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Software hack reveals online game maker's "spying"
Published: 2005-10-24

Are software programs designed to catch cheaters and software pirates and report them a violation of privacy? That's the central question in an online debate between security expert Greg Hoglund and Blizzard Entertainment, the maker of the popular World of Warcraft game.

Three weeks ago, Hoglund discovered that Blizzard's games also install a program, dubbed "The Warden," that checks a player's computer memory for running processes that match certain software tools that are considered cheats. The check is automatic, only reports violators, and explicitly allowed under the terms of service and end-user license agreement. Hoglund, the CEO of software analysis firm HBGary, argues that the anti-cheating tool is also spyware.Blizzard disagrees.

Now, Hoglund has created a tool that he calls "the Governor" to show players what the Warden program is actually doing. He hopes that the demonstration will expand consumer's definition of spyware.

"Reading the memory of other processes and windows that are not part of the World of Warcraft game client is a violation of privacy," Hoglund wrote in the post announcing the new tool. "Making a violation of privacy legal in your EULA and TOS does not make it also moral. It remains a violation of privacy."

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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Comments Mode:
Perfectly Legit 2005-10-25
Anonymous (1 replies)
Re: Perfectly Legit 2005-10-25
PyRoMaNcX0R (1 replies)
Re: Re: Perfectly Legit 2005-11-04
Eric Avery
A little hypocritical? 2005-10-25
Anonymous (1 replies)
Re: A little hypocritical? 2005-10-26
Trust 2005-10-25
don't like it...don't play 2005-10-25
Duke Nukem
Not spyware 2005-10-25
Big deal out of nothing 2005-10-27
Nick Staff
Hey, here's an idea: 2005-10-31
This is old... 2006-04-15


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