Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Black & White Spyware?

  1. #1
    EgoKilla messiah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    northeast teXas
    Posts
    3,743

    Post Black & White Spyware?

    Did you guys already read this?!

    Fast-selling PC game Black & White has generated a storm of controversy on messaging boards this week amid concerns that it is being used to spy on gamers.

    Black & White sends information about a user's computer (including IP number, registry details and hardware configuration) to a server run by the game's developer Lionhead and publisher Electronic Arts.

    This heavy-handed anti-piracy feature is, in effect spyware, critics argue. And clunky too -- the game will try to establish an Internet connection when installed on a user's PC, even if it is not been run at the time.

    But Lionhead says the fears are baseless; Black & White contacts the Internet in order only to set up a facility that enables players to exchange messages online, the company claims.

    In a message posted on gaming newsgroups Lionhead said: "Black & White uses a mechanism for its built in messaging system to tell the server if you're online or not and ready for receiving messages from other friends online. We are not spying on your system!"

    However there's a sting in the tail to Lionhead's email: "If you playing an illegal copy of Black & White, the program is self-aware, so if you encounter problems with it, then maybe you should buy a proper version."

    The difference between "self-aware" and "spyware" is not clear. Electronic Arts did not return phone calls.


    Article

  2. #2
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    27,942
    Blog Entries
    1

    Post

    Geez messiah; other than my Mom, i'm begining to distrust everyone.

    what away to run a business. they want it all. if i buy a car, it is mine to do with as i please. but now you are expected to buy a system and scrap your old one.

    that is unreasonable. if they wish you not to sell your old one to someone else, why then do they not offer a trade in rebate,covering half your original cost

    that would seem reasonable.

    to the spyware thing, that is outright criminal in it's actions. it should be challenged in the courts and severe fines imposed on those doing it.


    if you were to peek in your neighbors windows you would go to jail. what pray tell is the difference in what they are doing.

    the whole codeof conduct from MS all the way down should be in question imho.

    sorry to get off topic. but it seems intertwined to me


    regards minir

  3. #3
    EgoKilla messiah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    northeast teXas
    Posts
    3,743

    Post

    Check out the devlopers response





    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    'Spyware' games developer says you have nothing to fear
    By: Tim Rance
    Posted: 17/04/2001 at 14:11 GMT


    We have read your article about Spyware (Spyware concerns over fast selling PC game and I would just like to make it absolutely clear what Black and White does with respect to the internet information we send.

    Clearly in the multiplayer game, a lot of data is sent but this is just game related.

    In the single player game we make requests for weather data (if this is enabled) containing your user registration details so that the server can look up your city and weather associated with your city.

    Additionally, every 3 minutes we send a UDP packet containing 8 bytes - packet length, packet type (i.e. a ping packet type = 4225) and your registration ID (if you have registered, otherwise just a hash of your name with a high bit set). The originating IP is also available through winsock.

    If you have any friends in your friend list, then additionally every 3 minutes a request containing length, type (user list request=4227) and a list of your friends' registration IDs is sent to the server. If the server thinks that any of your friends are online then it will return their IP address so that you can chat to them.

    We cannot make any comment about pirated versions of Black and White because we have no information as to exactly which version of the software was hacked in order to get a pirate copy.

    Another point is that it would appear that some machines have a configuration which we did not come across in our testing that may cause a dial-up requestor or a hang to occur when one of these packets is sent.

    There is a simple way around this - make sure that the program is run with the command line option : /NOINETCONN. This will actually prevent any
    packets ever being sent over the internet at any time in the single player game. So if anyone is having any problems then we suggest you try this option.

    I have also read comments that data is sent when Black and White is not playing. No data is sent when Black and White is not playing.

    Tim



    This game ownzp

  4. #4
    EgoKilla messiah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    northeast teXas
    Posts
    3,743

    Post

    hey players,

    Adding this switch: /NOINETCONN to your runblack.exe really improves load times! I dont know exactly what features will be lost (if any) seeing that the packet sniffing it does is to mimic your real enviornment with that of Eden-

    anyway: If your load times are too long or if you stole your copy, you might want to try the above switch.

  5. #5
    SG Enthusiast colour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    1,597

    Post

    i was told if you block the lh something or the other from the internet b&w freezes up.

    also, overclocked vidcards may cause it to freeze up.
    asdf?

  6. #6
    EgoKilla messiah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    northeast teXas
    Posts
    3,743

    Post

    from the devloper:
    Another point is that it would appear that some machines have a configuration which we did not come across in our testing that may cause a dial-up requestor or a hang to occur when one of these packets is sent.

    There is a simple way around this - make sure that the program is run with the command line option : /NOINETCONN. This will actually prevent any
    packets ever being sent over the internet at any time in the single player game. So if anyone is having any problems then we suggest you try this option
    hahaha- I just tried to zoom out on this page..

    [ 04-18-2001: Message edited by: messiah ]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •