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Punkbusted Too Far?

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Punk Busted...Forever

 

Wednesday June 30th, 2004

The cost of hacking on PunkBuster servers has just gone up significantly. PunkBuster now computes Hardware GUIDs for various pieces of hardware on players' systems while playing on PunkBuster servers. We use multiple private one-way hashes so that no serial number information for individual computers can be determined by admins or anyone else who may try to obtain this information from a Hardware GUID (and as always, no personal information of any kind is examined, stored or transmitted by PunkBuster). When players raise a violation that corresponds to hacking or interfering with PunkBuster's normal operation, we now (in addition to Global PB GUID bans) are Globally banning the new Hardware GUIDs across all games supported by PunkBuster (including games supported in the future). So punks who are determined to cheat so badly on PB-enabled servers that they try to hack PunkBuster may now need a new computer in addition to a new cdkey in order to return to PunkBuster servers. As with previous PB GUID Global bans, the new Hardware GUID bans are permanent and will not be lifted. As always, players who are affected by these Global bans will still be able to play on non-PB servers. Honest users should never "test" hacks that claim to interfere with PunkBuster. We have successfully tested this new feature set over the past few weeks for a few supported games and will be rolling it out to all supported games over the next few days and weeks. Additionally, PunkBuster servers will be updated to signify whether kicks for Global bans are for PB GUIDs or the new Hardware GUIDs.

 

 

This is news that everyone should take a deep breath after reading and seriouly think about all it's "BIG BROTHER" consequences.

 

I completely agree that there needs to be a means to eliminate HACKs while online gaming...I think we all can agree to that. However, I think I would draw the line a little more narrow then what EvenBalance has done. Any Cheat Detection software should detect cheaters...and kick them from a game. Should it go so far as to ban them permanently from ever playing again... NO

 

Why?

 

1) I have no problems with players that have onced used a cheat...but are clean.

2) What if you sell your computer...can the new owner play any games? NO

3) How will game developers react knowing that they now have thousands of customers that have no reason to buy their product...because of someone elses software?

 

PB has really gone way to far with HARDWARE GUID Bans. And I personally think that GLOBAL banning across all games that use PunkBusters to detect cheating is a little far as well...maybe a 10 day timeout is in order, but if someone cheats in Call of Duty, but doesn't in America's Army, should they be banned PERMANENTLY from both..as well as FarCry, Battlefield Vietnam, and any other future game that may be released? This is ludicris IMHO.

 

I can rant about this all day, but it's simply like getting you Driver's Liscense Permanently REVOKED for a speeding ticket.

 

There is NO support thru Evenbalance except thru email. There needs to be a Forum and/or maybe ticket support. Most webmasters shy away from webhost that don't have good support....ESPECIALLY if their only support is EMAIL! My opinion is the Game Developers need to Dictate to PB...not the other way around.

 

Expect this topic to heat up over the next days, months, and into 2005....I think you'll see some changes...at least I hope.

 

GUID:  Short for Globally Unique Identifier, a unique 128-bit number that is produced by the Windows OS or by some Windows applications to identify a particular component, application, file, database entry, and/or user. For instance, a Web site may generate a GUID and assign it to a user's browser to record and track the session. A GUID is also used in a Windows registry to identify COM DLLs. Knowing where to look in the registry and having the correct GUID yields a lot information about a COM object (i.e., information in the type library, its physical location, etc.). Windows also identifies user accounts by a username (computer/domain and username) and assigns it a GUID. Some database administrators even will use GUIDs as primary key values in databases.

GUIDs can be created in a number of ways, but usually they are a combination of a few unique settings based on specific point in time (e.g., an IP address, network MAC address, clock date/time, etc.).

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AGreed, this is taking things too far. I've already read far too many time people getting mistakenly banned and having a hell of a time getting things worked out. As much as I hate cheaters in-game, I think they've gone over the line here...

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Looks like the folks over at PB are fanatical when it comes to preventing hackers, huh? I agree, it's a bit overboard.

Edited by Falcon Six Two

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Guest [667th]_Methusela

i think everyone agrees cheaters will never reach their real potential ..... but PB banning hardware is a bit rough .... i think people should be penalised per game - whether that is permanent or a set period is yet another debatable topic ....

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There was a huge issue w/Witness being banned but he was detected using the MD5 too. Problem was that Tony Ray had stated it was a beta release and to treat it as such. By the time it was over Witness had been dragged thru the mud for 3 months, then Tony Ray himself had to issue a letter saying that Wit probably didn't do it.

 

Witness got the head EB guy involved cuz of who he is and how he's helped the gaming community. You or I might not be so lucky.

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