Tracking down cheaters

This little suggestion can also tie in with my recent suggestion of implementation of hardware banning (for extreme repeat offenders).

With the implementation of logging device hardware IDs, they could also be a way to track down the movements of known cheaters or cheating alliances!
Now we have seen cases where entire alliances have been banned for cheating, only to invalidate all that banning by coming back under different names or accounts, but no less back to cheating, well wouldnt it be nice if the devs could actively pursue such players…

Lets say as an example you have an alliance that has been banned for cheating, in this example we will just call it “JimBobs Elite”.

“JimBobs Elite” goes and gets themselves banned after being caught cheating, but then they create new accounts and reform as “JaneDoe’s Dino Hunters”, but then get right back to cheating again, well if for example a cheater had their device hardware IDs logged, it would then be able to actively follow any JWA actively coming from that device, no matter what they changed their IP or new account name or alliance name too!

Without hardware tracking - (again these are all made up names, so dont flag me for naming and shaming lol)
JimBob > Banned for cheating
Puppet101 > Banned fore cheating
RaptorHunter1337 > Banned for cheating

Now lets say they all create new accounts and begin cheating again but only 1 is actually caught, the others would continue cheating until caught, BUT lets say Ludia had a hardware ID checker in place.

With Hardware Tracking -
JimBob (ID 1001) > Gets banned for cheating
Puppet101 (ID 2004) > Gets banned for cheating
RaptorHunter1337 (ID 1001) > Gets banned for cheating

Now lets get another list of accounts -

BobbyAwesome (ID 1001)
StiffMeister (ID 1337)
PhoenixProAs (ID 2847)

Now with that added hardware ID info from their device, you can clearly see that the “BobbyAwesome” account is actually the same device that the “JimBob” account was banned on! There you go! You just hardware identifed the cheaters new account, and ANY account they make on that device!

You can then take this info and apply it to entire alliances to track which cheaters are using what new accounts, and if future accounts are flagged, yet you know that for instance 3 previous accounts matching the same hardware IDs was used, its a safe bet that its the same cheater, and you can go ahead and hardware ban the device, forcing them to give up or find some other means of cheating on top of needing to spoof hardware info, if even possible!

Anyway just some food for thought for the @Ludia_Developers, i mean for all i know they may already do this, but in the case they dont, it could be a means to ridding the game of repeat offenders.

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Forgive me for asking but I am not well versed in the ‘art’ of hacking and such

Ok so JimBob is banned for cheating once. Then, he makes another account where he plays legit 100%. But ludia, with this system in place, track him. Would this not be a waste of time for ludia, and possibly divert their attention away from ‘new’ cheaters? Or is there something to help with that?

Depends how its implemented, they could have have some automation that would check if the same hardware ID (device) was used to cheat on, and get them deem whether to perma ban someome based on previous flags…kinda like a criminal record but for cheaters, so if someone claims they were wrongly banned, and then Ludia takes a look and see’s 7 accounts were banned from that device in the past year, well they could safely assume they are lying.

Such a system would add more tools and automation to the investigation of a suspected cheater, and in the event of a perma ban, which they would choose if the player is a repeat offeder and likely to cheat again, it would save time in the future by not having to re-ban the same player over and over and over again, wasting time, as this method could see they are repeat offender, and then ban the device outright, thus no more cheating again…save for buying a new device, but many cheaters wont do this.

Its just pretty much streamline the ban and account investigation process.

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Ahh! Gotcha… I think…

Think of it like a judge (Ludia) looking at a list of someone being accused to cheating, then judge looks at the list and see’s many accounts were banned on that same device, well that would make it pretty clear its a repeat offender.

Armed with such info they can, if they choose, ban the device from accessing the game ever again, which in turn stops that same cheater offending again.

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It wojld save time and resources on investigating accounts, because if you have a list of 100 suspected accounts, yet 80 of them were the same person, well you ban the 1 persons device and suddenlt that list drops to 20 other cheaters to investigate…as an exmple.

Good suggestions, but you have any idea how much it will take in processing power to keep track of every player every move plus related it to device IDs (which to me is a bit going into privacy violation). Every player can play on multiple devices. I play on Android and iOS (which includes tablets and phone both).

Each processing power costs a lot (just check Amazon cloud processing and storage prices). And I am not sure if Ludia is interested in spending that much money on processing storage besides hiring a team of developers to create and maintain it.

Well the database of hardware IDs would really just be text or numbers (in the case of serial numbers) so wouldnt be very expensive to store since its really only text, and the JWA community numbers arent in the 100’s of millions so no issue there, but i do believe they have all the resouces in terms of server and storage to handle this, its really not all that intensive.

As for the subject of privacy, they would really only be logging things like hardware serial numbers, say CPU ID or the serial number of the memory used in the device, which is all individual enough to link to accounts, but not in anyway linked to say a persons home address or real name or anything, it only identify the device to the account itself, no private information about the players real life existance.

I agree with most of it.

My main point is (talking in terms of per player): I believe Ludia is not even actually logging every single movement/point during moves and not sure if they are logging every individual map interactions plus dart fired per creature and how many actually hits perfect etc. To me feels like they get the values after darting session is logged and might even not storing every small detail.

So if they have to include all those above plus other information you suggested then it will need a big storage capacity (which most likely stored in compressed form) which will then be processed by uncompressing and then parsing then process those extracted information and so on.

BTW I just realised why we (me actually) discussing all this? Ludia should know better what and how they can do things.

Thanks

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Well yeah Ludia would really need to look at what would be required to create an effective means of identifying a device (would they need just the phones cpu info? or maybe cpu and memory and motherboard serials?) and then weight up the pro’s and cons in terms of resources used to implement and maintain, compared to the resources needed to actively hunt, identify and investigate cheaters currently.

If they find the cheating problem isnt worth it (either financially or resource investment) they could not bother, or they could see ridding the effort needed to reban the same cheaters over and over, might actually save them time and effort in the long run…or even be profitable in the case of stopping players spoofing resources they would otherwise have bought.

Its really something the company would have to look at, and deem if its worth bothering with.

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I think “reliable” hardware tracking isn’t so easy to implement as you think.
For example hardware identifiers are provided by O.S. call that can be spooffed, are stored in the app memory/variable that can be changed and I think there are many other vulnerabilities (network?) that can be exploited by hackers.
And if all that do not apply, cheaters that spend 2000$ in boosts, can also afford 200$ in new hardware.

Not sure if this is allowed in all continents either… privacy and such…they’re allowed to track most likely but acting upon it is a whole different ballgame.

Yeah it would need to be done right as to not be easily bypassed or detoured or anything, but it can make things more difficult for the average script kidding for instance.
But yeah no system of totally secure, any system that can be made can be un-made giving enough time and motivation, so its more to make it a pain for the cheaters as to not be worth it trying to cheat, or in the case of Ludia, simply an added tool in the arsenal of cheat fighting, it will always be a game of cat and mouse though, till one side of individual gives up.

@Poezzzie As for privacy i dont think it would cause too much issues, as its different from a company using private info to track a user, as its more the company using readily availble (but not sensitive) data to track accounts.

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It would be interesting to know what data they are logging and how long they store it. Along with some other details which would not be revealed for obvious reasons.

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Privacy of users is real problem here. Different countries have different privacy policies. From last year in Europe you need to confirm that you accept cookies from websites (any device). So for any kind of tracking from Ludia (even only numerical data) would need consent from players. Players can decline it without risking any disciplinary actions from company.

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JimBob buys himself a new used phone off Ebay that was previously owned by a cheater.

Same mobile device ID banned by Ludia, different player.

Better to implement a check for cheat apps. (Apple doesn’t allow this practice)
Don’t check the name of the app (that’s easy enough to change for each install), check size. If size = xxkb Then check line xx for code abc. if line xx = abc do not proceed with launch.

Before each update, investigate size of each cheat software and pick random lines to record code. Implement this into the update as search for cheat app.

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How much does it cost Ludia to run the game?
It always blew my mind that they haven’t taken some of the profit and hired people to put actual eyes on red flags that pop up and fix bugs.
I really never understood the lack of bug fixes and lack of staff.

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This is lydia… are you really this surprised?

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Better to ban specific accounts. If they come back with a new one they have to start all over again. Once they are caught two or three times they will get bored and go away.

Yeah signature scanners can be very effective in checking if something is a cheat app, and I can definitely see your point about buying a used phone that was previously banned by someone else, so I guess they could go the route of simply using the info as an added tool, to check against when investigating an account that is suspicions.

I’m not sure of exact laws regarding Google and Apple policy or country laws about what is sensitive data and whats ok to monitor and thus act on, but Ludia would be able to find thjs out if they dont already.