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I Hope This Ends Misinformation Regarding The Anti-cheat Software


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The problem again is that Anet cannot prove you were using those cheat programs for GW2, only that you had then running in the background.

I used to play a lot of single player games with cheats, but never used cheats online.Anet cannot differentiate between this due to the shoddy and underhanded way they collected the data.

Yes we need to get rid of cheaters, but the right way!But thanks to anet doing this in the most dumbest way one can do it, the hackers were laughing their heads off as they can easily prevent future bans if this is the best anet can do to ban hackers.

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The important part for me is "The detection process, which we ran from 3/6/2018 to 3/27/2018, identified if a version associated to one of five separate programs we previously disclosed on 4/14/2018 was running on your computer at the same time as Guild Wars 2. "

This proves that they didn't just find out if you had those programs installed on your PC, but if you were running them at the same time as Guild Wars 2.So now let's see how many people were running some of those programs at the same time as running Guild Wars 2 but for "educational (or work)" purposes.

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@"Voltekka.2375" said:ANET answered tickets, reddit post has been updated, yet people bring up the "ANET claims... We dont know for sure..." argument. The same people who were so quick to believe banned cheaters who said they didnt use cheats/said they didnt use cheats WHILE playing gw2/said they used macros for music/said they ACCIDENTALLY used em in other modes as well. They believe people who used exploits in a game, yet when it comes to ANET, their view is completely different. "But I had lag when the SPYWARE was in effect!" Well, buddy, proof is what you want, proof is what you should provide. Double standards, oh those double standards.Now, I am not saying to anyone to pick a side, here. But you know what? It is nigh impossible to change the mind of a suspicious person, of someone who wants to stay in disbelief. It is easier to change the point of view of a thinking person, when that person is presented with arguments. Which makes one's decision on who to believe, much easier.

Discussing reddit posts work better if there is a link to it: https://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/8c2j0y/a_technical_analysis_of_the_spyware_arena_used/dxgz47x/

@juhani.5361 said:

@"Oldirtbeard.9834" said:This post is meant to be constructive and to help heal some of the strife and misinformation regarding the recent wave of Bans. For almost 2 weeks we've been speculating what this software was collecting and whether it could lead to false positives, unfortunately there has not been an official statement as far as I can tell.

I recently received an answer to a Support Ticket regarding my privacy concerns which I filed because I wanted an official word directly from the company, some transparency.

I'm glad to say I have it and I'm sharing my response with you, I'm not sure if this is kosher but I feel and think this is important.

Lead GM MagisterToday at 18:00Greetings ,

The detection process, which we ran from 3/6/2018 to 3/27/2018, identified if a version associated to one of five separate programs we previously disclosed on 4/14/2018 was running on your computer at the same time as Guild Wars 2. The data sent back to ArenaNet was a yes or no to whether or not we detected one of those programs. No other data was sent to ArenaNet as part of the detection method.Regards,

Lead GM MagisterGuild Wars 2 Support Team

Thanks for posting this :) Re-installing the game now.

For the life of me, though, I can't see why Anet couldn't have just said this to begin with. A lot of pain and a lot of annoyance, not to mention misconceptions, etc. could have been avoided on all sides of the issue.

Could not agree more. When all that facebook discussion were active someone at Anet should have considered the public image when collective information. A clear and simple message such as the one here would have limited a lot of discussion to the issue of cheating rather than data collection and spyware.

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@Belorn.2659 said:This information contradict the reverse engineering that people made which said that the whole process list was sent to ArenaNet.

But this new information can only do good. If its true then great =) . If its wrong and they feel pressured to delete the collected data then great =) . If its wrong and they do not delete it, and it get leaked then their claim to never have gotten the data will look really bad in a European court, also great =) !

The whole episode still makes me want to sandbox the guildwars 2 program. Fool me once and all that, even if this time it was only a grey hat patch.

Just to comment on that. This was contested by further reverse engineering, stating the list was filtered before sending.

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@"maddoctor.2738" said:This proves that they didn't just find out if you had those programs installed on your PC, but if you were running them at the same time as Guild Wars 2.So now let's see how many people were running some of those programs at the same time as running Guild Wars 2 but for "educational (or work)" purposes.

It was known from the start that they were only looking at active processes. GW2 has a lot of downtime, so it's not exactly uncommon to leave it running in the background minimized while doing something else. People may have been using CE legitimately for years, and now they're suddenly banned just for running it for as little as 90 minutes during this specific 3 week period with no notice whatsoever (CE alone isn't even against the rules). Personally, I run similar software 99% of the time my computer is on, but ArenaNet wouldn't dare to target it - how would people have reacted if ArenaNet banned for using Microsoft's tools instead.

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@Buy Some Apples.6390 said:The problem again is that Anet cannot prove you were using those cheat programs for GW2, only that you had then running in the background.

I used to play a lot of single player games with cheats, but never used cheats online.Anet cannot differentiate between this due to the shoddy and underhanded way they collected the data.

Yes we need to get rid of cheaters, but the right way!But thanks to anet doing this in the most dumbest way one can do it, the hackers were laughing their heads off as they can easily prevent future bans if this is the best anet can do to ban hackers.

If it is not possible, as you claim, to prove that people who were running cheat programs at the same time as they were running gw2 then Anet has to do the best they can with the resources available to them. Circumstantial evidence, which they had, can be sufficient for action.

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@"Buy Some Apples.6390" said:The problem again is that Anet cannot prove you were using those cheat programs for GW2, only that you had then running in the background.

I used to play a lot of single player games with cheats, but never used cheats online.Anet cannot differentiate between this due to the shoddy and underhanded way they collected the data.

Yes we need to get rid of cheaters, but the right way!But thanks to anet doing this in the most dumbest way one can do it, the hackers were laughing their heads off as they can easily prevent future bans if this is the best anet can do to ban hackers.

If cheaters are laughing, I would bet it has less to do with Anet's (potential) false positive and more with how people reacted to it and the bad press that followed on the web.Because of that, and because of the misinformation surrounding privacy and "spyware" in general, you can be sure that they'll be free to do whatever they want for a while.

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@Deihnyx.6318 said:

@"Buy Some Apples.6390" said:The problem again is that Anet cannot prove you were using those cheat programs for GW2, only that you had then running in the background.

I used to play a lot of single player games with cheats, but never used cheats online.Anet cannot differentiate between this due to the shoddy and underhanded way they collected the data.

Yes we need to get rid of cheaters, but the right way!But thanks to anet doing this in the most dumbest way one can do it, the hackers were laughing their heads off as they can easily prevent future bans if this is the best anet can do to ban hackers.

If cheaters are laughing, I would bet it has less to do with Anet's (potential) false positive and more with how people reacted to it and the bad press that followed on the web.Because of that, and because of the misinformation surrounding privacy and "spyware" in general, you can be sure that they'll be free to do whatever they want for a while.

All the more reason for me to post this if ANet chooses not to make a statement, I also shared this with Massively OP, and a few Youtubers I like such as MMOInks.

Like this for example.

http://massivelyop.com/2018/04/25/guild-wars-2-tortures-dervish-fans-with-an-outfit-but-no-class-denies-excessive-data-collection-in-spyware-controversy/

heh guess I'm going to have to get an authenticator now lol, I'm not that concerned I have different Pass Words for everything I use so if you know who I am then you know who I am w/e.

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At least you got a response.I have a few accounts only one of which was banned, however we share computers and none of the software they were scanning for was installed, ever.
Zero replies in almost 2 weeks to requests for help and review. Does anyone know how long it usually takes to get a response from support?

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@dengou.6052 said:At least you got a response.I have a few accounts only one of which was banned, however we share computers and none of the software they were scanning for was installed, ever.

Zero replies in almost 2 weeks to requests for help and review. Does anyone know how long it usually takes to get a response from support?

They probably had a backlog of 1,500 new tickets give or take. Hopefully they're going over any appeals with a fine toothed comb just to make sure?

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@Deihnyx.6318 said:

@"Buy Some Apples.6390" said:The problem again is that Anet cannot prove you were using those cheat programs for GW2, only that you had then running in the background.

I used to play a lot of single player games with cheats, but never used cheats online.Anet cannot differentiate between this due to the shoddy and underhanded way they collected the data.

Yes we need to get rid of cheaters, but the right way!But thanks to anet doing this in the most dumbest way one can do it, the hackers were laughing their heads off as they can easily prevent future bans if this is the best anet can do to ban hackers.

If cheaters are laughing, I would bet it has less to do with Anet's (potential) false positive and more with how people reacted to it and the bad press that followed on the web.Because of that, and because of the misinformation surrounding privacy and "spyware" in general, you can be sure that they'll be free to do whatever they want for a while.

It has to do with how Anet handled the whole thing from the get-go. Gaming companies are pretty notorious for riding roughshod over their customers' PCs and consumer rights in the name of intellectual property and/or "cheating." The shady practices of the gaming industry as a whole spark this kind of skepticism-- and rightfully so. We have decades now of clandestine installs of SecuROM, rootkits, etc. with no concrete information to back up their true dangers. For a cautious person to protect him/herself, it's been pretty standard practice to rely on half-information, wikis, forums, etc. The exact kind of thing we've seen on Reddit and Massively. If you haven't been cautious these last few decades, well, you'll probably never get it ;)

To date, we've had the following:

1) Anet clandestinely installs some sort of monitoring component via a patch.2) Anet clandestinely removes said component a few weeks later.3) A security professional catches part of it with tools he had open and posts the results.4) Anet gives a few details but never specifically denies what the professional said.5) Some refinement, but no definitive answers from another Reddit poster who dove deeper into the data captured by said security professional.6) No statement by Anet at all, confirming or denying anything that's happened.7) Finally, weeks later, the truth in a single customer support response to a single customer.

Steps 1-3 (sometimes 4) are pretty routine any time any of this stuff is caught. Then there's lots of furor and anger. Then resignation or a spate of lost customers. It's natural to be skeptical. It's prudent to be cautious. The history of the gaming industry as a whole should spark both of those reactions even with cleaner companies like Anet. If we'd just gone directly from steps 3--->7, none of this would have happened.

@Oldirtbeard.9834 said:

@Oldirtbeard.9834 said:This post is meant to be constructive and to help heal some of the strife and misinformation regarding the recent wave of Bans. For almost 2 weeks we've been speculating what this software was collecting and whether it could lead to false positives, unfortunately there has not been an official statement as far as I can tell.

I recently received an answer to a Support Ticket regarding my privacy concerns which I filed because I wanted an official word directly from the company, some transparency.

I'm glad to say I have it and I'm sharing my response with you, I'm not sure if this is kosher but I feel and think this is important.

Lead GM MagisterToday at 18:00Greetings ,

The detection process, which we ran from 3/6/2018 to 3/27/2018, identified if a version associated to one of five separate programs we previously disclosed on 4/14/2018 was running on your computer at the same time as Guild Wars 2. The data sent back to ArenaNet was a yes or no to whether or not we detected one of those programs. No other data was sent to ArenaNet as part of the detection method.Regards,

Lead GM MagisterGuild Wars 2 Support Team

At least it's clear.

And, knowing that was the only way to catch the cheaters, I'm gonna say this is fine.

with any annoucement, fore sure peoples would not run their tiers during the oversight period.

They should make it permanent now that we know it's minimally invasive, if it's up all the time like WoWs Warden then no more hacks instead of people laying low for a month.

And that would be the smart thing for Anet to do. I'm baffled why the monitoring components were only installed for a limited time. Any _real_cheater would chill for the month. All Anet got out of this was some false positives and low-hanging fruit. And did a lot of damage to its reputation in the process.

This whole episode has been one giant plate of stupid, with side helpings of faux-pas.

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@Healix.5819 said:

@"maddoctor.2738" said:This proves that they didn't just find out if you had those programs installed on your PC, but if you were running them at the same time as Guild Wars 2.So now let's see how many people were running some of those programs at the same time as running Guild Wars 2 but for "educational (or work)" purposes.

It was known from the start that they were only looking at active processes. GW2 has a lot of downtime, so it's not exactly uncommon to leave it running in the background minimized while doing something else. People may have been using CE legitimately for years, and now they're suddenly banned just for running it for as little as 90 minutes during this specific 3 week period with no notice whatsoever (CE alone isn't even against the rules). Personally, I run similar software 99% of the time my computer is on, but ArenaNet wouldn't dare to target it - how would people have reacted if ArenaNet banned for using Microsoft's tools instead.

I'm guessing at least some people using CE were also using other software specifically designed for cheating in this game.

I also find it funny that this argument - software running but no evidence of cheating - isn't being applied equally to the other programs.

Nobody suspended for using UNF or Nabster is claiming they had the software running but ArenaNet has no evidence they used it. That's because such software is specifically designed for cheating in GW2, and they know damn well they were using it. Why would you have cheat software for this game running but not using it?

I think ArenaNet should give us a breakdown of how many of the suspended accounts were busted using each cheat software. Anybody using 2 of more of the banned software in the list would be lumped into 1 category. I bet the amount busted for CE alone is far fewer than any of the other banned software.

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@Healix.5819 said:

@"maddoctor.2738" said:This proves that they didn't just find out if you had those programs installed on your PC, but if you were running them at the same time as Guild Wars 2.So now let's see how many people were running some of those programs at the same time as running Guild Wars 2 but for "educational (or work)" purposes.

It was known from the start that they were only looking at active processes. GW2 has a lot of downtime, so it's not exactly uncommon to leave it running in the background minimized while doing something else.
People may have been using CE legitimately for years
, and now they're suddenly banned just for running it for as little as 90 minutes during this specific 3 week period with no notice whatsoever (CE alone isn't even against the rules). Personally, I run similar software 99% of the time my computer is on, but ArenaNet wouldn't dare to target it - how would people have reacted if ArenaNet banned for using Microsoft's tools instead.

I didn't realize someone can run cheat software legitimately.

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I wonder why some players/posters take/took the word of another posters claiming to be a security expert (I mean anyone can say anything on the internet; I didn't see any proof), but vehemently state that ArenaNet is stating untruths? If there is no proof for ArenaNet's statements, there is also no proof for posters-in-a-thread's statements. :confused:

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@Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:I wonder why some players/posters take/took the word of another posters claiming to be a security expert (I mean anyone can say anything on the internet; I didn't see any proof), but vehemently state that ArenaNet is stating untruths? If there is no proof for ArenaNet's statements, there is also no proof for posters-in-a-thread's statements. :confused:

Which is why I waited for an official statement and filed a ticket.

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@Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:I wonder why some players/posters take/took the word of another posters claiming to be a security expert (I mean anyone can say anything on the internet; I didn't see any proof), but vehemently state that ArenaNet is stating untruths? If there is no proof for ArenaNet's statements, there is also no proof for posters-in-a-thread's statements. :confused:

People are more likely to believe what aligns with their own beliefs. There are a lot of people who distrust Anet and think the worst that found that thread to be nothing but a confirmation of their own beliefs.

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@Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:I wonder why some players/posters take/took the word of another posters claiming to be a security expert (I mean anyone can say anything on the internet; I didn't see any proof), but vehemently state that ArenaNet is stating untruths? If there is no proof for ArenaNet's statements, there is also no proof for posters-in-a-thread's statements. :confused:

Because it fits their narrative. inconvenient truths are to be ignored. Alternative facts are to be embraced. And that's the world we live in today. That said, it's also an excellent observation on your part. One I wish I noticed earlier myself. :)

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@Oldirtbeard.9834 said:

@Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:I wonder why some players/posters take/took the word of another posters claiming to be a security expert (I mean anyone can say anything on the internet; I didn't see any proof), but vehemently state that ArenaNet is stating untruths? If there is no proof for ArenaNet's statements, there is also no proof for posters-in-a-thread's statements. :confused:

Which is why I waited for an official statement and filed a ticket.

Oh come now, you cannot feign innocence when you were on board with the witchhunt just because you're featured in a Massively Article.

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@TexZero.7910 said:

@Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:I wonder why some players/posters take/took the word of another posters claiming to be a security expert (I mean anyone can say anything on the internet; I didn't see any proof), but vehemently state that ArenaNet is stating untruths? If there is no proof for ArenaNet's statements, there is also no proof for posters-in-a-thread's statements. :confused:

Which is why I waited for an official statement and filed a ticket.

Oh come now, you cannot feign innocence when you were on board with the witchhunt just because you're featured in a Massively Article.

True, but that was an initial reaction; in that other thread I stated I wanted something official (while not arguing over contract law and minors).

I only shared that article because I wanted show is attempted to get everything straight in the public too, especially since my blood was boiling those first few days.

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