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Is Blizzard Secretly Watermarking World of Warcraft Users?

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September 11, 2012 11:14:05 PM

Let the paper shredding begin.
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22
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September 11, 2012 11:22:25 PM

just another way we are tracked... AWESOME!!
the zero privacy dystopian future is right around the corner.

...actually it's here already but the 100% loss of privacy that is the wet-dream of the dissent-suppressing corporate controlled govt will take another couple of years to really solidify.
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3
September 11, 2012 11:23:52 PM

jhansonxiDon't worry - the tracking info will be eliminated now that the practice has been made public. They'll replace it with steganography so you won't be so distracted by it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography#Digital


wow... very cool, ty for the link
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11
September 11, 2012 11:26:42 PM

did you people just relize this?
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-9
September 11, 2012 11:35:01 PM

thecolorbluejust another way we are tracked... AWESOME!!the zero privacy dystopian future is right around the corner....actually it's here already but the 100% loss of privacy that is the wet-dream of the dissent-suppressing corporate controlled govt will take another couple of years to really solidify.


FYI, it's a private business so they can do whatever they want.

That and even the Constitution doesn't have privacy as a right. Clues, get them.
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-13
September 11, 2012 11:38:15 PM

I don't see a problem with this, it's just information about their game.
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-10
September 12, 2012 12:08:46 AM

If you take a screen shot, apply something like a minor Photoshop or GIMP filter to it and it could irreparably damage watermark data such as this, right?
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9
September 12, 2012 12:09:43 AM

jhansonxiDon't worry - the tracking info will be eliminated now that the practice has been made public. They'll replace it with steganography so you won't be so distracted by it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography#Digital


The question is, how long would it take for them to switch?
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4
September 12, 2012 12:17:00 AM

Quote:
The question is, how long would it take for them to switch?


It's possible that they already have and that what's been found was purposly left behind as a red herring.
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5
September 12, 2012 12:18:36 AM

A Bad DayThe question is, how long would it take for them to switch?

And what about the last 4+ years of pics already published?
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6
September 12, 2012 12:20:37 AM

Wow, so we've have been tracked all the time ?
Lucky me, I don't do any strange thing
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1
September 12, 2012 1:11:09 AM

Wow.... people still play WoW.

Who knew?

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4
September 12, 2012 2:08:19 AM

ex_bubbleheadIt's possible that they already have and that what's been found was purposly left behind as a red herring.


It's also possible that Blizzard doesn't see it as a major problem for the users, until hacking reports ramp up, and they finally see the connection.
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5
September 12, 2012 2:19:48 AM

BIL_ASCWow, so we've have been tracked all the time ?Lucky me, I don't do any strange thing


It looks like it's not tracking anything per say; the screen has watermarks that have data about your current log in session. It might be cause increased hacking, but tracking beyond tracking screen shots that Blizz sees doesn't seem to be going on through this. Of course, they're still snagging a huge amount of data about our systems that I don't like.
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September 12, 2012 3:08:52 AM

Perfect reason why we need a white hat / grey hat hacking community. Who else would have made this info public?
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14
September 12, 2012 4:46:29 AM

face-plantsPerfect reason why we need a white hat / grey hat hacking community. Who else would have made this info public?

Metadata in graphic files is relatively common. Many graphics editors can show and edit them. Digital cameras add the date and time of a photo to JPEGs and most photo management tools sort them by date automatically.

Somebody with a concern about privacy was probaby the first to notice AND complain about it.
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September 12, 2012 6:47:05 AM

Well, it's not a "secret" anymore.
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5
September 12, 2012 6:50:40 AM

jhansonxiMetadata in graphic files is relatively common. Many graphics editors can show and edit them. Digital cameras add the date and time of a photo to JPEGs and most photo management tools sort them by date automatically.Somebody with a concern about privacy was probaby the first to notice AND complain about it.

It is not metadata, it is a watermark on the image itself. The chances of any graphics editor being able to read it is extremely small as it will be a proprietary method.
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8
September 12, 2012 12:29:22 PM

No, those are urine stains... (now to read the article)
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-2
September 12, 2012 3:08:11 PM

jhansonxiDon't worry - the tracking info will be eliminated now that the practice has been made public. They'll replace it with steganography so you won't be so distracted by it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography#Digital

hey man thanks for posting this, was a real fun and interesting read :) 
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1
September 12, 2012 4:19:04 PM

If it's a watermark in the picture data itself, it already is steganography...they just didn't do a good enough job of it.
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3
September 12, 2012 4:41:06 PM

PreferLinuxIt is not metadata, it is a watermark on the image itself. The chances of any graphics editor being able to read it is extremely small as it will be a proprietary method.

You're correct, I misunderstood what they were doing. But stego can be performed on metadata using whitespace encoding. Would be worth investigating to see if they're doing that also.
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2
September 12, 2012 7:32:53 PM

Not a huge deal.
Blizzards efforts to avoid private (pirate) servers from rising have been good.
Many play on WOTLK private servers: I do, as well as on the original

But trying to play Cata on a private server is a mess, and a waste of time
Merely sandboxes. As far as I know, encripted data relating the client to the server make impossible to create/write a server version. This has a particular encription name, I cant recall it now.

But this? This kind of watermark crap is just abusive.
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1
November 19, 2012 3:17:45 PM

use fraps to take a screen shot or video... look ma, no watermark! (not-free for the unlimited version) or use the screen clippy thing in windows 7....
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3
December 26, 2012 11:41:07 PM

If they do this? What else is waiting to be discovered.

Great work
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1
January 2, 2013 7:43:48 AM

I see nothing at all wrong with it if you do not what your screen caps to have a watermark do not take pics or stop playing the game it is really that simple. I do not play any multiplayer games what so ever so I really could care less if they embed your full user id password and IP address in to the pic so they can do what ever they want with in game screen shots.
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Anonymous
a b Ý World of Warcraft
January 2, 2013 3:24:22 PM

Bryon you are a complete twot!
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1
January 26, 2013 11:08:42 PM

lol who uses the in game screenshot function? not me. just use Fraps.
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2
February 20, 2013 10:59:34 PM

I wonder what they are doing is legal or not...
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1
February 26, 2013 2:00:47 PM

Converting these images to JPEG will make quick work of those patterns.
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0
March 13, 2013 9:39:55 PM

redeye said:
use fraps to take a screen shot or video... look ma, no watermark! (not-free for the unlimited version) or use the screen clippy thing in windows 7....


Massacher said:
lol who uses the in game screenshot function? not me. just use Fraps.

How you take the picture seems to be irrelevant. The watermark is there even while you play and is constantly changing in real time according to this info. Like the post above mine says and my earlier post, you'll probably have to do something such as convert the screen shot to a different format or apply an editing filter or such trick to get rid of the watermark issue.
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March 24, 2013 5:08:56 AM

Poor blizzard. I fell sorry for them. They were taking data for years and now they have to ruin everything.
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