Spyware "Red Shell" found in lots of PC Games

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by ADV, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. ADV

    ADV Member

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    Very unsettling news for everyone. This is not an infection, the developers deliberately inserted this spyware into their games. Including big names like Bethesda and popular games like kerbal space program.

    Original reddit post (constantly updated):
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/8pud8b/psa_red_shell_spyware_holy_potatoes_were_in_space/

    Games that contain Red Shell (updated google doc):
    by Madjoki
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...dn0EiDRG3crtNXNhPESz8ZLL2KVDULnm9D-VB/pubhtml

    What data does Red Shell collect (so far)?
    • API key (Publishers and/or game identifier?)
    • User Identifier (SteamID as recommended)
    • Operating System
    • Screen resolution
    • Installed Fonts
    • Browsers
    Source:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comm..._spyware_holy_potatoes_were_in_space/e0e6uy1/


    HOW TO BLOCK RED SHELL

    by manghoti

    Source:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/8pud8b/psa_red_shell_spyware_holy_potatoes_were_in_space/e0fuixl/

    How to modify hosts file:

    https://support.rackspace.com/how-to/modify-your-hosts-file/

    Note:
    hosts file does not have an extension, will have to put *.* inside the 'open file' dialog of notepad to view it and open it. Also, requires right click > 'open as administrator' on notepad.exe, otherwise file can't be saved.

    What to insert into host file:

    mac/linux:
    0.0.0.0 redshell.io api.redshell.io
    0.0.0.0 treasuredata.com api.treasuredata.com

    Windows:
    0.0.0.0 redshell.io
    0.0.0.0 api.redshell.io
    0.0.0.0 treasuredata.com
    0.0.0.0 in.treasuredata.com
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
    Dass Booty, adz, Sphinx2000 and 3 others like this.
  2. power

    power Member

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    quite a few titles by the looks, nothing I've bought.

     
  3. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    Any idea on what actual data has been stolen? Also is it linked to a particular user?

    Lastly, I just don't understand why game developers would put this shit into their games in the first place especially without telling the consumer. What's in it for the developer? Because they know all too well what an upset customer base can accomplish. This makes no sense. People spazed the fuck out when Wildcard publicly announced battleeye to AS:E and demanded they have an opt-out option.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    ADV

    ADV Member

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    it sends at least:
    • API key (Publishers and/or game identifier?)
    • User Identifier (SteamID as recommended)
    • Operating System
    • Screen resolution
    • Installed Fonts
    • Browsers
    Source:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comm..._spyware_holy_potatoes_were_in_space/e0e6uy1/
     
  5. havabeer

    havabeer Member

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    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  6. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    So I heard you like "Book Antiqua" font. Perhaps you would also like our "Georgia" font? :lol:
     
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  7. purehybrid

    purehybrid Member

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    Might seem funny, but installed fonts is actually one of the key uniqueness identifiers in this sort of thing.
     
    spootmonkey likes this.
  8. Deano_20802

    Deano_20802 Member

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    Thanks for the heads up :D

    It sounds detrimental to the developers, so why do it?


    I laughed too, but it's actually rather concerning.
     
  9. walker_2003

    walker_2003 Member

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    meh they can have it.. my phone hands out much more personal stuff
     
    metamorphosis likes this.
  10. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    wrong wrong wrong attitude. This is the sort of attitude that has got us to the point of your phone handing out much more personal stuff.
     
  11. walker_2003

    walker_2003 Member

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    Yet the sun comes up each morning. Its funny how much people whinge about privacy with windows 10 etc and now these games but you will install an app that you hand over everything for without question.
     
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  12. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    People like you deserve all the bad shit they let happen, we as a nation of apathetic late whingers only complain after the horse has bolted about our rights and privacy. The data is not anonymous, it is traceable especially if it is associated with a steam id, you say you have nothing to hide but when your employer finds out you've been playing <INSERT LATEST A GRADE TITLE> on a sicky and uses it for grounds for dismissal, or your health insurance permiums go up because the insurer has access to how many hours you waste playing games and being inactive, will the data seem innocuous?

    I've worked for big banks and finance for a long time, I know how intrusive innocuous data gathering can be.

    Lastly, why should a government be concerned with your activities online, especially why should they be concerned with your opinions? Because of the boogey men (terrorists), well statistically you are more likely to be injured in your house by your own dumbness then by some deranged loony, but don't let that stop you from allowing every facet of your life be tracked and manipulated.
     
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  13. walker_2003

    walker_2003 Member

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    Meh, let's see your phone apps and permissions, bet I spot some hypocritical items. Don't use health insurance and my boss knows I game on sickies, what else are they for? I was previously a data analyst I know what can be done with data but I don't stress the little things.

    Unless I've read wrong so far all that is shared is

    • API key (Publishers and/or game identifier?)
    • User Identifier (SteamID as recommended)
    • Operating System
    • Screen resolution
    • Installed Fonts
    • Browsers.
    None of that bothers me in the slightest. It doesn't show gaming time (though I guess that can be calculated by visiting profile) but it doesn't identify me. Just a steam ID.

    If they step up the items shared I'll consider more action but for now. I'll stress about real problems not trivial crap.

    #tinfoilhat
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    ipv6ready likes this.
  14. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    You are completely missing the point. The point is not what data they are gathering now. The point is they did this without consent, without notification and because of the secretive nature of this could change what data they gather whenever they feel like it again without the end user knowing any different.

    Shit you wouldn't even know about this, if it wasn't for some dude on the internet who discovered it. The original post is a reddit not a news story, not from government.
     
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  15. walker_2003

    walker_2003 Member

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    True. At least apps let you know to a degree they are spying on you. It's a worrying trend if this is allowed I spose. It's just the info it has at the moment I am fine with. If games start adding more intrusive stuff without permission it is a worry.
     
  16. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Australian Metadata collection, records must include identification of account and IP used, match IP with recorded account with steam ID, picture in focus yet?
     
  17. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    I am SOooooooooo worried now that they know what font i'm using! Just think of all the things they can do with that information!!!!
     
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  18. BAK

    BAK Member

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    Regardless of what information it shares, it's spyware slipped in sharing details you didn't expect with people you're not sure about. The behaviour of companies that do things like this should be concerning.
     
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  19. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    Agree 100%... it's this kind of thinking that makes people willing submit their personal details all over the place.

    CIA must be laughing their asses off.

    JSmith
     
  20. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Considering the recently enforced GDPR laws, this would be illegal in all of the EU.

    The problem isn't so much this particular bit of spyware (although it collects more than enough to uniquely identify your PC, it's trivial to then link that even further via browser), but the general trend that companies think it's ok, to collect data on their users without consent, or even awareness. It's plain wrong.

    To those OK with it, when are you not OK with it? what will you do then?

    And to think you pay for the privilege of being secretly spied on.

    It's a slippery slope, and everyone not complaining now, makes it easier for them to turn on more collection in the future, via a patch, or even a config change sent via the games servers.

    Windows and shit like this is the prime reason I've stopped PC gaming and using WIndows/Mac altogether.

    I have a Xbox, but that's firewalled off of the rest of my network, it has no access to anything of mine, I don't explicitly put in myself.
     

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