Feeds

‘Spyware’ games developer says you have nothing to fear

Here in black and white

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Letter We have read your article about Spyware (Spyware concerns over fast selling PC game and I would just like to make it absolutely clear what Black and White does with respect to the internet information we send.

Clearly in the multiplayer game, a lot of data is sent but this is just game related.

In the single player game we make requests for weather data (if this is enabled) containing your user registration details so that the server can look up your city and weather associated with your city.

Additionally, every 3 minutes we send a UDP packet containing 8 bytes - packet length, packet type (i.e. a ping packet type = 4225) and your registration ID (if you have registered, otherwise just a hash of your name with a high bit set). The originating IP is also available through winsock.

If you have any friends in your friend list, then additionally every 3 minutes a request containing length, type (user list request=4227) and a list of your friends' registration IDs is sent to the server. If the server thinks that any of your friends are online then it will return their IP address so that you can chat to them.

We cannot make any comment about pirated versions of Black and White because we have no information as to exactly which version of the software was hacked in order to get a pirate copy.

Another point is that it would appear that some machines have a configuration which we did not come across in our testing that may cause a dial-up requestor or a hang to occur when one of these packets is sent.

There is a simple way around this - make sure that the program is run with the command line option : /NOINETCONN. This will actually prevent any
packets ever being sent over the internet at any time in the single player game. So if anyone is having any problems then we suggest you try this option.

I have also read comments that data is sent when Black and White is not playing. No data is sent when Black and White is not playing.

Tim

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.