PC Games Have Built In Spyware?

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Montu, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Montu

    Montu [H]ard DCOTM x4

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    It seems as though some PC game developers are using a tracking program called Red Shell in their games. This is causing a stir in the gaming community and the guys at The Know have put out a video that describes the offending software and what it does. It's pretty interesting and some companies are already removing it from their games. You can also check out the reddit thread that has a list of games that include this software.

    Watch the video here.
     
  2. tetris42

    tetris42 2[H]4U

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    If I had a nickel for how many times my firewall blocked a single player game trying to dial out, I'd have... well several dollars for sure.
     
  3. schoolslave

    schoolslave Limp Gawd

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    That's basically the last straw for me, fuck PC gaming.
     
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  4. Formula.350

    Formula.350 Gawd

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    Legitimately purchased, or the "other" way to obtain them with cracked executables?? ;) ;)
    I kid, I kid! lol

    I never really understood why Windows Firewall would ask you to allow the game permission, generally just chalking it up to it being due to the Steam Overlay, given that's how most games are distributed these days. I suppose that may be the very same reason why they thought they could slip in something like this, since we generally already just "Allow" games access to the network by force of habit...


    You don't think Xbox and Playstation know what you're doing, either? You have to have a profile to game on those systems (as far as I know), so those metrics would be even more personalized!
     
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  5. velusip

    velusip [H]ard|Gawd

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    Even that game that's been pimped out here on [H] front page for the past few weeks is on the list.
     
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  6. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Games are like crack. They get you addicted and then you get exploited - starting from the need to use Windows, which is bad for you.
     
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  7. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

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    Sad to see Kerbal Space Program on the list. That is the one game I own up there.

    But I do appreciate all the devs who acted to remove this crap.
     
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  8. greenman

    greenman Limp Gawd

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    This is why I like single player games and block all game network access. Tho it is getting harder and harder to do..
     
  9. Space_Ranger

    Space_Ranger Gawd

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    I'm glad that Kyle is ok with this, as he loves the game!
     
  10. TheToE!

    TheToE! [H] Brewmaster

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    Yes, your're right. Consoles will give us so much more security and options!
     
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  11. Shadowed

    Shadowed Limp Gawd

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    I would argue that some DRM and cheat protection is malware/spyware that does little to prevent piracy and cheating and all it does is eat up CPU time.
     
  12. schoolslave

    schoolslave Limp Gawd

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    My console is only used for gaming and netflix, please do tell what data could possible be monetized from that.
     
  13. Kinsaras

    Kinsaras 2[H]4U

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    Can't watch the video right now but heard Warhammer: Vermintide 2 was recently caught with Red Shell. They have patched it out after fan outcry.
     
  14. greenman

    greenman Limp Gawd

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    What you watch and what you play.. A profile is build off of those two major things predicting what you are likely to watch or play, when, how, what your life is like, what category of people you fit into, etc. Also if you search, what you search for..

    Or was this some sort of rhetorical statement?
     
  15. Formula.350

    Formula.350 Gawd

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    It really is kinda scary what can be determined from data as seemingly innocuous as playing games and watching videos, but greenman is unfortunately correct. Granted, they are estimates, but given the sample size, they ultimately end up being quite accurate.
     
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  16. BSmith

    BSmith Gawd

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    I think you should call them on your cell phone and tell them, or have Alexa or Siri or Cortana do it for you. :)
     
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  17. jfreund

    jfreund Gawd

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    I guess it's time to connect that pfsense box I was working on earlier this week.
     
  18. BSmith

    BSmith Gawd

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    I think it is shitty for game developers to be doing it and everyone should boycott those studios. Just because they remove this one, does not mean there is not something else right behind it.
     
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  19. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Limp Gawd

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    I went ahead and put in refund requests for all the games I purchased affected by this software. I wouldn't mind if it explicitly stated the software name and opt in but this was not handled well.
     
  20. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Yep, this all concerned me too. So I did some investigating.

    Redshell is NOT currently in Hunt: Showdown. I talked to the devs a couple weeks ago and they said it would soon be removed due to all the hubbub over this. The redshell.dll is removed from its live servers and the test servers, so it looks as if they kept their word. Before the Hunt exe would not run without it being in the directory. The text file is still there however.

    I looked into this a couple weeks ago. Red Shell is basically a third party company that is used primarily by game devs to collect data on exactly when and where their games are being played. It is all being rolled out to be a bit ore nefarious than it is. But everyone likes drama, right?
     
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  21. Chebsy

    Chebsy Limp Gawd

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    Is it just me or do those 2 guys on the video seem like its a big joke to them ??
     
  22. DooLocsta

    DooLocsta [H]ard|Gawd

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    Can't these be blocked by using your hosts file or using OpenDNS block them?
     
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  23. BSmith

    BSmith Gawd

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    Kyle, it could be collecting one click from me, which makes no difference to anyone at all. The fact is, they are doing it without full disclosure of it being done. That is the nefarious part of it.

    Yes, we all like drama.
     
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  24. alamox

    alamox Limp Gawd

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    lol, because you think consol gaming is better , consols track everything you do on them...
    it's like someone who is too pissed to get a little splash of water on his face, then goes and take a dip in the lake.
     
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  25. tetris42

    tetris42 2[H]4U

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    And don't forget privacy. I know Microsoft shelved the idea of the Kinect always tracking you and recording what you were saying with the original Xbox One, even when turned "off", but nothing saying they can't try again.
     
  26. Prisoner849

    Prisoner849 Gawd

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    Drama-bait? Who would do such a thing? ;)
     
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  27. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    100% agreed. Shitty spyware is shitty. But manufactured drama is manufactured drama.
     
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  28. BSmith

    BSmith Gawd

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    Yes, but without it, most news outlets would have to close shop. :)
     
  29. Shaten

    Shaten n00bie

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    You underestimate the data they track, the fonts, and IP address allow them to track it back to any of their adds you click on. (really the fonts are big give away.

    Once you have the fonts, IP, steam tag , and list of browsers (which red shell collects) those are the keys necessary to link into the other add tracking databases.

    I'm 70% confident that is enough information to link into facebook and google's tracking data also. By also having your steam tag they can tell your game dev, what other games, who you friends are, are they influenced by you and so forth.

    basically the game devs sold you for a few pennies to a analytic firm who resold you again. (they did to me to, and I will never trust CA again)

    note: hashing an IP address does nothing accept allow you to claim you don't have it. When matching data you just match the hashes which is the same as matching IP address.
    note: red shell never said it didn't keep IP addresses from the browsers.
    note: go back and re read their statements like it was a corrupt politician, there is a lot they didn't say.
     
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  30. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Yeah, I know. They got my fucking IP now. My life is over.
     
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  31. Hagrid

    Hagrid Kyle's Boo

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    So not only does your MS windows OS spy, the games are spying.

    No shocker there.
     
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  32. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardness Supreme

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    Only until your DHCP lease* is up. Then you can live again.







    *This statement assumes that the proprietor of [H] is speaking about a personal IP address, and is not using a business internet service with a static IP address. Void where prohibited.
     
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  33. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ Little Bitch

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  34. jfreund

    jfreund Gawd

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    Isn't that built into Steam (and Galaxy)?
     
  35. pek

    pek prairie dog

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    Check the redit discussion. Full directions in there.
     
  36. Wiffle

    Wiffle Limp Gawd

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    I already assume I have no privacy and someone is always watching me, even when I do naughty things in the dark. Most people call that person God or the Government. Me, I see that person in everybody I meet on a day to day basis... anyone watching me has the potential to ruin my progress in life. I only ask that person watching forgives me of the bad they see, and I will forgive that person of the bad I see in them. Chastise me, but do not persecute me and I shall do the same. There is always someone bigger faster stronger meaner smarter better than you... best not be on their bad side when you meet them.

    As for being pissed that someone is profiting from my "information", I am pretty confident my personal web traffic is being considered below bot level status... I only visit the 3 same sites and rarely post comments on 2 of those. I don't think there is much to profit from. Or maybe I am wrong and my lack of web traffic is 100% identifiable and unique to me which flags me as a real individual making me extremely valuable as I rarely deviate from my pattern with the exception of some specific things... Guess it all depends on what algorithm is analyzing my info.

    Also one has to question the true motives behind the traffic. Take pornhub for instance, based on the queries for "step-sibling-parent" searches in the US you would think everyone has a fetish for this thing... but if all the good looking girls/guys are starring in the "step" scene then the taboo gets overwritten because of human desire. In other words, Monkey see monkey do, a big name porn actress does a step scene, then follow 100 more wood bees hoping to get in the honey pot, people want to see hot people have sex. People didn't watch Brokeback Mountain because it was a story about two gay cowboys... they watched it because everyone in it was good-lookin and showing it off. Titanic would have been a complete failure if it wasn't for Kate Hudson... I know my 12 year oId self would have never watched it then if it wasn't for a specific scene...
     
  37. Shaten

    Shaten n00bie

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    ultimately the betrayal is I paid thee game companies and they decide to monitize me even more.

    Guess it proves none of the game companies are trustworthy and all software has to be approached as if it's trying to steal from you.
     
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  38. Tekara

    Tekara 2[H]4U

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    I think I'm more bothered by how desensitized we've all become towards it. If it were some stranger standing around in your house with a notepad jotting down everything you did, we'd all be in a uproar. But because it's same thing, just invisible, we go with the whole "out of sight, out of mind" and just write it off like it's nothing.
     
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  39. Mikolai

    Mikolai n00bie

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    Does this Red Shell program run in the background even when the game isn't running? The community makes it sound like it is running on your PC 24/7 even outside of the game.

    And yes, it seems like Red Shell is also used in console games. I assume it's the same Red Shell everyone is talking about.
    "Red Shell helps PC & console games uncover where their players come from through reliable attribution."
    https://redshell.io/home

    Another thing, the telemetry on the console that you use just for games and Netflix might end up being linked to an online profile created from your other devices if you used a common e-mail, address, name, username, etc. between them.
     
  40. DPI

    DPI Nitpick Police

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    No, we ALL haven't become desensitized. And fortunately the backlash is growing. The EU cracking down with things like GDPR is already having corollary effects. Big Data is big business now, every monolithic megacorp wants in if they don't have their hooks in already.

    But it's the disingenuous way these companies go about it that's so off-putting. And the rampant whatabout'ism that the apologists engage in needs baseball batting. Example "but Microsoft just wants your 3000+ datapoints in Basic mode to make Windows 10 bettar! Just crash dumps! And besides, Google and Facebook!" Fuck outta here.

    Its really the lack of transparency, the corporate doublespeak, and lack of opt out that's on trial more than anything else. People dont like surprises. Dont lie and say youre not selling data. Dont lie and say theres nothing personally identifiable. Don't operate under the "better to apologize if we get caught than ask permission from the beginning" model and not expect to get roasted and lose the trust of your customers forever.
     
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