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BF3 Hacker Problem Investigation
  #1  
Old 01-30-2012, 07:06 AM
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Default BF3 Hacker Problem Investigation





EA Still Investigating BF3 Hacker Problem



By Nick Winter | Jan 29, 2012

Punkbuster issue close to being resolved.

Earlier this week, we reported that a nefarious hacker had taken it upon himself to infiltrate the PunkBuster client of Battlefield 3, and ban innocent players from the game. Electronic Arts has since posted an update to the situation on Battlelog, and says it has "taken steps" to reverse the estimated 150 bans and improve security so this sort of hacker activism (and I use that term very loosely) doesn't happen again in the future.

The EA post went some way into explaining how the system became compromised in the first place:
"Together with the 3rd party service providers we have taken steps to remove the faulty bans, and improve the protection against future fake bans.

We have determined that the root cause resulting in the server bans is not directly related to Battlefield 3, but rather related to select 3rd party services which server owners can use in conjunction with PunkBuster to protect their servers.


If you are able to log in to Battlelog, your account has not been banned by EA or DICE so there is no need to contact Customer Support.


This issue did not affect Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 players of Battlefield 3."
However, EA concedes that the problem is still affecting some players, and that it is "continuing to investigate what may be causing this issue with some servers".

The hacker, who went by the name "Anonpbspoofer" on the BF3 forums, claims his hacking behavior was meant to be a protest against the inclusion of Punkbuster in BF3.

Interestingly enough, DICE is now advertising a job vacancy for an "anti-cheat administrator":
"In our continued effort to keep our games free from cheating, we are now looking for an Internet savvy administrator. The administrator will compose an absolutely vital function to secure the online experience our games represent by actively be a part of the community and keep up to date with the current cheat exposure. The administrator will also own the analytical work with our player behavior data to keep our leaderboards and game play filled with fair play."
Whether or not this is actually linked to the ban-hax debacle, well, you be the judge.

SOURCE


_________________________________


"anti-cheat administrator"
- Really?? Are you kidding?? What next is gonna come out of EA's BS machine?
After hiding BF3 in Origin so they didn't have to show its actual sales and popularity curve when compared to the other top notch FPS games.... ie: Steam's Top Ten...
Now we are to believe that an "anti-cheat administrator" is going to solve the dealio of the core code of the game and PB being cracked?

Not to worry, the gullible will go for this hype too.

Any other bridges for sale?
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:42 PM
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I am not going to think that all the cheating issues are solved just because they are creating a new position, BUT I am not going to put Dice down for trying to solve the same issue any popular game has. cheaters..

I am going to wait and see if this has any real effect before I declare if this is good or bad thing.

The bad thing about the whole deal is EA/Dice gets blamed for the illegal bans and it's not even their fault. But like you said Mike, there are a lot of gullible people out there.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2012, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrodeo View Post
I am not going to think that all the cheating issues are solved just because they are creating a new position, BUT I am not going to put Dice down for trying to solve the same issue any popular game has. cheaters..
DICE are EA and EA is DICE in this matter.... EA/DICE, like many other developers and publishers, had every opportunity to ensure their program's full integrity prior to release. However since the time and expense involved provides little or no return when compared to the development time/cost, that portion of developer investment was of course, kept to a bare minimum. The results of which are quite evident.
Quote:
I am going to wait and see if this has any real effect before I declare if this is good or bad thing.
A very noble and permissive approach to a serious matter that we have faced repeatedly with many developers. "Wait and See". Truth be known that no single person, especially a "anti-cheat administrator" can bring about miracles.

True anti-cheat protection for a game that's destined for a year's duration until the next release is in fact, "pie in the sky". A Solid anti-cheat effort involves a dedicated team effort and true incisive preventive coding.

Not a "titled" BS position - a placebo.

Quote:
The bad thing about the whole deal is EA/Dice gets blamed for the illegal bans and it's not even their fault. But like you said Mike, there are a lot of gullible people out there.
Gullibility.. is something we all suffer from at one time or another. It only becomes offensive when a marketeer takes advantage of such.

Claims of extensive anti-cheat protections and an ongoing pursuit of cheats must be evident in positive, publicized results.

Unfortunately, we are witness to the exact opposite far too many times in many games. To me, that indicates a very low priority for anti cheat measures.

In the end, developers and publishers alike will be forced to provide powerful ongoing anti-cheat protections to these online multiplayer games.

Consumer dissatisfaction is at an all time high.

The aggressive inroads made by cheat and hack programming has driven HONEST users to simply walk away from those publishers and developers who appear to refuse to invest the time and money into substantial anti-cheat protections in their software offerings.

Eventually, the non-inclusion of effective anti-cheat measures into software by developers and publishers will prove to be an expensive and punishing lesson.
Relying upon third party software (ie.; Punkbuster) as provided by Evenbalance and Steam's Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) are now woefully inadequate as evidenced by the failure of PB in many different games.

PB has had its heyday but has FAILED to keep up with advances in hack and cheat programming. Further, PB and products of that ilk, are not PREVENTIVE, they are simply afterthought fixes. True anti-cheat/hack software will stop cheating and hacking before it can begin.

VAC acts far too late. It seems, primarily due to a lack of publicizing bans and expulsions, to take months before any punitive measure are taken against will violators.
Of course the real answer lies with the investment, once again, by the developers and publishers into litigious efforts aimed against the creators of the cheats and hacks. Especially now that those creators profit from sales of the cheats and hacks. Further, criminal pursuit should be initiated by any and all applicable means.

Up to this point, unfortunately, anti-cheat efforts are really not taken seriously enough.

Will they ever?
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrodeo View Post
I am not going to think that all the cheating issues are solved just because they are creating a new position, BUT I am not going to put Dice down for trying to solve the same issue any popular game has. cheaters..

I am going to wait and see if this has any real effect before I declare if this is good or bad thing.

The bad thing about the whole deal is EA/Dice gets blamed for the illegal bans and it's not even their fault. But like you said Mike, there are a lot of gullible people out there.
It is DICE's fault. There is an exploit in their Frostbite engine that let's hackers access the bans log file on servers, and add the names of innocent players to it. This is not happening with any other game. Ergo, it isn't the fault of PunkBuster, nor is it the fault of PPBans. If it were happening with other games, then the problem lies at the feet of PB or PPBans. But it isn't. The only 2 games affected are BC2 (back in 2009) and now BF3. Hence, the problem is the Frostbite engine.

Rather than address the hole in their server code, they try to mask the problem by hiring an admin to monitor how bad the problem is. It's papering over the cracks rather than fixing the crack itself.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:19 AM
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Its not just an EA/DICE problem......

ALL the Developers and Publishers are guilty of investing marginal time and money into anti-cheat/hack coding routines.

None aggressively pursue the creators of the cheat software and hacks...

Anti-cheat protections are still an afterthought - Simply because the publishers have already made their money.
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2012, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Nomad View Post
Its not just an EA/DICE problem......

ALL the Developers and Publishers are guilty of investing marginal time and money into anti-cheat/hack coding routines.

None aggressively pursue the creators of the cheat software and hacks...

Anti-cheat protections are still an afterthought - Simply because the publishers have already made their money.
It's not true of Valve. They are perhaps the only developer to take cheating seriously.

Other than that, yes you are right - most AAA developers see anti-cheat software as "someone else's" thing to do; not their own. That's why they keep taking the easy step and using 3rd party anti-cheat for their engines, when really they should be developing bespoke anti-cheat which works flawlessly with their creations.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:55 AM
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Steam/Valve may take cheating seriously but VAC takes far too long to nail a cheat. Its absurd that it takes months.

Then the biggie is seemingly ignored altogether;

Incredibly- They do not publicize and shame the asshats they catch.

My main point is really simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tally View Post
...... snip ..... when really they should be developing bespoke anti-cheat which works flawlessly with their creations.
Exactly!

Cheats and hacks should be thwarted BEFORE they have a chance to flourish. In other words, make it so difficult to write these cheats and hacks as to make it not worth the effort.
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