Sunday, November 18, 2007

Daily Blogg: Blizzard Paranoia!


Im not normally one to indulge in paranoia but it seems our friends at Blizzard have a distinct preoccupation with this state of mind and with the latest security measures inflicted on us in there latest patch (2.3) it seems that they wont be happy unless they know every damn thing about us!

The Warden's function as an anti-hacking sentry was already cause for concern for some privacy advocates. From the moment players log into the game, The Warden checks open window names, process names, memory modifications, DDL names and other pieces of data in the background. The goal is to determine if the user has a specific hack or program loaded and sends back a "yes" or "no" answer to Blizzard.

At any given time, there is one version of The Warden active in a set of WoW servers. But Blizzard fights would-be countermeasures against The Warden by switching between hundreds of different copies of The Warden with the same functionality, but containing slight modifications in the code.

This technique of polymorphic code is more commonly applied in computer viruses and worms as a way to avoid detection from anti-virus and intrusion detection software. According to The WardenNet, a website dedicated to tracking the iterations of the application, there are about 320 copies of The Warden in circulation.

There are some legitimate arguments for the intrusion of privacy. Massive Multiplayer economies such as WoW can be ravaged by gold-farming bots or hacks. It's Blizzard's responsibility to not only protect the game experience, but their intellectual property

and marketability of the game. And nothing, after all, is forcing anyone to play if they disagree with the policy.

Blizzard maintains that The Warden does not gather any personally identifiable information about the player. They claim only information about the account is sent back. Third-party applications such as The Governor and ISXWarden could previously monitor The Warden and curtail activities the authors deem invasive.

In my humble opinion Blizzard are taking the piss, there essentially installing spyware on our system with the standing motivation that "if your not guilty of anything you have nothing to worry about", frankly the very idea of this scares the hell out of me, i mean we already have Microsoft two thirds the way up our collective asshole picking through our trash and now it seems that Blizz have decided to follow the good Mr Gates lead and start spying on there users too...

...i mean the armoury was one thing, this is quite another...

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...so break out the tinfoil hats and batten down the firewalls, BLIZZ ARE STEALING OUR THOUGHTS!!!!

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