Epic games releases...spyware?

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Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:27 pm

Have you guys been following this?
https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoint/c ... g_and_you/

I wish I was a bit more tech literate about what they are discussing but it certainly doesn't look good.

*-credit to Xaleros for posting about this in UM discord
"You damn kids, back in my time we made the items, maps and games ourselves with an unwieldy engine using counter-intuitive crash-prone tools and we liked it so much we built communities around this which nowadays look like cults because they're quasi-parallel societies based on the same old games." -Hellkeeper
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Shrimp » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:45 pm

I think a lot of it is misinterpretation of data, like the certificate stuff, which is more than likely every time it phones home via the tracking stuff, it opens a connection to an HTTPS service, which the underliying OS is going to need to lookup CAs for and stuff.

Here's a post by Dan Vogel which provides some plausible explinations. However certainly poking around in your steam directory when you haven't actually enabled any integration is unwelcome - I suspect they have bugs. I think there's also a hell of a lot of unwarranted FUD being spread about Tencent's involvement in the whole thing.

That being said though, I strongly disagree with Epic's recent bahaviour, and will absolutely not support their store in any way, shape or form :thudown:
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:51 pm

I believe it's the anticheat engine? Cheaters will place their DLL's where they least expect the AC will look. I'm not Saying, nyt I suspect ACE to do the exact same thing? There is no other way to find what you're looking for, please mute a developer claiming "algorithms " to do that job.

Or .... Epic just do like all social medias and sells your underwear... ehm, I mean your data to the highest bidder.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:28 pm

(Data = money) in today's economic model. That's what will drive development.

I think it's also way too easy of a way out to just say "anticheat" and that's supposed to excuse any file being accessed, catalogued, and referenced.

sit.jpg


It's not a free pass to gather everything in my system. I uninstalled it all and now Epic is in my "Never Install Again" list. Here's my metric for today's gaming model: (Bad behavior = bad treatment).
"You damn kids, back in my time we made the items, maps and games ourselves with an unwieldy engine using counter-intuitive crash-prone tools and we liked it so much we built communities around this which nowadays look like cults because they're quasi-parallel societies based on the same old games." -Hellkeeper
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:59 pm

Funny. Epic just updated the EULA with this (small part of the full text):

The Software may contain Cheat Detection software or features or you may be prompted to install Cheat Detection software during your installation of the Software. If you do not agree to install the Cheat Detection software or at any time remove or disable the Cheat Detection software or features, the License granted to you automatically terminates and you may not make use of the Software. The Software or the Cheat Detection software may collect and transmit details about your account, gameplay, and potentially unauthorized programs or processes in connection with Cheat Detection, subject to Epic’s Privacy Policy. In the event that Cheats are identified, you agree that Epic may exercise any or all of its rights under this Agreement.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Dr.Flay » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:20 pm

If this is a legitimate privacy concern we will see it hit the tech press news, followed by a very public apology and ending of the spyware.
Given that they have now made a statement on the nature of what is going on, if this is untrue, this is actionable in court and fines will be made.

Reading through the threads I see a lot of panic about the unknown and what may be happening, rather than genuine evidence presented by a security bod of what is actually happening.
If the Epic statement is correct then a 3rd party security audit will confirm it.

Ask yourself
How many of you have investigated how nosey the steam client or other chrome based client is with your system ?
What is my comparison base when spotting odd behaviour ?
If I am unhappy about the Chinese connection, why am I using any of my tech or software by a large company with shareholders (almost all have large investment from China, or make the product in China).
Do I really think that only non-US interests want to track me ?

Remind yourselves we live in a world where people really think the Earth is flat, no matter what the evidence says to the contrary.
If this turns out to be as Epic claim, people will always claim foul-play no matter what.
If it turns out to be spyware, then expect big problems for Epic.

I should say, I do think this is a valid concern and needs following up, but I await reliable evidence.

****UPDATE****
This just became a news story

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/03/ ... ng-on-you/
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Feralidragon » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:31 pm

Call me crazy, but I actually trust them to a large extent.

Every single medium to large company, without exception, always does some scummy stuff here and there behind your back, simply due to being run by more than one single person with different sets of values and power within the company, much of which no CEO in the world can really control even if they're the most honest people on Earth (not saying Tim is btw), and the moment you install Windows you're already getting tracked and your info may already getting sold and whatnot anyway.

The real question here is whether you prefer to not use anything remotely technological, in which case you can become an Amish, or the kind and how much scummy stuff you're willing to allow from a company, how much do your own values match the values and practices of another company.

In the case of Epic, I must say that I feel they're honest to a large extent, judging by everything they have done thus far and are still doing.
They're not saints, far from it, but the most of what I have seen from them was them being honestly incompetent many times (in terms of programming) and bad at communicating, as well having awful ideas at times, rather than having an evil plan to screw you over.

So odds are that a lot of the "unnecessary" stuff they're doing is just bad and brute programming on their side, and just needs to be addressed (some of which seems is going to from Tim's reply in that post), while others may be indeed just anti-cheat stuff.
And given that there's no omelette without eggs, either you monitor the entire computer to ensure as much as possible that the player isn't doing something fishy, or the anti-cheat will just not work and every player will scream on how the anti-cheat is absolutely garbage and is not keeping the cheaters at bay.

And while Tencent owns a good chunk of Epic, and thus may be possible that your data could be sold to China, Tencent is one of the biggest players in the world as far as gaming goes, extending beyond China, so odds are that even if you uninstall everything Epic related, you will end up, or already are, playing some other game from some other company that may already be feeding data to them anyway.

Therefore the most that you can do is to be attentive to posts like this, and create buzz around it if this buzz is warranted for, to keep these companies on their toes and prevent them from doing something beyond what they should be doing.

That is to say that, at least for now, I will keep everything as it is, with the Epic launcher installed and all, since from what I have seen I don't think I have anything to worry about for now.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Dr.Flay » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:49 pm

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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:56 pm

Feralidragon wrote:That is to say that, at least for now, I will keep everything as it is, with the Epic launcher installed and all, since from what I have seen I don't think I have anything to worry about for now.


:tu:

That was my thoughts exactly. Maybe I'm influenced by having two kids who would headshot me if i uninstalled Fortnite? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Dr.Flay » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:37 pm

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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:07 am

I see the validity in your arguments but why does this keep happening and it's always centered on your contacts/history/usage/etc? This never happens because some company accessed my installed screensaver catalogue or encrypted and saved all my data concerning CPU temps. No, they keep grabbing the stuff that they can sell to marketers and there's always a pre-determined excuse why.

Ask yourself: If I ran a server that accessed and copied your saved ini passwords and you caught me doing it, would it matter what my excuse was? Would it matter at all if I said "Oh yeah, that's my fault. I put that in there and just forgot to take it out. My bad, I'll fix it now (that you know about it)."

They should never have put this into the code in the first place. Epic isn't new to the game, they've had product cycles before. This was a calculated risk with pre-determined damage control in place in case it was found. I have zero doubt that there's more to come and this isn't all. Quote me on that. !Remind me: one month!

I love Epic, I love the entire Unreal universe. They've sold out completely though. Enjoy that thought while you know that Unreal Tournament will never get finished because they chose to do this instead:
Spoiler: show
Image
"You damn kids, back in my time we made the items, maps and games ourselves with an unwieldy engine using counter-intuitive crash-prone tools and we liked it so much we built communities around this which nowadays look like cults because they're quasi-parallel societies based on the same old games." -Hellkeeper
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Higor » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:03 am

Try removing the bloatware from a Lenovo laptop, see what happens.
Epic Games is dead for me.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:15 am

If you dismiss Epic on this cause, what OS will you be switching to then? What ISP provider will you be swithing to?

You can't protect your data, but you can choose who gets to earn money on it. And, didn't Epic give us the greatest gift of all?

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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:19 pm

TheDane wrote:You can't protect your data

Then post your real name.

The reason you don't is because you know you deserve the right to privacy. To say that it's OK that it gets invaded simply because it doesn't directly affect you is very short-sighted.

TheDane wrote:didn't Epic give us the greatest gift of all?

My wife gave me two kids and twenty plus years of putting up with my shit. Either one of us fucks the UPS driver and betrays that trust then those years start to mean very little.

I'm honestly surprised at the response here. You guys are above the curve on intelligence and direct knowledge of what's really going on. How can that not bother you more? Are we really THAT resigned that you just shrug and move on to the next thing?
"You damn kids, back in my time we made the items, maps and games ourselves with an unwieldy engine using counter-intuitive crash-prone tools and we liked it so much we built communities around this which nowadays look like cults because they're quasi-parallel societies based on the same old games." -Hellkeeper
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:53 pm

JackGriffin wrote:
TheDane wrote:You can't protect your data

Then post your real name.

The reason you don't is because you know you deserve the right to privacy. To say that it's OK that it gets invaded simply because it doesn't directly affect you is very short-sighted.

TheDane wrote:didn't Epic give us the greatest gift of all?

My wife gave me two kids and twenty plus years of putting up with my shit. Either one of us fucks the UPS driver and betrays that trust then those years start to mean very little.

I'm honestly surprised at the response here. You guys are above the curve on intelligence and direct knowledge of what's really going on. How can that not bother you more? Are we really THAT resigned that you just shrug and move on to the next thing?


It doesn't bother me any more simply because there is nothing you can do about it - except going crazy from thinking about it. Like I sais earlier, the only way to stop your data from beeing transfered to 3rd party is to unplug from the internet.

You can however control what info you store on the device you acces the internet with - that's the limit.

By greatest gift, I ofcause mean gaming related, real life is another thing, I totaly agree with you there :tu:

But put your real life info on a device connected to the internet - booom, everybody who is willing to pay the price gets the info.

I did a test once, I puttet images I took with my camera and transfered it to my PC using the cameras USB interface, the images where stored in my PC's image folder (default windows 10). After 3 days, I was able to google image search them - how can that be possible? Google is mirroring everything they can get their hands on - that is real privacy invasion and theft 1on1, and I can't do anything about it. If I file a complain I have to prove if it's M$ or google who is behind it - doh!

P.S. My real name is Jacob :mrgreen:
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