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Taattii
Posted - 2011.03.08 11:21:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Taattii on 08/03/2011 11:29:17
Sure I like ganking them but I prefer to gank humans :)

I read they are attaching a debugger to Eve client and then injecting Python API calls via scripting?

Im sure this is detectable , surely they check for this dont they?


I hate bots, they give no tears :(

Jasdemi
Interstellar Whine Brewery
Monocle Overlords
Posted - 2011.03.08 11:24:00 - [2]
 

Thanks Sherlock.

Chribba
Otherworld Enterprises
Otherworld Empire
Posted - 2011.03.08 11:28:00 - [3]
 

For someone that explains a method with depth one would think you knew the answer to the question - or did you just copy/paste the how-to...

But as the answer, of course you can detect them.

CharmingButIrrational
Roswell Project Victimz
Posted - 2011.03.08 11:32:00 - [4]
 

i could monitor 50k accounts with my eyes closed ccp ia slacking

Nina Mercedez
Posted - 2011.03.08 12:15:00 - [5]
 

Yes. No, we have no eyes.

Horizonist
Yulai Guard 2nd Fleet
Yulai Federation
Posted - 2011.03.08 12:16:00 - [6]
 

Posting in an alt thread.

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.03.08 12:21:00 - [7]
 

Q: Why do we have bots still?
A: Because you can't get rid of all of them safely and with 100% efficiency.

Q: Can we not detect them?
A: Not with absolute certainty and without any false positives without resorting to some pretty draconic client-side security measures, and even then it's not 100% guaranteed it will work (it can only make it much harder for the bot user, but never impossible).

Nina Mercedez
Posted - 2011.03.08 12:45:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: Akita T
Q: Why do we have bots still?
A: Because you can't get rid of all of them safely and with 100% efficiency.

Q: Can we not detect them?
A: Not with absolute certainty and without any false positives without resorting to some pretty draconic client-side security measures, and even then it's not 100% guaranteed it will work (it can only make it much harder for the bot user, but never impossible).


What about starting with the de-shipped miners that continue to warp to and from a belt in a pod? They're either bots, or should be locked up for stupidity.

RenoIdo
Posted - 2011.03.08 12:52:00 - [9]
 


The reason there are so many bots is because of PLEX.

The other reason is that bots for eve are widely avaliable, free, open source, and simple to use.

95% of bots are players not involved in RMT using the isk to fund their gameplay or subscriptions. The reason they do this is because they cant afford to pay real money for PLEX and or their multiple bot subscriptions. If they get banned they can make as many more accounts as they want for free.

Remove PLEX and these botters need to pay for their bot subscriptions and new accounts when they get banned.

Arnakoz
Posted - 2011.03.08 13:33:00 - [10]
 

the answer is no. CCP cannot detect them. moreover, there is no way to detect them.

if they use injection, sure. but what if they use macros that simply move the mouse around?
i've seen tons of people in the other "why are bots around" thread claim it would be easy to detect them. some of those people even tried giving ideas. but someone else was always been able to show how the idea wouldn't work.

- IP's: can be used by more than one person legitimately, like colleges, libraries, coffee shops... all of those real players are playing from the same IP at the same time. further, botters with multiple bot accounts likely use proxies and the TOR network to mask their true IPs, making their bots look like a bunch individual players.

- MAC and CPU addresses can be spoofed. but even if they couldn't, the fact that multiple accounts are running from the same machine means nothing. see the next point.

- real people can/do mine/rat with multiple characters for many hours a day. it really isn't difficult. so anything short of 23/7 game play can't be considered botting.

- random delays between mouse clicks makes it impossible to simply track more-than-human consistency.

- even if they give no tears, it doesn't mean they are botting. a lot of people just don;t like to feed the trolls. makes it less fun for them.

- spyware (ref: blizzard) is ineffective as it can be fooled. and if the isk worth enough we'll just end up with ISK mining ops like what is seen in WoW (3rd world workers paid (very little) to play all day, but only do high yield activities.)

- people being obviously AFK while doing an activity is common, even typical; so a lack of human reaction doesn't mean anything.

- stupid things like hualing during a war dec or warping into the same bubble multiple times means nothing, as it may be a noob who doesn't know there are ways around it, or someone who just really doesn't give a sh** to be bothered with dealing with it.

the only idea i have that could be used to track bots would be for one of the CCP folks to infiltrate one of the bot makers coding groups, and add some code that makes the bot do something truly stupid, but seemingly innocent. like clicking align exactly 10 times in exactly 2 second intervals every coupld of hours. then the logs would show this and CCP would be able to compile a list of botters and go on a mass banning spree. but this would only cover those bots using that particular app, and would only be temporary as people would hunt out the bots that seem to be less prone to detection. ...

Arnakoz
Posted - 2011.03.08 13:41:00 - [11]
 

Originally by: Nina Mercedez
Originally by: Akita T
Q: Why do we have bots still?
A: Because you can't get rid of all of them safely and with 100% efficiency.

Q: Can we not detect them?
A: Not with absolute certainty and without any false positives without resorting to some pretty draconic client-side security measures, and even then it's not 100% guaranteed it will work (it can only make it much harder for the bot user, but never impossible).


What about starting with the de-shipped miners that continue to warp to and from a belt in a pod? They're either bots, or should be locked up for stupidity.


that sounds like a legit discovery of a bot. so go out and start killing miners!
but it will only work until the bot writers begin to detect whether the ship is present or not. which I'm surprised they don;t already. it would really be as simple as opening the fitting screen and checking for a color to be where it supposed to be. if not, close the client.

Lady Skank
Ban Evasion inc
Posted - 2011.03.08 13:42:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Akita T
Q: Why do we have bots still?
A: Because you can't get rid of all of them safely and with 100% efficiency.

Q: Can we not detect them?
A: Not with absolute certainty and without any false positives without resorting to some pretty draconic client-side security measures, and even then it's not 100% guaranteed it will work (it can only make it much harder for the bot user, but never impossible).


I doubt many people would expect CCP to be able to remove every bot and completely prevent them from being used as most people are sensible to realise that's unrealistic, but how can anyone justify CCP refusing to deal with whole regions filled with a legion of bots from alliances where a huge proportion of members are farming bots?

Burnharder
Posted - 2011.03.08 13:45:00 - [13]
 

This would be an interesting study for a grad student. I'm sure you could train up some ANN's to work out the difference between a bot and an ordinary Human player, if you had access to log traces of all activity.

Wait... didn't we just have a thread-nought on botting... Do we really need a new one?

Rguy Amphal
Posted - 2011.03.08 14:28:00 - [14]
 

#1 build a CSM-like bot hunter trusted group of players, give them access to the player activity and privileges to spam "introduce the text below or be kicked" to suspicious accounts. Add boundaries to the anti-bot tool to prevent abuses.

#2 Monitor the ISKies made by botting and impose exemplary punishment to Alliances, corporations and/or players.

#3 Add some client-side anti-bot reinforcement

#4 ????

#5 Problem solved.

You're welcome.

Vincent Athena
Posted - 2011.03.08 14:36:00 - [15]
 

Another tactic that would not get rid of bots is eliminating the PLEX.

Many bots are low sec hauler mission bots running on 2 week trial accounts, no PLEX or payment needed.

The big bots running in 0.0 can be funded by internal RMT. Internal RMT is real money trading that takes place all inside one corp alliance, or coalition. If the PLEX went away, the bot operators in any given alliance would just ask who in their alliance use to be buying PLEX for $ and make a deal with those people to sell isk. If CCP investigated, the persons involved could just say that one alliance member who is good at making isk is helping his mates that are more into PvP.

Its likely the above is happening now even with the PLEX.

High sec mining bots would most likely take a hit, but thats the only group that would. Even they could get around the lack of PLEX by resorting to RMT. With the PLEX gone the demand for RMT will go way up, making it much easier for the botters to find customers.

Removal of the PLEX would push botters back into RMT, and make it easy for them to do so by increasing the demand for RMT.

Getting rid of the PLEX would also make many honest users drop accounts. I would drop 2 of my 3. CCP would lose revenue, and have less resources to pay for anti-bot activities. With honest players dropping, botters still able to pay for their accounts, and less oversight from CCP, we could have an increase in the fraction of accounts that are bots due to the removal of the PLEX.

Rykuss
Gallente
Posted - 2011.03.08 14:38:00 - [16]
 

Originally by: Rguy Amphal
#1 build a CSM-like bot hunter trusted group of players, give them access to the player activity and privileges to spam "introduce the text below or be kicked" to suspicious accounts. Add boundaries to the anti-bot tool to prevent abuses.

#2 Monitor the ISKies made by botting and impose exemplary punishment to Alliances, corporations and/or players.

#3 Add some client-side anti-bot reinforcement

#4 ????

#5 Problem solved.

You're welcome.


You left out:

#4 Profit!

Embarassed

Rguy Amphal
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:09:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: Vincent Athena
If CCP investigated, the persons involved could just say that one alliance member who is good at making isk is helping his mates that are more into PvP.




All that CCP needs is to 1) identify bots 2) permaban bot and if possible 3) ban owner and/or punish all those who have taken advantage of the bot by 4) identifying ISK laundering ways, which should be an easy task thanks to the logs. No need to get rid of PLEX.

I'd be happy if points 1 & 2 would be done. points 3 and 4 are bonus imo.

ToxicFire
Phoenix Knights
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:10:00 - [18]
 

How many years have we had threads like this *sigh*

To summarise everything said over the years,
-Yes they can be detected, but not all of them and not with 100% accuracy leading to legit banned players, and bots missed completely.

-Even banning them won't deter them, most botters are in some way profiting from it long as that profit is there they'll bot. It's the same regardless of any game.

-The real problem isn't the botters themselves but the people who use their services, the scenario is somewhat analogous to recreational drugs market in the real world, most places its illegal but people still want their high so their is demand and people will take advantage of that demand to make cash, no matter how many drug barons you take down someone always pops up to fill the niche.

-Any form of policing by real people requires levels of self policing as well to make sure their not been biased or have a deal with one group of RMT's that they get left alone. which makes it a costly exercise.

-The often overlooked factor is the cost to the company running the game, because quite often no company is actually loosing anything substantially fiscal to the RMT's compared to the cost that would be involved in directly tackling the problem on a large scale, its not in the interests of the company to dedicate large amounts of resources towards the problem (no one seriously quits solely because of RMT's taking place in a game). CCP is a notable exception to this rule with its mass banning of botters a few years back.

-The only other option left is to make the game hard for botters by introducing problems that can only be solved by real humans, unfortunately this also makes most games not fun to play or annoying more likely leading to real players leaving.

In short the problem isn't the botters, but the people who buy the isk

ToxicFire
Phoenix Knights
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:18:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Rguy Amphal
Originally by: Vincent Athena
If CCP investigated, the persons involved could just say that one alliance member who is good at making isk is helping his mates that are more into PvP.




All that CCP needs is to 1) identify bots 2) permaban bot and if possible 3) ban owner and/or punish all those who have taken advantage of the bot by 4) identifying ISK laundering ways, which should be an easy task thanks to the logs. No need to get rid of PLEX.

I'd be happy if points 1 & 2 would be done. points 3 and 4 are bonus imo.



Ahh if only it were that simply, especially point 3, how do you define who gained an advantage from the bot.

There's a fairly well known example in the gaming industry of a game where some people exploited a mechanic to gain extra currency this currency was then spent in the normal fashion and those people that gained from those transaction spent the cash in a transaction with a 3rd party who most likely didn't know that the currency was illegitimate yet they were banned because they had gained from the exploited mechanic even though it was indirectly. So you have to ask this question how far down the chain do you consider the advantage gained to be illegitimate, unless your going to ban everyone who has 0.01isk gain from a RMT there's going to be a magic number of people the isk has to go through before it becomes legit and therefore the RMT gains the advantage.

Burnharder
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:19:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: Rykuss
Originally by: Rguy Amphal
#1 build a CSM-like bot hunter trusted group of players, give them access to the player activity and privileges to spam "introduce the text below or be kicked" to suspicious accounts. Add boundaries to the anti-bot tool to prevent abuses.

#2 Monitor the ISKies made by botting and impose exemplary punishment to Alliances, corporations and/or players.

#3 Add some client-side anti-bot reinforcement

#4 ????

#5 Problem solved.

You're welcome.


You left out:

#4 Profit!

Embarassed


#5 should be "Profit!". 4 is fine as it is.

NinjaSpud
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:23:00 - [21]
 

Originally by: Taattii
Edited by: Taattii on 08/03/2011 11:29:17

I read they are attaching a debugger to Eve client and then injecting Python API calls via scripting?

Im sure this is detectable , surely they check for this dont they?




No, sadly you're mistaken. Most bots simply simulate/controll mouse clicks on a pre-configured client, thus makeing them almost impossible to detect.

In my oponion, the problem isn't the bots...its the game style. Eve is a very friendly bot environment because of the repetition involved in most money makeing tasks. How hard is it to "lock roids, activate lasers, wait, dock, unload, repeat"

I vote we make the game more in debth, giving the humans that play the advantage, not the bots.

Caldari Citizen20090217
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:24:00 - [22]
 

In before some uninformed moron says "captcha".

Palovana
Caldari
Inner Fire Inc.
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:28:00 - [23]
 

Originally by: Nina Mercedez
What about starting with the de-shipped miners that continue to warp to and from a belt in a pod? They're either bots, or should be locked up for stupidity.


Scramble their eggs and crack 'em open.

Damn it, now I'm hungry.

Rasz Lin
Caldari
Uitraan Diversified Holdings Incorporated
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:40:00 - [24]
 

Originally by: Akita T
Q: Why do we have bots still?
A: Because you can't get rid of all of them safely and with 100% efficiency.



BZZZ woong answer
- because they PAY for subs

Originally by: Akita T

Q: Can we not detect them?
A: Not with absolute certainty and without any false positives without resorting to some pretty draconic client-side security measures, and even then it's not 100% guaranteed it will work (it can only make it much harder for the bot user, but never impossible).


BZZZ wrong answer, you can detect with 100% certainity once you have said bot on lab computer, you ban it, bots dissapear for few days until new version comes out and cycle starts all over. This costs dev time (but could bring more money in form of wave after wave of new subs after every bot ban)

Caldari Citizen20090217
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:41:00 - [25]
 

Originally by: NinjaSpud
Originally by: Taattii
Edited by: Taattii on 08/03/2011 11:29:17

I read they are attaching a debugger to Eve client and then injecting Python API calls via scripting?

Im sure this is detectable , surely they check for this dont they?




No, sadly you're mistaken. Most bots simply simulate/controll mouse clicks on a pre-configured client, thus makeing them almost impossible to detect.

In my oponion, the problem isn't the bots...its the game style. Eve is a very friendly bot environment because of the repetition involved in most money makeing tasks. How hard is it to "lock roids, activate lasers, wait, dock, unload, repeat"

I vote we make the game more in debth, giving the humans that play the advantage, not the bots.


Google more. Since the source code leak a while back, the injecty bots are very common, and run off extremely versatile scripts. It is possible to run most missions, create perfect logistics fleet bots, leave a cloaky alt gathering traffic intel 23/7, gain information about who is in system even with no local....

Bots have come a long way since the old macros.

I agree with you tho that game mechanics changes should be one of the weapons deployed against bots. Eve with its lasting consequences and non-consensual pvp is uniquely placed amongst mmos to do something about bots.

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:42:00 - [26]
 

Edited by: Akita T on 08/03/2011 15:48:21
Originally by: Lady Skank
I doubt many people would expect CCP to be able to remove every bot and completely prevent them from being used as most people are sensible to realise that's unrealistic, but how can anyone justify CCP refusing to deal with whole regions filled with a legion of bots from alliances where a huge proportion of members are farming bots?

So how many times did you and/or your acquaintances report each and every one of those alleged farming bots you are so sure you came across ?
And what makes you think they're UNSUPERVISED farming bots ? Because a supervised farming bot (with a decent and attentive supervisor) should be nearly indistinguishable from a human player (admittedly, a less than stellar intelligence human player, but still).

Originally by: Caldari Citizen20090217
game mechanics changes should be one of the weapons deployed against bots. Eve with its lasting consequences and non-consensual pvp is uniquely placed amongst mmos to do something about bots.

The nastiest problem I see with any of it is that USUALLY whatever mechanic change you make to combat bots/macros will be used against regular players to the point of near-abuse, and those regular players will be the ones far more negatively affected by those changes rather than the bots.
Overall, you end up with a more player-hostile game and bots will still be largely unaffected after a few iterations in their code.


The REAL solution is to go in the exact opposite direction.
The solution is to make botting legal, and add ingame support for botting.
Twisted Evil
JUST KIDDING !

Zia Aiz
Amarr
Imperial Shipment
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:48:00 - [27]
 

There so many people with bullet proof techniques of spotting bots there is no chance they would actually be players right? right...

Oh look, he doesn't respond in local, 100% sure it's a bot.
Or maybe he does o/ at you, to make you think it's not a bot.
Maybe it's someone who tries to get rid of you, ignoring people seem to have a better effect than responding to trolls.
"If you don't respond, i'll report you as a bot!"
Reply: "I'm not a bot"
"Oh good, i'd be wasting my time otherwise and leave, let me stay and annoy you"

Oh look, he is cloaking in system when i come in, 100% sure it's a bot.
I'm sure players can't possibly do that, players can't ever cloak & go afk at the same time, they would like, respond in local to let me know and stuff.

Oh look, he is online 23h a day.
How do you know, you been watching him 23h a day?
Maybe he just plays a lot more and is online when you are.
Do you really think all bots are stupid enough to stay online 23h a day?
Maybe he is afk cloaky annoying some alliance or bots somewhere.


Maybe, just maybe, it's actually not that easy to be 100% sure and some people are just to arrogant to think it might not be a bot when they suspect it is.

Or would you rather have CCP banning people left and right on a gut feeling.

Let me know if you get banned for not botting, i would laugh and call you a bot for being caught, because that is how you would roll. YARRRR!!


Don't get me wrong though, people who know what they are doing and spend time to investigate can actually get quite sure it's a bot.
But who is going to investigate the players of using sound techniques?
GM's could do it, but they usually don't have the time to investigate it for very long and they can never be 100% sure either.
Unless the bot is doing stupid things, such as warping with pod from belt to station and back 100x after it got ganked or something.

Cory Sopapilla
Minmatar
Kiroshi Group
Posted - 2011.03.08 15:54:00 - [28]
 

I can't believe people are suggesting client-side probing for bot programs. In order to do that, the Eve executable would have to have rights to probe all of your RAM and running processes. I have issues with that and it was one of the reasons I left WoW when they forced that crap on my machine. Even then, what are they going to look for? A process stupidly named eve-mining-bot.exe that someone wrote as a mouse macro?

ToxicFire
Phoenix Knights
Posted - 2011.03.08 16:22:00 - [29]
 

Originally by: Cory Sopapilla
I can't believe people are suggesting client-side probing for bot programs. In order to do that, the Eve executable would have to have rights to probe all of your RAM and running processes. I have issues with that and it was one of the reasons I left WoW when they forced that crap on my machine. Even then, what are they going to look for? A process stupidly named eve-mining-bot.exe that someone wrote as a mouse macro?


Seriously are you that paranoid about warde or do you think their collecting information on you.

Burnharder
Posted - 2011.03.08 16:44:00 - [30]
 

Originally by: Cory Sopapilla
I can't believe people are suggesting client-side probing for bot programs. In order to do that, the Eve executable would have to have rights to probe all of your RAM and running processes. I have issues with that and it was one of the reasons I left WoW when they forced that crap on my machine. Even then, what are they going to look for? A process stupidly named eve-mining-bot.exe that someone wrote as a mouse macro?


It's no different from a virus checker I guess. It just needs to periodically scan active processes for known signatures. Of course in theory it's possible to modify the .exe to avoid the scan, if you're into debugging processes. That can be tackled by securing the client (as VAC does with steam game files). The Python injection problem is due to the complete absence of any kind of security in-built into the client. That kind of thing should be totally impossible and should have been built into it from day 1. I guess that's what their new devs, brought in specifically to secure the client, are currently playing around with.

The OCR issue is slightly different. You need a protected media pathway for that. But, again, if you're data mining on the back-end, against the logs, with sophisticated heuristics or ANN's, it's possible to detect bots with a reasonably high certainty (at least high enough to prompt a GM to investigate before doing anything).

Overall there are plenty of options for improving the situation. It's just a question of investment and time on CCP's part.


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