Word of Warcraft Outed for Spyware

5 comments

World of Warcraft has been outed for containing spyware. The hidden program is called "warden", and it's primary task appears to be to look for third party mods to the game.

Quote:
unbeknownst to many gamers, World of Warcraft now has an unwanted special feature—a hidden program called “Warden” that snoops gamers’ computers looking for any "unauthorized third-party program" that “enables or facilitates cheating of any type.”

According to Greg Hoglund, co-author of "Exploiting Software, How to Break Code," this hidden program opens every process on a gamer’s computer, from email programs to privacy managers, and sniffs email addresses, website URLs open at the time of the scan, and the names of all running programs—whether or not those programs, emails, or websites could conceivably have anything to do with hacking.

Comments

This isn't spyware. It isn't

This isn't spyware. It isn't even new. Online game publishers have been embedding this kind of stuff for ages because the fact of the matter is: Cheating online sucks big-time lamer n00bs.

If you wanna cheat on a offline game go right ahead, no-one's going to stop you, but there's no justification for cheating online.

In fact I'm actually relieved to heat that Blizzard is bundling this software.

uhm

Although I do not follow your distinction between cheating offline and online, I'm not a gamer so I guess there's some point to it that I just don't get because of that. Nevertheless, spyware is spyware, regardless of intent:

this hidden program opens every process on a gamer’s computer, from email programs to privacy managers, and sniffs email addresses, website URLs open at the time of the scan, and the names of all running programs

How can this not be spyware? Is the description wrong?

I mean, my excellent printer also includes a backdoor into my machine in its software, and so do windows XP, and lots of other programs (all of which I have of course disabled) but these are no less backdoors because the intent is good.

Other online games have

Other online games have similar anti-cheat programs, like PunkBuster, no idea how they work or what they look for. if they spot something the server you’re playing on bans and kicks you from the game.

My only concern would be what data are they passing on, hopefully its just some kick instruction. Since they send your cd-key to the server, and you’ve probably registered your copy of the came there’s a good opportunity for some profiling. Other games usually give you an option to turn the feature on or off, with it off you wont be able to join any server with hack protection switched on.

The following came in as an

The following came in as an anonymous submission that didn't make the grade, but will fit here i think..

Quote:
Considering the recent revelations of World of Warcraft scanning process memory it looks like another MMORPG has been found doing the same.

Looking at this link:
It appears as though Sony have been scanning email, web browsers and system processes (including the winlogon process which handles window login details) without informing users when EQ2 processes private data, which is apparently not allowed under the European Data Protection Directive.

Anyone play? I got a few

Anyone play?

I got a few characters on the Spirestone server ;P

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