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.Software hack reveals online game maker's "spying"

Linked by shanmuga Monday, 24th October 2005 9:59PM