New levels of retardedness

This is a discussion on New levels of retardedness within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Bubba It's like PunkBuster. It only boots legit people. Statements like these detract from the problem at ...

  1. #16
    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    It's like PunkBuster. It only boots legit people.
    Statements like these detract from the problem at hand, and make your case and credibility appear flimsy. When you make a blanket statement that you probably know is false and can be easily verified as such, then you come across as a whining individual that is only making your statements out of anger. Hardly something that should come from someone that is supposed to be of your calibre.

    It may make you feel better to mash the keyboard and tell everyone in the world that you think PB or whatever other software sucks and does the exact opposite of what it should do, but that's about all it does for you.

    Frankly, I would agree with you in one certain aspect, namely that I'm not happy with how PB operates. For the type of program it is, however, it does OK, but as I posted elsewhere, I believe the entire solution to anticheating should not even be in that format. It should be entirely heuristic in nature. This should right away help alleviate many of the issues of PB in general, in addition to providing much better detection.

    As far as copy protection, it doesn't work. The solution for online games is to make a successful online validation system. If you purchase an account or a key instead of "a license to run the software" or some other garbage, and the software is free, then you're in a safer area. Keys and accounts can be further tied to other statistical information, thereby limiting the access of people that even eventually gain access to the key/account through illegit means.

  2. #17
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    While I agree that it is an overly broad statement, the fact is Ive been booted by PB for no apparent reason on several occasions.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  3. #18
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    CD-Keys and bar-codes can be beaten, and have been beaten -- they're not the answer to stopping piracy stop thinking so. Basically if the data is there, it can be read.

    As for CD-keys, there are a large handful of games where generated cd-keys will work online. Regardless if they don't, the game can still usually be played online without a valid key. Take Steam for example, there has been countless 'Steam cracks', rather 'Steam emulators' (Such as SteamDown) that allowed people to play steam games -- any game they wanted! Without paying a cent, the irony is it used Steams database of accounts to do it (you needed a legit account, which are free anyway). Just shows 'pay-to-play' doesn't really work either.

    As for PB, I'd say I like it 50/50, Sometimes it's great sometimes it sucks ass. All you have to do is play Americas Army for 5 minutes to see the amount of people it removes for no good reason. 'MD5 query tool failure', 'PbA failed to communicate with PbB', etc. In-fact I coped a 5 minute PB ban yesterday for no reason at all.

  4. #19
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    A few flawed implimentations fo cd key verification does nto mean teh technology is broken. If it checks a private database and uses non-trivial key generation, then it is effectively impossible to crack. The problem comes in when copy protection is an afterthought adn the suits freak otu and buy a shrink wrapped bandaid.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  5. #20
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    > If it checks a private database and uses non-trivial key generation, then it is effectively impossible to crack.

    No, not really. I don't think you read my example on Steam. Saying 'impossible' is rather silly, almost everything is possible.

  6. #21
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    The key being on a private server means nothing. The generation algorithm being non-trivial means nothing either. The server is never cracked. What happens is that the key generation algorithm is simply inferred.

    This issue is simple - and its the second time this week I hear this ridiculous advertisement of this or that security measure being perfect; There is no current full-proof solution to copy protection. Probably never will until we change our computers open architecture.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #22
    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    In-fact I coped a 5 minute PB ban yesterday for no reason at all.
    Must have been your ub3r 1337 h4x. Turn 'em off!

  8. #23
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    This issue is simple - and its the second time this week I hear this ridiculous advertisement of this or that security measure being perfect; There is no current full-proof solution to copy protection. Probably never will until we change our computers open architecture.
    For single player games, it's true. But for online games cd keys are a full-proof solution since even brute-force won't give you any results.
    "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

  9. #24
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    > But for online games cd keys are a full-proof solution since even brute-force won't give you any results.
    No! You're as bad as Ubisoft.

  10. #25
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Hardly something that should come from someone that is supposed to be of your calibre.
    Well thanks for the vote of confidence but I'm also a gamer and one that is getting extremely annoyed at all the completely flawed tactics being used to detect cheaters and thieves. The cheaters and thieves run rampant while legit players have nothing but trouble. Companies won't do anything about it and yet keep using things like PB to cheat-proof their games when every gamer who is anything in the gaming world knows that PB is a huge flaming pile of poo. It boots the wrong people all the time, throws up errors in the console about not being able to read this PB packet or that PB packet, and in general just sucks.

    I believe we do have a right to 'whine' about this topic. I have purchased all of my games and firmly believe that a company has a right to its just due and compensation. However I will cease to give said compensation when they start tampering with my system. It took me an hour or so of research just to remove the crappy Starforce or whatever it is. It uses some unsupported characters in the folder names which causes Windows to vomit when you try to delete them. It also uses NULL reg keys in your registry so you can't remove them without a tool from sysinternals. These are NOT in any way shape or form valid ethical business practices and do not belong in any game or professional product. These are folks that are fighting hacking by becoming hackers and they are hacking my machine.

    I'm beyond tired of it and since I own around 290 games now I'd say I have a fairly good grasp of most of what is being used now for copy protection. My point is it is a waste of money b/c the 'bad guys' are already playing the game even with the copy protection schemes being used. Copy protection just makes it harder for legit players and legit buyers to run the game b/c they are the only ones who play by the rules. If you don't play by the rules...you usually aren't affected by them either. I will always buy my software, CD's, movies, etc. I've been ridiculed for doing so but it's just how I am. Buy it or don't buy it - anything else is stealing. But tampering with my system w/o my permission is absolutely unacceptable regardless of the intent.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 03-13-2008 at 05:35 PM.

  11. #26
    Deathray Engineer MacGyver's Avatar
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    You're mixing the issues of copy protection and cheating.

    Starforce or whatever that copy protection software is called is a piece of garbage from what I hear. I wouldn't want software to hide stuff on my machine and all that other stuff.

    PB on the other hand is not Starforce, and they do not employ those kind of tactics as described for Starforce, to my knowledge. PB's problem is trying to detect cheats the wrong way.

    As far as PB's technical issues are concerned, yeah there are issues. I don't deny that, but many issues can be resolved. For some of the people saying they've been kicked "for no reason", they should consider how that comes across. It gives no information on the problem, and I would wonder if anybody complaining here has even bothered to contact EB and get any technical assistance.

    Altogether, as programmers, it would be nice if we could make a difference. Frankly, I think most games coming out these days suck terribly bad. I'm rather depressed with the state of online gaming. Cheating is only getting worse, and many of the anticheat groups are becoming political. Games aren't even finished before they come out, and before the players can even digest one game, the next sequel is out. What's the difference? Who cares? Another sequel will be out soon thereafter and the last one will be forgotten.

    I like some aspects of EA, and I think they have some things done from the right angles. I've heard Blizzard is a good company, but I can't stand their games, so I can't comment on them. The one game company I really do not like is UBI.

    Now with regard to UBI and Starforce, I think this is rather interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubisoft#Controversies

    On April 14, 2006, Ubisoft confirmed that they would stop using StarForce on their games citing complaints from customers.[8]
    Almost 2 years ago they said they would stop using Starforce. So why is this topic still getting notice? Are they still using Starforce, or do people just enjoy threatening to boycott UBI for a two year old screwup?

    Edit: Or are they using some other equivalent protection program currently?
    Last edited by MacGyver; 03-13-2008 at 10:15 PM.

  12. #27
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    They may not be using starforce anymore, but that doesn't mean they're not using something else. Point is the trust in Ubisoft is lost, and they don't deserve it back... ever. You can't forgive them, they knew what they were doing, and planned to get away with it -- Starforce did not ship with Ubisoft games by mistake.

  13. #28
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    The key being on a private server means nothing. The generation algorithm being non-trivial means nothing either. The server is never cracked. What happens is that the key generation algorithm is simply inferred.

    This issue is simple - and its the second time this week I hear this ridiculous advertisement of this or that security measure being perfect; There is no current full-proof solution to copy protection. Probably never will until we change our computers open architecture.
    So you are saying if I generate a 128 bit cd key, and the verification stage is that the public key has to decode it to have repeated digits such as FF88EE22 and I keep the database on a private system then you can trivially reverse my encryption process using the public key, wow if thats true mario you need to be working for the NSA, not posting here. Since there are only 2^64 correct keycodes, adn 2^128 possible keycoides, even knowing the verification algorithm does nothing, since you will still only find one potentially valid keycode for every 2^64 codes you try. Good luck with that any time before the game becomes so outdated that its considered a historical artifact.

    UBI uses some other copy protection now, but some of their starforce games are still on shelves, which means thye are still at fult for continuing problems. Unless they recall the starforce infected games (and yes I mean infected) they havent 'stopped using it' just stopped printing new media with it. I believe they use SecuROM now, which is almost as bad sicne it doesnt work on about 30&#37; of drives out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    > If it checks a private database and uses non-trivial key generation, then it is effectively impossible to crack.



    No, not really. I don't think you read my example on Steam. Saying 'impossible' is rather silly, almost everything is possible.
    Apparetly you didnt read the part about bad implimentations being poor examples et al. And I didnt say impossible, I said 'effectively impossible'. That is to say it wouldcost more to crack one key than to just buy the game.
    Last edited by abachler; 03-17-2008 at 02:08 PM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  14. #29
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Abachler,

    Get a piece of paper, now start drawing...

    Where is the key generated?
    What is the workflow behind the key generation process?
    How does the software you have at your home validates against the generated key?

    Grab your sketch. And pinpoint the weaknesses. Don't answer me; I'm tired of your babbling. Just do this exercise because I'm not going to do it for you. Happy enlightenment.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  15. #30
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Don't answer me; I'm tired of your babbling.
    Back off noob. Follow your own advice, until then stay under the rock.

    On second thought Ill just add you to my ignore list. I don't know what bug got up your ass (although I suspect what it was), but that is irelevant. You disagree that CD-KEY protection can be made secure enough to thwart hacking, yet you give no evidence that my algorithm is flawed adn instead go off half cocked claiming that I need to prove my own arguement wrong because you cant be bothered.

    Do Your Own Homework.
    Last edited by abachler; 03-18-2008 at 08:43 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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