PDA

View Full Version : Banning Cheats, an ARGUMENT



GreenBean-HH-
05-22-2008, 01:22 PM
So, regarding the evidence required to ban a cheat, lets see, you need:

1) a PBSS (PunkBuster Screen Shot) which shows the players GUID, name and visually shows that they are in fact using something which anyone can see with their own eyes. Or,

2) A log which is streamed to an AC (AntiCheat) service so that the log can be verified so as not to be used improperly by someone who wants revenge for something (good idea). The log data can show if a Cvar (scripted variables to alter the way the game works) is in use that provides the cheater with an unfair advantage.

Ok, these are really 2 very good and important core ways to ban a cheat. They are solid and irrefutable (impossible to deny or disprove).

Did I miss something? If I did please post!

_________________________________________________
In the real world, the current banning system would be like saying that a murderer can only be convicted and sent to jail if

1) There is video of the person committing the crime or
2) There is DNA evidence.


But in the real world there is a preponderance of all the evidence in trials. In criminal cases, in order to make a conviction with circumstantial evidence, the evidence must meet a rigorous standard much greater than in a civil hearing, but the point here is that you can convict someone of murder (or other crimes) without 'video' (like PBSS) or 'dna' (like PB Logs) evidence. So why do we set our gaming standards sooooo high?

For one, we are not organized like real courts, that is when reviewing a case, there is no judge, no jury and no defense attorney for the accused. On the other hand, we could set something like this up if there was a will.

The point here is that there is a lot more data which is available to 'convict' cheaters. Right now cheaters and their suppliers are busy focusing their efforts in defeating PunkBuster software and other PB related efforts. Their effort is focused and you could say limited to defeating one thing - PunkBuster. That's like the criminal saying, "I just cover myself in plastic, did the crime, burned the plastic, there was no evidence, and I got away with it even though there were people standing around watching me."

_________________________________________________
Lets create an example of how using other data might work to catch cheats, for argument sake:

1) There must be some video recording of the individual playing.
2) There must be a log/or PBSS that verifies that the player in the video is the actual player, confirmed with the players GUID.
3) There must be obvious (high standard) use of a cheat which, while not picked up by punkbuster, can not be denied.
4) There must be other data that shows the individual probably cheats (lower standard) to support the claim.
5) There must be a judge to oversee the collection & storage of data, presentation of material and that all procedures are followed as outlined.
6) There must be a jury of at least 4 to review the data and make a determination.
7) There must be a defense (if the player choses to fight the allegation, without prejudice if they choose not to fight it).
8.) There must be a verdict of innocent or guilty.
9) There must be a ban if found guilty.
10) Throughout this process the person's identity must not be revealed or the case will be closed without prejudice against the accused, unless found guilty.


_________________________________________________
So what do you think? Please make your case for 'keeping the system the same', or, making your case for 'making 'additions' to the way things are done'. Or, correction, additions, comments... whatever comes to mind, any comment is constructive so do not hesitate in adding your thoughts to this discussion.

!AR!BlackHawk
05-22-2008, 03:36 PM
For sure you got your point there Greenbean, and i have to agree that something has to change. A International eSports complaints organization "could" in theory work if its setup the right way. And there you enter a hole new world, and at the point that you do that you end up with the following problem.

-Player Identification

Its something people have been trying to do for years now. We started off with a IP Address, after that PunkBuster came online with the GUID idea, but a fact is, there is no way to permanently keep someone of a server, someday they will be able to come back and do the same thing again. There is no way to create a "online prison" which could lock up someone for a life time virtually (And i'm more then happy that we dont). You would have to go to there homes, knock on there doors and put them behind bars, yourself. Which is simply never going to happen.

We have seen this problem with virus developers, illegal software publishers and much more.
And after all these years (10 years) what happend to this stuff which is officially illegal by law... Indeed, nothing. They just moved onto a next target. And when law gets to close again, they move to the next target/objective ect. ect.

Secondly we dont need to forget that this "Cheat Problem" isnt just writing a few codes. There are millions and millions of dollars behind this all.

Take a real close look at this:

lets say ill buy a cheat from a well know cheat website (who have more then 100.000 registered users for about 50$ (Which is still cheap), now here is my calculation.

Lets say 25000 people buyed the cheats from this website.

25000p x 50$ = 1250000$ Cash

Now lets say this Cheat Site is a network

5 x 25000 - 125000 x 50 = 6250000$ You think this is just a normal person.
Nope we are fighting a organization, a criminal org. Which "because there is NO supervision/ inspection by any legal organization. I think i've made my point.

If you want a organization doing supervision, then you need to be able to procure justice, which banning "a GUID" will never ever STOP this problem, it maybe helps for 30% which means 70% still walks away without a problem.

There is a market, and thats what they know.
Until thats terminated they will never ever stop the same process that they have been doing for years, which is blocking the "END USERS" do they hurt the HARDCORE / Criminal Organizations with this.... Nope they never will.

What we are waiting for is,

LAW, (Also this doesn't give the right effect, and it never has)
So we end up at our community, where it all started.

GreenBean-HH-
05-22-2008, 04:46 PM
Great points BlackHawk,

First, I should of pointed out that HackHunters also wants to have discussions on a variety of topics, like this one, to stimulate new ideas and approaches to solving the cheating problem. We may initiate many topics, like, 'Cheaters Anonymous - a 10 step program to becoming a honest person again!'. ;D hehehe

I don't think I was suggesting making banning someone similar to 'real' criminals by actually 'knocking on doors' or even dreaming of somehow creating a system that could impose a real permanent ban on any individual. But if someone is banned, they would have to go through steps in order to be able to play again, potentially costing them more money. Our mission would of been successful if this is the case because as more of those 100,000 plus registered users of the cheat websites learn that it will cost them more money to continue their activities, the less of them would be willing to take the risk.

And for the person who was banned, they would have to 'risk it' again if they chose to use cheats again. That's all. No real jail for cheaters and no real expectation that once banned it would be permanent. We all know that the banned cheater could change their IP and GUID and come back under a different ID.

The manufacturers of cheats, whether they're breaking real laws or not is a topic for the game manufacturers and their lawyers. Us gamers should stay out of that fight all together.

And you're right about how much money is involved. We AC's are cash poor and they're cash rich - that's the way it is. But what's right is right and we must do our best to not only change attitudes of cheaters but if necessary punish cheaters who abuse innocent people with bans. That is all we can do which is enough.

When you mention
A International eSports complaints organization "could" in theory work if its setup the right way. And there you enter a hole new world... I think the fact is that there is a fear to do something more beyond what is at a 'dna' level of evidence. This thread is only to discuss the possibilities, sort out the problems and see if those problems can be overcome, and if it develops, maybe test it a few times to see if the results could be relied upon. As with PBSS and PB Cvar detection, the results would have to be 100% positive for every 'guilty' verdict.

From what I've read on cheats sites, the cheaters biggest fear is being caught. Why? Many belong to clans and being discovered and banned is a hugh embarrassment & risk as all of their clan friends would then know that the person they trusted was actually stabbing them in the back. I think this is the real punishment. The banned person would have to seek out a new clan community and put on the face of an honest player, or go it alone (and that's at least less fun because then you are truly alone), or join a cheat clan (which are pretty easy to spot).

Just a few weeks ago I noticed one player applying for a Trusted Associate badge at an AC service, who was promptly denied because of past bans. I know this individual because they happened to comment on the HackHunters idea in a different clan forum. Besides applying to different AC organizations, do you know what else he's doing to live down his cheating past? In his sig are images of 'no cheat'... 'AC badges' and other things he's got animated which reflect the lengths he's going to, to clear his name and paint a picture that he's trustworthy. That's extraordinary. :)

Law and enforcement. I leave that to the lawyers and elected officials... hmmm, I see another topic here.

!AR!BlackHawk
05-22-2008, 06:52 PM
Exactly,

Atm we "as Community" are doing fine though it could be better, everybody will agree with that i'm sure. We already made it to a level that 5 years ago we couldn't even dream of.

Game Developers, unsure what i can say about them. I have the idea that they are stuck in the middle. They have a publisher who loves the attention of cheats and cheats busting, as it brings a word forward (bad/good news doesn't matter, aslong as sales increase) At the other side we game the Game Developers who love to see there hard work grow to a masterlevel.

So i dont see much action there in the future, there a sitting duck at this moment.


I think the fact is that there is a fear to do something more beyond what is at a 'dna' level of evidence. This thread is only to discuss the possibilities, sort out the problems and see if those problems can be overcome, and if it develops, maybe test it a few times to see if the results could be relied upon. As with PBSS and PB Cvar detection, the results would have to be 100% positive for every 'guilty' verdict.

I got other info about this problem, but ill keep that to my self atm, i have my reasons hehe.

Though i can say that this has something todo with the amount of market share a AC-Organization has, if you are "not needed" you lose clients which is the income of these kind of websites.

GreenBean-HH-
05-23-2008, 06:47 PM
Taken from PunksBusted here: http://www.punksbusted.com/wiki/index.php/Cheaters_Recorded_On_Demo

Cheaters Recorded On Demo
While demos can show clear evidence of cheating, unfortunately they don't provide any solid means of identifying the player involved.
Demo evidence has historically been used to support bans on the MBL, however the potential for faked evidence means demo submissions are not now accepted. This is also the case for demos supplied with a screenshot or logs showing the player's GUID, as there is no way to prove a relationship between these and a demo.
Players who have recorded demos showing cheaters in action should contact the admin of the server involved, or a competition admin if the demo was recorded in a competitive match.

_________________________________________________
I think this can be resolved by employing a few methods while recording the cheater:
1) The cheat is recorded in spec.
2) The cheat is recorded via a killcam.
3) The people doing the recording and submitting the logs 'testify' to their validity.
4) There is a witness to verify the legitimacy of the gathering of data.

I think the idea that 'self-imposed' limits is okay for organizations such as PunksBusted because they offer a set of verifiable tools that are 'dna' accurate and irrefutable. This is without a doubt the best means to tackle the cheat problem. But there is a slight problem with this, it doesn't catch everyone who cheats.... in fact it may be missing a very large percentage of people and probably totally missing those who have the most experience with cheating, i.e. it is probably catching a larger percentage of 'cheap' and 'newbie' types of cheaters.

I don't think this has to be the end of the story just because it isn't a preferred method and I understand that employing something else like what is suggested here implies a 'subjective' judgement but I have a feeling that a combined effort might actually have the greatest impact on the cheat community.

Obviously, someone with malicious intent might try and frame someone who they dislike... like a cheater trying to frame an AC person to discredit them. But if there is a system of checks and balances in place (i.e. verifiable evidence) that shows an individual to be using cheats, then I think they need to be held accountable.

This whole system seems like, for example, people witness someone robbing a store but, because the Police didn't see the crime, they won't arrest the individual who walks right past them. In the real world an individual may employ their right to make a citizens arrest.

I'm not suggesting that existing AC services change their policy, but I might suggest that maybe there could be another organization which offers, with strict checks and balances, the ability to review video and other evidence and make an informed, adult, unbiased, decision.

!AR!BlackHawk
05-23-2008, 07:02 PM
As far as i know PsB made a Demo Recording tool a long time ago,
This tool stored the Ingame /PB_PLIST information (which are the GUIDs) of the players that where ingame. Problem was it nearly never worked as for some reason the GUID information didnt got saved with the demo.

GreenBean-HH-
05-23-2008, 07:51 PM
As far as i know PsB made a Demo Recording tool a long time ago,
This tool stored the Ingame /PB_PLIST information (which are the GUIDs) of the players that where ingame. Problem was it nearly never worked as for some reason the GUID information didnt got saved with the demo.


That's probably why PunksBusted abandoned the idea, they had trouble linking the logs with the demo, or, I can imagine that if the pb_plist shows all of the players ingame, then how do you know which one the demo is made of, that is, it doesn't actually link the player GUID and demo together.

They also made mention on their website: 'logistics', that is, it takes time to review demos.

Still, it sounds like it might be a useful tool to have around, especially for clans who might like to use it for their own internal bans.

!AR!BlackHawk
05-23-2008, 09:08 PM
Last related "Demo Tool" topic at PunksBusted:
http://www.punksbusted.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=46325&st=0