Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(BBC)   I don't want to alarm any of you TF2/Counterstrike players, but there's a chance that Valve knows all the porn sites you have visited   (bbc.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Scary, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Gabe Newell  
•       •       •

2150 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Feb 2014 at 5:17 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



52 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2014-02-18 03:38:38 PM  
th01.deviantart.net
 
2014-02-18 03:41:00 PM  
img.ehowcdn.com

Oh HEAVEN FORFEND!
 
2014-02-18 03:43:29 PM  
Is a torrent site technically part of this list?

Asking for a friend...
 
2014-02-18 03:53:08 PM  
Meh. I have no shame. The only person you're going to hurt with that information is yourself.
 
2014-02-18 03:55:27 PM  

www.brettdyer.com

WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

 
2014-02-18 04:08:37 PM  

Cagey B: Meh. I have no shame. The only person you're going to hurt with that information is yourself.


i209.photobucket.com
 
2014-02-18 04:10:37 PM  
Also, alternate headline:
I don't want to alarm any of you TF2/Counterstrike players, but there's a chance that Valve knows all the porn sites I have visited.  I mean you have visited.
 
2014-02-18 04:12:13 PM  
The hilarious part in this is that the guys who wrote the cheats worried so much about people using them and not paying for them, that they implemented phone-home DRM in their cheats, so cheaters wouldn't be able to cheat while they cheat.
 
2014-02-18 04:16:56 PM  
Gosh, now I want to play TFC. I loved that game....
 
2014-02-18 04:18:03 PM  

exick: The hilarious part in this is that the guys who wrote the cheats worried so much about people using them and not paying for them, that they implemented phone-home DRM in their cheats, so cheaters wouldn't be able to cheat while they cheat.


most of those phone home systems are very easy to bypass... not that I would know anything about such and activity though.


Also I wonder how incognito browsing works with VAC, or even TOR browsing.
 
2014-02-18 04:18:28 PM  

exick: The hilarious part in this is that the guys who wrote the cheats worried so much about people using them and not paying for them, that they implemented phone-home DRM in their cheats, so cheaters wouldn't be able to cheat while they cheat.


Heh.

I can't imagine what kind of asshole would pay for hacks.

And honestly, I see SO MUCH fewer hackers in CS these days.  No where near the problem it was years ago and I think Valve has done a pretty good job at cracking down on these annoying farks.  Now if they could do the same on 14 year old n* bomb dropping racists, mic spammers, and little kids.
 
2014-02-18 04:20:47 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: Now if they could do the same on 14 year old n* bomb dropping racists, mic spammers, and little kids.


But Fark told me they only exist on consoles....
 
2014-02-18 04:29:11 PM  

cannotsuggestaname: Also I wonder how incognito browsing works with VAC, or even TOR browsing.


It's pulling your windows DNS cache, so probably the same.  At some point you have to go out and look up a DNS entry for that pr0n site you're visiting.
 
2014-02-18 04:35:07 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Satanic_Hamster: Now if they could do the same on 14 year old n* bomb dropping racists, mic spammers, and little kids.

But Fark told me they only exist on consoles....


Consoles is far, far, FAR worse.  But you still get the occasional one.   More often to not it's just a dumb white teenager thinking they're cool by acting "black."

"Nice shot, my n*****."
!sm_ban Dude 5 Use of racial slurs in voice chat
"Hamster, you should have warned him before banning."
"A five minute ban IS a warning."
 
2014-02-18 05:22:24 PM  

exick: The hilarious part in this is that the guys who wrote the cheats worried so much about people using them and not paying for them, that they implemented phone-home DRM in their cheats, so cheaters wouldn't be able to cheat while they cheat.


Wait a minute. People pay for cheats? I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I don't miss playing CS. Little 13 year old kids screaming at me that I'm using cheats. I usually replied, "Yes, I totally am cheating. There's this new cheat out, called the 'skill' cheat. You should check it out."

I wonder if any of them actually Googled "Counterstrike skill cheat."

No, I wasn't some uber-player. Just better than most of those dweebs.
 
2014-02-18 05:23:17 PM  
Buried the less a bit. I wasn't aware that my computer kept a record of sites, let alone it being accessible to other programs
 
2014-02-18 05:24:47 PM  
@ECHO OFF
ipconfig /flushdns
cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
start steam.exe
 
2014-02-18 05:33:26 PM  
Any true PC gamer has one machine for gaming and one machine for everything else.

/Oh the poutrage!
//Meanwhile other mega-gaming-companies scrape lots of things off your computer that you are too dumb to know about.
 
2014-02-18 05:34:56 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: scottydoesntknow: Satanic_Hamster: Now if they could do the same on 14 year old n* bomb dropping racists, mic spammers, and little kids.

But Fark told me they only exist on consoles....

Consoles is far, far, FAR worse.  But you still get the occasional one.   More often to not it's just a dumb white teenager thinking they're cool by acting "black."

"Nice shot, my n*****."
!sm_ban Dude 5 Use of racial slurs in voice chat
"Hamster, you should have warned him before banning."
"A five minute ban IS a warning."


Mute function bro.  It saved TF2 for me on PC and KZ on my PS3.
 
2014-02-18 05:35:16 PM  

from the gospel of holy gaben himself:

Trust is a critical part of a multiplayer game community - trust in the developer, trust in the system, and trust in the other players. Cheats are a negative sum game, where a minority benefits less than the majority is harmed.

There are a bunch of different ways to attack a trust-based system including writing a bunch of code (hacks), or through social engineering (for example convincing people that the system isn't as trustworthy as they thought it was).

For a game like Counter-Strike, there will be thousands of cheats created, several hundred of which will be actively in use at any given time. There will be around ten to twenty groups trying to make money selling cheats.

We don't usually talk about VAC (our counter-hacking hacks), because it creates more opportunities for cheaters to attack the system (through writing code or social engineering).

This time is going to be an exception.

There are a number of kernel-level paid cheats that relate to this Reddit thread. Cheat developers have a problem in getting cheaters to actually pay them for all the obvious reasons, so they start creating DRM and anti-cheat code for their cheats. These cheats phone home to a DRM server that confirms that a cheater has actually paid to use the cheat.

VAC checked for the presence of these cheats. If they were detected VAC then checked to see which cheat DRM server was being contacted. This second check was done by looking for a partial match to those (non-web) cheat DRM servers in the DNS cache. If found, then hashes of the matching DNS entries were sent to the VAC servers. The match was double checked on our servers and then that client was marked for a future ban. Less than a tenth of one percent of clients triggered the second check. 570 cheaters are being banned as a result.

Cheat versus trust is an ongoing cat-and-mouse game. New cheats are created all the time, detected, banned, and tweaked. This specific VAC test for this specific round of cheats was effective for 13 days, which is fairly typical. It is now no longer active as the cheat providers have worked around it by manipulating the DNS cache of their customers' client machines.

Kernel-level cheats are expensive to create, and they are expensive to detect. Our goal is to make them more expensive for cheaters and cheat creators than the economic benefits they can reasonably expect to gain.

There is also a social engineering side to cheating, which is to attack people's trust in the system. If "Valve is evil - look they are tracking all of the websites you visit" is an idea that gets traction, then that is to the benefit of cheaters and cheat creators. VAC is inherently a scary looking piece of software, because it is trying to be obscure, it is going after code that is trying to attack it, and it is sneaky. For most cheat developers, social engineering might be a cheaper way to attack the system than continuing the code arms race, which means that there will be more Reddit posts trying to cast VAC in a sinister light.

Our response is to make it clear what we were actually doing and why with enough transparency that people can make their own judgements as to whether or not we are trustworthy.

Q&A

1) Do we send your browsing history to Valve? No.

2) Do we care what porn sites you visit? Oh, dear god, no. My brain just melted.

3) Is Valve using its market success to go evil? I don't think so, but you have to make the call if we are trustworthy. We try really hard to earn and keep your trust.

http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/1y70ej/valve_vac_and_tr ust/
 
2014-02-18 05:42:26 PM  
You know that xkcd comic about some hackers taking down an CIA website?
This is like that.

What dumb people hear: Valve is SPYING ON YOUR BROWSING HABITS!
What not dumb people hear: Valve's software scans some records on your computer and reports back if it thinks you're cheating.

Big whoop.
 
2014-02-18 05:58:16 PM  
If this was EA this thread would have over 1000 comments and calling for a lawsuit
 
2014-02-18 05:59:12 PM  

Honest Bender: You know that xkcd comic about some hackers taking down an CIA website?
This is like that.

What dumb people hear: Valve is SPYING ON YOUR BROWSING HABITS!
What not dumb people hear: Valve's software scans some records on your computer and reports back if it thinks you're cheating.

Big whoop.


THIS.

If VAC gets a positive on some form of cheating, it copies the MD5 hashes of your DNS cache entries and sends them to Valve to check against known "phone home Cheat program DRM sites" and bans you if it verifies against the list.

From what I gather, these sites are not normal web sites you'd be accidentally browsing, even if you were looking at the cheats, but rather sub-domains of some server. A good example in the legit app world is Adobe, which phones home on dozens of possible sites, none of them with accessible web pages.

The cheat hacks now just bypass the DNS cache by using hard-coded IPs.

This is a non-issue. Valve has always had permission to look at system resources through the ToS, but even so, it is an OS resource, not even your browser history. They don't really need permission to access it.
 
2014-02-18 06:00:35 PM  

Honest Bender: You know that xkcd comic about some hackers taking down an CIA website?
This is like that.

What dumb people hear: Valve is SPYING ON YOUR BROWSING HABITS!
What not dumb people hear: Valve's software scans some records on your computer and reports back if it thinks you're cheating.

Big whoop.


Bingo. Valve clarified this before the link was even approved. Nothing to see here.
 
2014-02-18 06:01:49 PM  

styckx: If this was EA this thread would have over 1000 comments and calling for a lawsuit


If this was EA, then all the reports about spying would be 100% true.
 
2014-02-18 06:04:53 PM  

scottydoesntknow: styckx: If this was EA this thread would have over 1000 comments and calling for a lawsuit

If this was EA, then all the reports about spying would be 100% true.


pointcounterpoint.jpg
 
2014-02-18 06:33:12 PM  

styckx: If this was EA this thread would have over 1000 comments and calling for a lawsuit


EA has a long history of being untrustworthy cock bags that are only interested in getting every last penny out of you and who have 0 respect for your privacy. Valve has a long history of being a trustworthy company that general cares about gaming and treats its customers well.

It is like if you have two neighbors. One is addicted to crack and anytime he is on your property he tries to get into everything, break shiat and fill his pockets with anything that isn't nailed down. The other typically brings a gift, thanks you for having him, and you have a great time with him.

Now pretend a 3rd neighbor says 'hey while you are at work I saw neighbor 1 or 2 in your back yard'. Would you probably be pissed if it was the crack head and assume he was up to some shiat while if it was the nice one you'd still want an explanation but would be willing to listen to what he has to say?
 
2014-02-18 07:23:18 PM  
 
2014-02-18 07:26:30 PM  
Of all the game/gaming companies out there I can think of, Valve has earned my trust leaps and bounds above the rest.
 
2014-02-18 07:36:49 PM  
But I don't want anyone to know that I visit Xhamster and Nudevista regularly.
 
2014-02-18 08:04:07 PM  
It's not really spying. It's a clandestine anti-cheating system where they generate a list of all the domains you recently visited and sends them to Valve where they are processed and stored indefinitely following an undisclosed policy.

So, no problems.
 
2014-02-18 08:08:16 PM  

ReverendJynxed: @ECHO OFF
ipconfig /flushdns
cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
start steam.exe


net stop dnscache

works much better.
 
2014-02-18 08:09:03 PM  

Joe USer: It's not really spying. It's a clandestine anti-cheating system where they generate a list of all the domains you recently visited and sends them to Valve where they are processed and stored indefinitely following an undisclosed policy.

So, no problems.


The list isn't sent and they already disclosed the policy...
 
2014-02-18 08:34:06 PM  

sheep snorter: Any true PC gamer has one machine for gaming and one machine for everything else.

/Oh the poutrage!
//Meanwhile other mega-gaming-companies scrape lots of things off your computer that you are too dumb to know about.


Any true porn connoisseur has one dedicated server farm for shucking the corn, and a separate machine to use while the blisters heal...
 
2014-02-18 08:42:46 PM  

Joe USer: It's a clandestine anti-cheating system where they generate a list of all the domains you recently visited and sends them to Valve where they are processed and stored indefinitely following an undisclosed policy.


retard alert
 
2014-02-18 08:48:52 PM  

scottydoesntknow: styckx: If this was EA this thread would have over 1000 comments and calling for a lawsuit

If this was EA, then all the reports about spying would be 100% true.


If this were EA, Sony entertainment would have already root kitted your machine.
 
2014-02-18 09:09:09 PM  

netweavr: Joe USer: It's not really spying. It's a clandestine anti-cheating system where they generate a list of all the domains you recently visited and sends them to Valve where they are processed and stored indefinitely following an undisclosed policy.

So, no problems.

The list isn't sent and they already disclosed the policy...


I was under the impression that a hashed list was sent, and the policy wasn't disclosed until after it was uncovered.
 
2014-02-18 09:15:02 PM  

spamdog: Joe USer: It's a clandestine anti-cheating system where they generate a list of all the domains you recently visited and sends them to Valve where they are processed and stored indefinitely following an undisclosed policy.

retard alert


Adults are speaking, go have a cookie.
 
2014-02-18 09:27:23 PM  

Lando Lincoln: exick: The hilarious part in this is that the guys who wrote the cheats worried so much about people using them and not paying for them, that they implemented phone-home DRM in their cheats, so cheaters wouldn't be able to cheat while they cheat.

Wait a minute. People pay for cheats? I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I don't miss playing CS. Little 13 year old kids screaming at me that I'm using cheats. I usually replied, "Yes, I totally am cheating. There's this new cheat out, called the 'skill' cheat. You should check it out."

I wonder if any of them actually Googled "Counterstrike skill cheat."

No, I wasn't some uber-player. Just better than most of those dweebs.



My cheating CSB:
A long time ago some friends of mine used to run a huge LAN party thing in the DC area every year. So we'd bring a CS server to this thing and have a grand 'ol time playing against whoever was there. There's a difference between cheating and skill, and if you have SOME amount of skill - and you don't have a fragile ego every time someone is better than you - you can tell the difference.

So there we are at this big 200 person LAN party, our clan's server is up and people are having a grand 'ol time coming on and playing with us/against us. This one guy seemed to be obviously cheating and we noticed some of the things he was doing... like actually tracking people through walls. So we're like, wait a minute, that guy's hacking isn't he? Oh shiat, he is! And some of the other folks there agreed and start looking around.

And in seconds they found him.... Sitting in the aisle directly behind us. At a LAN party. With his cheats all active and the screen facing the people he was cheating against. We all were sitting in the same row, turned around and were like, "OH YEAH! Look at that! So that's what cheats look like..." But we didn't get mad, we didn't even kick him off the server....... Because we were STILL kicking his ass. He was cheating out in the open and still getting his ass kicked. The other folks were gathering around and every time he got killed they'd be doubled over laughing. There were people laughing at him so hard they were in tears. I think he ended up packing up his stuff and leaving. The organizers might have asked him to leave, I don't remember, but I do know that no one would have been able to stay after that much ridicule.
 
2014-02-18 09:42:32 PM  

sprawl15: from the gospel of holy gaben himself:Trust is a critical part of a multiplayer game community - trust in the developer, trust in the system, and trust in the other players. Cheats are a negative sum game, where a minority benefits less than the majority is harmed.

There are a bunch of different ways to attack a trust-based system including writing a bunch of code (hacks), or through social engineering (for example convincing people that the system isn't as trustworthy as they thought it was).

For a game like Counter-Strike, there will be thousands of cheats created, several hundred of which will be actively in use at any given time. There will be around ten to twenty groups trying to make money selling cheats.

We don't usually talk about VAC (our counter-hacking hacks), because it creates more opportunities for cheaters to attack the system (through writing code or social engineering).

This time is going to be an exception.

There are a number of kernel-level paid cheats that relate to this Reddit thread. Cheat developers have a problem in getting cheaters to actually pay them for all the obvious reasons, so they start creating DRM and anti-cheat code for their cheats. These cheats phone home to a DRM server that confirms that a cheater has actually paid to use the cheat.

VAC checked for the presence of these cheats. If they were detected VAC then checked to see which cheat DRM server was being contacted. This second check was done by looking for a partial match to those (non-web) cheat DRM servers in the DNS cache. If found, then hashes of the matching DNS entries were sent to the VAC servers. The match was double checked on our servers and then that client was marked for a future ban. Less than a tenth of one percent of clients triggered the second check. 570 cheaters are being banned as a result.

Cheat versus trust is an ongoing cat-and-mouse game. New cheats are created all the time, detected, banned, and tweaked. This specific VAC test for this specific ...


Yeah that was nice, he came in personally to shut this rumor down.
 
2014-02-18 09:42:59 PM  
Honestly, I wouldn't care if Valve actually did monitor my porn habits, if it made Half-Life 3 show up faster.
 
2014-02-18 09:45:49 PM  

PirateKing: Honestly, I wouldn't care if Valve actually did monitor my porn habits, if it made Half-Life 3 show up faster.


And if you could duel wield a portal gun with a grav gun.
 
2014-02-18 09:47:55 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: PirateKing: Honestly, I wouldn't care if Valve actually did monitor my porn habits, if it made Half-Life 3 show up faster.

And if you could duel wield a portal gun with a grav gun.


^ yes! and maybe some new gun... HL3 is a myth...
 
2014-02-18 09:53:59 PM  
Good.  Now if they'd only give us moving .gif sprays, I could knock out two birds with one stone.
 
2014-02-19 05:37:36 AM  

Lando Lincoln: exick: The hilarious part in this is that the guys who wrote the cheats worried so much about people using them and not paying for them, that they implemented phone-home DRM in their cheats, so cheaters wouldn't be able to cheat while they cheat.

Wait a minute. People pay for cheats? I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I don't miss playing CS. Little 13 year old kids screaming at me that I'm using cheats. I usually replied, "Yes, I totally am cheating. There's this new cheat out, called the 'skill' cheat. You should check it out."

I wonder if any of them actually Googled "Counterstrike skill cheat."

No, I wasn't some uber-player. Just better than most of those dweebs.


I played from 1.3 to when Source came out. I remember everyone biatching about 1.6 and people staying on 1.5 servers to "keep it real"

It was always quite flattering to be accused of cheating.

I miss it though. How is this latest release? Global Ops or whatever it's called
 
2014-02-19 06:58:05 AM  

PirateKing: Honestly, I wouldn't care if Valve actually did monitor my porn habits, if it made Half-Life 3 show up faster.


Unfortunately, it turns out that monitoring your porn habits is actually what is causing the continuing delay of Half-Life 3 showing up, as Valve's developers end up spending far too much time on those sites and not enough working on the game. :(
 
2014-02-19 06:59:48 AM  
I find it a tad intrusive that this isn't an opt-in thing for those who play online, I don't like that their default client now has the functionality to scan your dns cache.

I understand they are trying to stop cheaters and they are trying to use this ability as minimally as possible and only as the escalated effort to confirm a person is cheating.  But still, this is a slope they are now slipping upon, everyone remember all the lengths that Ubisoft went to trying to thwart piracy?  I trust Steam a hell of a lot more then your average gaming company...but this is over-reaching their client's purpose on my computer and I don't like that.  I never liked that those FPS games installed all those anti-cheating services on my system like punk buster either.

I'm starting to really like the android style selective permissions for apps thing, this is a situation where I'd flatly tell the steam client "No, no dns cache, not yours, you have no business looking at that and I don't care why you think you need to."
 
2014-02-19 07:02:14 AM  

Joe USer: net stop dnscache

works much better.


Hehehe, nice.  And next week we're going to hear Gabe defending why the steam client bans you if it detects that service isn't running.
 
2014-02-19 07:04:38 AM  
SO they use it to spot PC gamers that cheat? How is there anyone still left playing?
 
2014-02-19 11:54:09 AM  

BumpInTheNight: Joe USer: net stop dnscache

works much better.

Hehehe, nice.  And next week we're going to hear Gabe defending why the steam client bans you if it detects that service isn't running.


I sure hope not, I have a caching DNS server sitting next to my workstation, so the local DNS cache is off.
 
Displayed 50 of 52 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter








In Other Media
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report