Epic games releases...spyware?

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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:50 am

So I'm honestly curious about something... What would the evidence need to be that would cause you to have concern? (to anyone)

I think it's that I just lived in an era where there was an expectation of privacy. That's obviously over because every time you open a news feed there's a social media company under fire for overstepping. People are getting fatigue from it and they just don't care as much as they should. That's your choice but you might take that to it's logical conclusion and look at what's going on in China. Think your safe from that? Your individual rights can be very quickly removed without discussion, just look at New Zealand. In a week they took the guns and the free speech.

I'm just going to stop about this I guess. Time will tell who was more correct. Fuck, I hope I'm so wrong.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Carbon » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:31 am

My friend, you aren't wrong. I too grew up in the era you speak of, where we were people, not consumers, data points or just plain targets. That has sadly disappeared and what with being so close living in Korea, I too am highly suspect of China and their affiliates (I see and hear a lot more than most). I am also willing to admit that I don't want to believe all of this nonsense thanks to my own biases and perhaps false hopes. So, I'm not saying anyone's wrong, but that we don't know enough to be anything and some anonymous, manifesto written by someone who clearly has an axe to grind read back to me by two hit-seeking nobodys does nothing to bring me closer.

As for what it will take to convince me, well, if and when at least 3 journalists/sources with some past credibility look into it and present referenced facts that undeniably point to nefarious action, then I'll start to listen and make my informed judgement. I'm willing to accept whatever comes out, but only after some judicious and in-depth reporting. Tim Sweeney has already spoken out quite candidly about this issue and while he is clearly an invested party, he is also fully aware that a spotlight is on this and that people - credible people with the skills and knowledge to actually know what's going on - will be looking into it. Sweeney would surely want to get ahead of the torches he can clearly see on the horizon if it is as has been claimed. He is being made accountable, so his statements do have some credibility. Some.

Then the fact that many of the major tech sites looked into it, ran a brief story then dropped it is also significant. Seems they didn't find anything odd enough to keep pursuing it, as per most of the more reputable write-ups indicate. We should also recall that Steam and Origin faced similar scrutiny and accusations themselves and the fact that all of this coincided with Epic's store getting exclusives, indicating that this is just a small group of people with lots of time, and nothing productive to do with it.

Yep...I hope they're wrong too, but I'll reserve judgement until I have sufficient proof to make one. It does seem to be a tempest in a teacup, propagated by a very small few who have demonstrated a clear and present bias.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Feralidragon » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:44 pm

JackGriffin wrote:So I'm honestly curious about something... What would the evidence need to be that would cause you to have concern? (to anyone)

If someone demonstrates that Epic is actually sending sensitive information away that should never leave your computer under any circumstance, ever, such as saved passwords, certificates, private keys, logging of key presses other than in their own games, that sort of thing, regardless to which server they are sending it to, it doesn't matter if to China, US, South Africa, North Pole or even to Mars.

And if someone demonstrates that Epic is actually using their allegedly "botnet" to do botnet-ish things, like making non-sensical requests or attacks to other servers and services.
Until then, it all sounds paranoid bullshit coming from conspiracy theorists whom have no clue whatsoever what they're talking about, and what Epic actually does, leading to other people who know even less to panic without knowing a thing either: panic stemming from ignorance.

What sektor posted about the constant breaches and security vulnerabilities they had thus far proves that they are more incompetent in developing code rather than having an evil plan for world domination.
Epic was always known by their engine, but their engine from the get-go, as well any software they produce, since forever, has had huge security flaws that could be exploited.
I mean, as far back as UT99 you can have malware installed in your machine by the simple act of joining a server (otherwise how would ACE be able to install a dll in your computer?), but I bet you're not really worried about that, or gave it a second thought.

JackGriffin wrote:I think it's that I just lived in an era where there was an expectation of privacy.

The only reason you had more "privacy" years ago, is because people interacted with each other a lot less, due to not there being any Internet, one of the main drivers of isolation and huge cultural differences which would actually in turn result in discrimination and conflict.

These discussions around "privacy" always astonish me, especially when many times the same people concerned about their privacy, post photos and their daily lives online by themselves, to all public to see, be it on Facebook and other places, which proves without a shred of a doubt that people do NOT want to be that private to begin with.

JackGriffin wrote:Your individual rights can be very quickly removed without discussion, just look at New Zealand. In a week they took the guns and the free speech.

I am not sure how you're seeing NZ actions as a removal of free speech, and what that has anything to do with the subject at hand, but here's the thing: human beings are closer to stupid and intolerant wild animals than what they like to think.

Human beings have too much of a high respect of themselves to see how barbaric beings they still are in their core, and therefore everyone wants all the "rights" without any of the responsibility that comes with them. There's a good reason why a citizen cannot have a military tank in their garage, or why they cannot build their own explosive device.

Rights SHOULD be removed if they cause more harm than good to society as a whole, provably so, and by the same token rights SHOULD be added if they either cause no harm or actually have a good impact in society, however given that human beings are these wild creatures at their root acting more on their personal immediate emotions and beliefs, hanging many times to their own religions and cultural traditions, rather than objectivity and factual analysis of what's really good and bad, it's hard to do both of these and evolve forward as a society.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:25 pm

I have yet to see evidence of something mallicious going on?

come on, is blurred images with flaming red text the best evidence? It's nothing but a fail, if you want to prove anything, at least make it readable. So far this is not even as convincing than an average flat earth "proof" video on YouTube.

People may believe what they want, it's a free world. I just don't get paricular happy when they try and force their opinion upon others - as a truth - with no solid evidence but speculation and gut feelings. Remain focused and objective, opinions are subject to change and spreads like fire through a dry forrest on a hot summers day.

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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby OjitroC » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:45 pm

Feralidragon wrote:I am not sure how you're seeing NZ actions as a removal of free speech
I assume that's the banning of the possession or distribution of the manifesto of the white supremacist murderer - this incites others to carry out similar acts and so goes well beyond what can be seen as acceptable 'free speech'. The taking away of guns incidentally refers to the banning of the sale of certain types of weapons (automatics and semi-automatics) and to the voluntary handing-in of guns - a reasonable (and swift) reaction to a horrendous act, in a society where no-one needs to possess that kind of gun.

I cetainly agree with you about the type of evidence needed to get more concerned about the alleged activities of Epic.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby TheDane » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:03 pm

I found another wrinting about this "episode", the writer seems to be trying to look at the matter from bird view and relate to what is going on, what has been said - and done, trying not to make assumptions and conclusions.

https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/2878 ... -on-people
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Higor » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:18 pm

Umm, is there a way to block access to said certificates and files, like whitelisting where an app can check or not?
I haven't looked deep into this on Windows myself, but by doing some permissions mumbo-jumbo and opening the app using a 'user' specifically designed to not access OS files and certificates could be possible.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby JackGriffin » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:20 pm

I'm honestly stunned that you guys feel this way, especially concerning civil rights. Do you really think it's fine to let a government just arbitrarily decide what's considered punishable speech without a public discussion? What your rights are as a citizenry? Go back in our long, dark history and find me a time that went well.

I feel like Leo lol.

Quick story (not sure if I've posted publicly on this before)...When I was stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia there was a local artist that was doing his version of 'patriotism' in a gallery downtown. The problem was that in order to get into the exhibit you were forced to walk across an American flag draped on the ground at the entrance. This caused an uproar on the post because of the perceived disrespect. The post commander put it to us that we should each see this exhibit because it was important to understand the principles. We wore the uniform to protect this asshole's right to protest as he saw fit and those rights should be infringed on only after serious deliberation. I went and saw it and it really angered me BUT it also impressed upon me the importance of having that right to be able to express yourself.

Let me be clear, I have zero empathy for that murdering fuck in NZ. It bothers me that tragedy is being used to remove rights without any public discourse.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Feralidragon » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:56 pm

This is steering into a political debate, which I am not really getting much into because I have a very strong opinion concerning how many US citizens see their "rights" and their "freedom", when most US problems have been solved in almost every other developed country already by effective government action, doing what a government is supposed to do, so our opinions will simply differ a lot in this respect and we will get nowhere on this.

I will say this though: I believe that if you violate someone's rights, you're forfeiting your own.
So you killed almost 50 people? Congratulations, now you have forfeited most of your rights, including, but not limited to, free speech, and the government should indeed be able to enforce this.

I have no problems with this whatsoever, and thanks to their immediate actions they may as well prevent another shooting of this kind from happening any time soon, if ever again.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby darksonny » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:58 pm

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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Shrimp » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:06 am

So here's a post which debunks a lot of FUD being spread around about the Epic Store: Epic Games Store Is Shit - But It's Not Spyware.

If anyone's concerned specifically about EGS from a spyware point of view, based on the contents of the OP and that intentionally misleading 4chan-style graphic, I'd encourage anyone to take a look at that. It's a deeper look into some of the points I mentioned in my original post in this thread - its simply a Windows application behaving as any bog-standard Windows application would.

Please don't misunderstand my post as a defense of Epic's store, or a disregard for privacy. To give some context and my personal thoughts on privacy - all my PCs and laptops run Linux, so I'm not outputting any Windows telemetry, I run my own email and hosting services; I try to avoid using Google search as much as possible by having DuckDuckGo as my default search engine, I use Firefox across all my devices (with my own private Sync server), I host my own password manager, browse the internet with uMatrix and uBlock always on, make my family use our self-hosted chat service rather than WhatsApp, Hangouts, etc. No matter how hard this all makes my life, I value my privacy over simply choosing the easy option and using Gmail, or chatting to people on Facebook, or whatever else.

So data privacy and self-ownership is quite important to me :).

Rather, I have a couple of specific issues with Epic and their store, which I think are more pertinent:

  • (from what I've seen) Epic's handling of security is shameful and amateurish. They appear to have loads of hackers and fraudsters on their platform who are in the business of hijacking legitimate users accounts and using them to buy and resell Fortnite virtual currency, and it seems to take a long time for them to resolve issues and refund people unless a big noise is made on a public forum.

  • I strongly feel that Epic's introduction of timed store exclusives is going to harm the PC gaming market. What's going to happen when more stores pop up or catch on to this way of doing things, and whenever you want to play a new PC game, you have to navigate a sea of exclusivity to find what you're looking for.

  • Tim Sweeney was a huge personal inspiration for me when I was younger; but I've begun losing all respect for him, as he can't seem to keep his philosophy on so-called open platforms straight. He used to praise the PC for being an open platform, and decried the arrival of the Windows store, claiming it'd lock developers and consumers into Microsoft's ecosystem. While Valve invest millions in building support real open systems and actual open APIs and services in response to those genuine fears, Epic have now gone in the opposite direction and are instead creating their own walled garden. Hell, even Microsoft seem to be broadening their horizons now, rather than narrowing customer choice as Epic are doing.

  • Rather than using all their shittonns of money to create features and services to attract developers (or even hire some security experts), Epic has chosen instead to simply buy exclusivity for a half-baked platform. I think with Epic's better revenue share, and more curated storefront (combined with a couple of other features they don't have yet), their store may well have simply been a preferable choice for developers/publishers, as well as customers.

  • Developers (or more specifically, publishers) catch onto the idea of being paid shittonns of money for the rights to their game, and in the future, shop them aroundor the best deal from a store, rather than where the customers are - because it doesn't matter if nobody buys your game if you can simply extort POTENTIAL sales from a storefront - I sincerely hope no other stores start playing this game.

  • They abandoned a new UT game for this shit.

As a result of all this, I will not in good conscience install, use, or recommend supporting the Epic Games Store. This means unfortunately I'm going to have to skip some games (and not buy them elsewhere once the exclusivity wears out, on principal), and I'll certainly miss out on any future Unreal games, since there's no way Epic are going to release those anywhere but on their own store exclusively.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Leo(T.C.K.) » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:41 am

Yea well, I didn't read that entirely but I guess the guy has a point in that it's no different from how many modern applications etc do things. But that doesn't mean it isn't wrong and instead it could open people to understand what's going on with their computer better...well
*shrugs*
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Higor » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:57 am

Shrimp wrote:(from what I've seen) Epic's handling of security is shameful and amateurish. They appear to have loads of hackers and fraudsters on their platform who are in the business of hijacking legitimate users accounts and using them to buy and resell Fortnite virtual currency, and it seems to take a long time for them to resolve issues and refund people unless a big noise is made on a public forum.


Valve patching exploits in their Half-Life games less than a couple of years ago and porting their library to Linux...
Microsoft re-releasing Age of Empires 2 with new content and HD...
Quake games open sourced...

Meanwhile, the exploits found by Luigi auriemma over 15 years ago would have remained largely unpatched had it not been for addons released by us.
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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby UnrealGGecko » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:26 am

"NHL Rock The Rink" (PS1) announcer wrote:...And there are no stunt doubles in this game, folks!

My work for UT99: Counter-Strike VP, MaleOne+ & FemaleOne+ voicepacks (NEW!), DM-XC-NaliTreeV2 (from the ut99.org Xmas Contest mappack), my small spec of files at Google Drive

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Re: Epic games releases...spyware?

Postby Carbon » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:13 am

Hmmm....15 minutes of some random dude reading other websites to me. Ugh...
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