode so it was easier.

    I assume that was the only thing.

    That statement is as broad as a nuke. It looks like sloppy cover-my-but legalese to me, as that statement alone makes the rest redundant. If it's SOE's sole determination it could be notepad.exe. Hell, it could be notepad.exe but only for one particular user. In fact I think notepad.exe would be a better candidate for hacking a game, as it actually allows you to modify it. Can't do much hacking if you're restricted to read-only.

    But from a legal POV? Yeah, they've got loads of those broad overlapping statements, but it's not like I'd want to take 'em to court or anything. Since by the letter literally anything is potentially a hack program, the de facto standard is still common sense, not this legalese. I think the actually important part here is intent and impact. That is:

    - What is the most probable thing the user tried to do?
    - Did it hurt out business or upset our customers? If we hadn't stopped it, would it have?

    Seriously, would I be as stupid to plan to hack the game on my only/main account? Would I announce it publicly on the forums before I did it? Would I then sheepishly describe the gory details of my alleged attempt at breaking the game to customer support?

    Seeing as people do get temporary suspensions for blatant and intentional hacking getting an instant ban for a 1st offense that by all accounts doesn't seem very likely to be an attempt at hacking is overkill.

    It's a stupid mistake, I admit. But it follows the trend I'm seeing in the US. You rob a liquor store? Get two years, maybe three. Start downloading research papers from MIT or download a list of emails from a public address? Now that's serious cybercrime, you'd better just off yourself. Playing around with tech is worse than committing "regular" crime. Or maybe I'm just tired.
    • Up x 1
  11. Terramorph

    "iGPU enabled, multimonitor (virtu)"

    Just out of curiosity, were you also running a third party app for multimonitor support? Perhaps something like lucid logix virtu software? If so, this might have confused them as well. Kind of like a 3 strikes and your out approach.

    btw, I think you made a noble effort in trying to get your ban overturned. You gave it your best shot.
  12. sagolsun

    Yes, 2 ports on GPU, 1 on iGPU/mobo, along with DisplayFusion for desktop management. Lots of other software too - I really should get a separate work machine.
  13. sladuog

    Any kind of data collection is viewed as just as bad as cheating in points (i) and (ii), apparently.

    You can't judge a user's intent solely from their actions. There's no difference between a guy profiling the game to inform the development of his latest hack and the guy profiling the game to see if he can find an error because he wants the game to run smoother, at least from SOE's perspective, outside of actual developers.

    There are probably more hack devs out there trying to make a more powerful hack than their competitors for profit than there are people doing the dev's jobs for them for free.

    These two combine to have you fall down the gap of being both intelligent enough to potentially find bugs in the game which you can then report and yet not intelligent enough to get approval/a dummy account first.

    Stupid script kiddies running a hack they paid for are a potentially juicy revenue source for SOE, after all, it's a big symbol they're willing to fork out cash for something useless. One script kiddie hacking who gets a suspension might decide to start playing legitimately and pay for items. One guy developing a hack that SOE can't detect can ruin the game for hundreds of people. It's like the difference between one guy stuck in an alley shooting up and another bringing several kilos of dope into the country in a suitcase.

    You probably already know this

    It might be that in the future, SOE releases a list of third party programs that are authorised and enable this kind of user debugging with no potential for abuse, but I wouldn't hold my breath. "No potential for abuse" is a useless statement anyway.

    That being said, why your account is still able to post on the forums and has not been HWID banned or something yet if SOE consider your case to be the same as that of a hack developer is a mystery to me. If the ToS is designed to minimise business damage and I saw your case without knowing the details, but you fit into the profile of a hack dev, I'd want you out entirely. Maybe SOE are monitoring you to see what you do next.

    If the ToS and punishments for this are not as they say black and white, it implies that your case has been looked on favourably, and account termination is the minimal punishment they can give out. Perhaps they know HWID and IP bans are easy to evade for users clever enough and account termination causes the minimum amount of fuss.

    Well whatever, this is getting into the realms of a conspiracy theory now. Sucks that you fell foul of the ToS, but at least you didn't lose any money over it.
  14. sagolsun

    Correct, there is no generic way. There's no generic way to tell if that directx overlay is an ESP maphack and crosshair or a teamspeak overlay. There's no generic way to tell if that non-descriptively named hook is an aimbot or an FXAA adjustment utility. All of that stuff is blacklisted by default and whitelisted on a case-per-case basis. Ultimately there's a human at some point that applies his version of common sense. Those, I assume, are the tech folks Ms. Shannon was referring to.

    But SOE can't just VNC into my machine and rummage through my files (at least I hope they can't) - so the process is not perfect, and ultimately it all relies on the better judgement of the "tech folks" who operate on what I assume is a very limited dataset. Mistakes do happen in

    Personally I think that hack detection in PC games is a big ugly hack in it's own. Big companies just don't have the agility to outsmart small, focused teams of hackers. A single particular company out there has no less than 17 thousand active users, each paying 25 bucks monthly to cheat in games divided among a 7-person team, probably unequally. In terms of reverse engineering, cracking obfuscation, and the inner workings of winapi SOE, evenbalance or any other game company doesn't stand a chance - neither when it comes to raw resources each is able to throw at a problem, nor, and this is just my baseless out-of-my-**** assumption - talent. People with those skills generally end up doing high-end consulting gigs for quite a lot of money and never have their name on the products their employers certainly do not release.

    No single company, I think, has the resources to tackle cheating effectively and in an economical way. But I think it is possible - the goal isn't to make it impossible for NSA to do mad 480noscopes, but to make it prohibitively expensive for roughly 95% of the current cheat userbase, mostly clueless casuals. We've got decades in hardware-based security and I think a solution like a TPM-like dongle-based anticheat (of course you wouldn't market it as such to the public) would be sufficient.

    Hey, I resent that! I think the word you were looking for is naïve.

    Most definitely. Someone who's throwing 25$ monthly at a game to enjoy extra privileges has shown he's willing to spend cash on a game. But in terms of the "quality" of the product, SOE can't match the value. Cheats are parasitic by nature and don't have to take game balance into account. I find that in order to get a better idea of the relationship between games and cheats it helps to step back and draw parallels, where appropriate, to a parasite/host relationship in nature.

    But I did wonder recently, there might be a big, huge, aspect in the cheating market that nobody has explored yet. It's kind of obvious if you think about it from a designer's point of view and take some psychology into account (why do we play games?). I suspect that in the coming years we'll be seeing a significant shift in the paradigm of online cheating.

    Maybe it's because they don't have enough tool developers? Figuring out why a program is crashing or behaving wonky on a small subset of machines is hard and ultimately in the long run even a few simple utilities could save many more hours of customer support time than put into tool development. Even a simple stability test, I'm not sure who it was but somewhere sometime I heard a bunch of devs got frustrated with random heisenbugs, implemented a short rudimentary stability test in a background thread at startup and to their surprise they found out a significant part of those was due to memory errors and/or unstable overclocks. Since PS2 pretty much demands all the CPU horsepower it can get, I think it's rather susceptible to this problem.

    Frankly I think it's because I'm a free player who played the game for a long while and hasn't shown willingness to invest money, but has shown willingness to mooch bandwidth and resources. That's a liability. And as any entrepreneurially-minded company they want to get rid of liabilities, any excuse is good enough.

    Community contributions, ideas/suggestions, platoon leading and enhancing the game are all soft values. Hard to see how they impact the bottom line.
    • Up x 1
  15. Mcisme

    I think some people need to re-read the ToS.

    2.3 Responsibilities of End User

    You agree that you shall not, under any circumstances: (a) sell, grant a security interest in or transfer reproductions of the Software or Game to other parties in any way not expressly authorized herein, or rent, lease or license the Software or Game to others; (b) modify the Software to change the Game play; (c) create, facilitate, host, link to or provide any other means through which the Game may be played by others through interception, emulation or redirection of the communication protocols used by SOE, including without limitation through protocol emulation, tunneling, data mining, packet sniffing, modifying or adding components to the Game, use of a utility program or any other technique now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose including but not limited to unauthorized network play over the Internet, network play utilizing commercial or non-commercial gaming networks, or as part of content aggregation networks; (d) create, facilitate of maintain any unauthorized connection to the Game; (e) decrypt or modify any data transmitted between client and server; (f) use, post, host or distribute macros, "bots" or other programs which would allow unattended game play or which otherwise impact game play, including without limitation any program which enables or facilitates character kills or level increases; (g) take any action which imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure; or (h) except in connection an auction in-Game that is run by SOE, or in connection with an Authorized Exchange and subject to all of the provisions of the applicable terms and conditions of the applicable service agreement for such Authorized Exchange, buy, sell or auction (or host or facilitate the ability to allow others to buy, sell or auction) the Game, an Account, any characters, Paid Content, Virtual Goods, copyrighted material or any other Rights owned or controlled by SOE or our licensors, or otherwise exploit the Game or Software for any commercial purpose (including, without limitation, the provision of Paid Content (as defined in Section 3.1 below), as hereinafter defined, at a cyber cafe, computer gaming center or any other location-based gaming site), without first obtaining our express written permission.

    2.4 Consent to Monitor

    When running, the Game may monitor your computer's random access memory for unauthorized third party programs running concurrently with the Game which, in SOE's sole determination: (a) enable or facilitate cheating of any type; (b) allow users to modify or hack the Game interface, environment, and/or experience in any way not expressly authorized by SOE; or (c) intercept, "mine" or otherwise collect information from or through the Game (an "Unauthorized Third Party Program"). In the event that the Game detects an Unauthorized Third Party Program: (i) the Game may communicate information back to SOE, including without limitation your Account username, details about the Unauthorized Third Party Program detected and the activities or functions performed thereby, and/or (ii) SOE may exercise any or all of its rights and remedies under this Agreement or the Terms of Service without prior notice to the user linked to such Unauthorized Third Party Program. You acknowledge that any and all character data and other data that is stored and is resident on our servers, and any and all communications that you make within the Game (including, but not limited to, messages solely directed at another player or group of players) traverse through our servers, may or may not be monitored by us or our agents, you have no expectation of privacy in any such communications and you expressly consent to such monitoring of communications you send and receive


    4.1 Termination by SOE

    We may terminate this Agreement (including your Game license and your Account) and/or suspend your Account immediately and without notice if: (a) you violate any provision of this Agreement, (b) you infringe any third party intellectual property rights, (c) we are unable to verify or authenticate any information you provide to us, (d) upon game play, chat or any player activity (including activity on Game forum postings) whatsoever which we, in our sole discretion, determine is inappropriate and/or in violation of the spirit of the Game, and/or (e) upon any violation of any of the Rules. If we terminate this Agreement or suspend your Account under these circumstances, you will lose access to your Account for the duration of the suspension without any refund for any Paid Content that you may have purchased. We may also terminate this Agreement if we decide, in our sole discretion, to discontinue offering the Game. In such a case, all licenses set forth herein will immediately terminate without reimbursement or refund to you.
  16. sagolsun

    The ToS explicitly states, in several different ways, over and over, that the user has no ownership, should have no expectations and SOE can terminate the account at any time, for any reason, including no reason at all. Personally I think that renders the finer points redundant.

    So is that ban in accordance with the TOS?
    Yes, and thanks to how it's structured, I think it's not even possible to have a scenario where any ban actually legally performed by SOE (as opposed to a rogue GM) on SOE games is against the TOS, even a hyperbolic theoretical scenario. I really can't think of one.

    But I'm not a lawyer. Legal code is not my kind of code.

    What I'm saying is that I did a stupid mistake and feel like this kind of punishment is gratuitous given my intentions and context. Not that SOE isn't within their legal rights to ban whoever they want to ban.
  17. Defaceo

    ****. I'm hearing people talking about months of them cheating in this game. SOE should get bloody punk buster or something. **** cheaters.
  18. bondKI

    "Testing" does not involve killing dozens of ppl while abusing said bug.

    And to the 3rd party program part:

    Its not your job to find out "why" the game runs bad (and using a 3rd party program for that is just...), you just report that the game is running badly and thats it. Let the devs do their part.

    So yes, a ban (tho, a permanent one may be a bit too harsh) is legit imo.
    • Up x 1
  19. Metalsand

    Overall, you were stupid to try and help the game independently. I've known about an exploit since PS2 was launched, and while I never use it, I don't report it either, because they will probably ban my account too, and I've put 300 hours into this game so far because I like it, and I hope to have many more.

    Though, I think SOE should be more lenient on glitches/exploits. Just because their game is buggy, and a player comes across an exploit and uses it, doesn't mean he should EVER be perma-banned unless they've been re-using said glitch to their advantage.
  20. Ztiller

    I also had fun with the bug. In the VR.

    If you were stupid enough to use it outside of that, your ban was deserved. That's not just something that "happens" and you don't notice it.