Tue, Oct 25 2005 6:17
Software hack reveals online game maker's "spying"
Are software programs designed to catch cheaters and software pirates
and report them a violation of privacy? That's the central question in
an online debate between security expert Greg Hoglund and Blizzard
Entertainment, the maker of the popular World of Warcraft game.
Three weeks ago, Hoglund discovered
that Blizzard's games also install a program, dubbed "The Warden," that
checks a player's computer memory for running processes that match
certain software tools that are considered cheats. The check is
automatic, only reports violators, and explicitly allowed under the
terms of service and end-user license agreement. Hoglund, the CEO of
software analysis firm HBGary, argues that the anti-cheating tool is also spyware.Blizzard disagrees.
Now, Hoglund has created a tool
that he calls "the Governor" to show players what the Warden program is
actually doing. He hopes that the demonstration will expand consumer's definition of spyware.
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