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A Note About "Fishing Bully" Extortion Scams

PostPosted: 23 Feb 2009, 17:55
by Seven Shikami
Hello! Seven Shikami, lead technical designer for 7Seas here. I'd like to talk to you about cheating and hacks and how they by and large do not exist.

Someone lately with an Obvious Alt Name has been going around to fishing areas saying "I can send the wrong fish to you, I can take your scores off boards, I can clone your rod UUID and take away your scores and put them on the board in my name, pay me or I'll ruin your fishing." That someone is attempting to SCAM and EXTORT protection money from you.

Rest assured that these things are not physically possible.

If anybody comes to you making threats like these:

1. File an Abuse Report with Linden Lab(tm). This is griefing.

2. Send the offender's name and a relevant chat log to 7Seas Sass.

This goes for anybody claiming they have a "hack" in our game. False or true, it doesn't matter, we need to know who it is and how they claim they're doing it. Send names and chat logs to 7Seas Sass. If you care about the health of this game, if you have fun playing it, if you want us to keep running it, we need to know about these things as soon as possible and with as much accuracy as possible (no "a certain someone told someone about a thing, I think").

Now then, let's get technical. Those willing to accept us at our word that things are actually fine and not horribly broken can stop here. :) Ahem! Onward.

WHY SOMEONE CAN'T FORCE YOU TO GET THE WRONG FISH: Fish requests and deliveries don't actually come from the "local fishing servers", they're determined entirely by the fishing rod itself with no input, no controlling influence from anything else in SL. Nothing can order your rod to get this fish or that fish, or to produce this XP or that XP. Even Custom Prize Givers work like this.
CAVEAT: SL's asset servers going weird or a user accidentally muting our item servers can cause a fish request to fail, but nobody can use mystical haxx0r powers to forcibly take away your fish or send you the wrong fish.

WHY SOMEONE CAN'T BLOCK YOUR SCORES FROM A CONTEST: There's no way for any scripted gadget in SL to STOP another gadget from talking on a channel. That's just not how Second Life works. Rods always broadcast their catches, without any way to tell them not to, and there's no way to tell the scoreboard not to listen to a specific person's score.
CAVEAT: As it says in our manuals, in a 30+ fisher contest or in a sim with too many scripts, SL itself can be too slow to "keep up" with all the scores coming in -- but this is not something any individual griefer can control. It's just like bad weather.

WHY SOMEONE CAN'T DRAIN YOUR SCORE ON THE BOARD: There's nothing in the scoreboards to allow any score to go DOWN. They can only go UP. On top of that, only the owner of the fishing rod can make their own scores go up; we have security hashes in place so that attempts to forge communication from another fisher or another device will fail and be ignored. Which leads me finally to...

WHY SOMEONE CAN'T CLONE YOUR SCORES: They can't 'clone' your UUID. A UUID is a Unique Identifier -- a tag that labels the object in Second Life. No two objects in SL share the same UUID, and every time you wear your rod, it gets a new UUID. Even if someone knew your fishing rod's UUID, they can't clone your scores, because we have security hashes in place that verify if the sender matches the score being sent in -- and since they can't dupe a UUID, the security check will fail and the score would be rejected.

I hope this helps smooth out any worries folks have. If someone comes to you claiming they can wreck your day with hacks, as noted above, report them. And don't put up with fish bullies!


Re: A Note About "Fishing Bully" Extortion Scams

PostPosted: 24 Feb 2009, 07:45
by Sovka Canning
I havn't encountered this guy, but thanks for the heads up. If i do encounter him, I'll send you a chat log ASAP.


Re: A Note About "Fishing Bully" Extortion Scams

PostPosted: 26 Feb 2009, 19:19
by Rails
thanks for the heads-up, just cant send you the chat logs, that in itself is a breach of TOS, but I would and do abuse report ALL scammers anyway

Re: A Note About "Fishing Bully" Extortion Scams

PostPosted: 27 Feb 2009, 10:41
by Seven Shikami
If not logs, at least tell us WHO is pulling these scams, if you run into anybody doing this. Same goes for anybody who hacks the game -- we need to know who's doing it in order to prepare countermeasures, etc. Don't let griefers hide behind anonymity! Thanks.

Re: A Note About "Fishing Bully" Extortion Scams

PostPosted: 30 Mar 2009, 09:01
by Sovka Canning
Rails wrote:thanks for the heads-up, just cant send you the chat logs, that in itself is a breach of TOS, but I would and do abuse report ALL scammers anyway

Sending chat logs may be in breach of the TOS, but if someone is griefing or scamming, i'm sending a chat log anyway as proof of the crime. It may be in violation of the TOS, but griefing and scamming are worse violations and i'll take my chances for sending a chat log to catch the crook.

Re: A Note About "Fishing Bully" Extortion Scams

PostPosted: 03 Apr 2009, 09:32
by Jen Shikami
For our collective reference, Rails is referring to section 4 of the community standards at , not the Terms of Service.

That said, abuse reports are a clear exception to that rule. ARs, by definition, include chat logs and other information sent without the other party's consent.

And although it's not set that way right now, as region administrators for Flotsam Beach, we could set ARs to go straight to us (thus letting us see the same information)... My point being, if somebody is doing something AR-worthy related to us, you could argue that it doesn't violate community standards to give us AR-type information considering LL gives us a currently-not-exercised right to collect that information.

Regardless -- whether you want to send an actual chat log or not, please just tell us who's doing it and give us some information on what they're claiming to be able to do. :)