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One more [last] comment or warning on WildTangent and Fate

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Anonymous
July 31, 2005 6:57:46 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

I had a bit of a hard time with Fate, and it's DRM related failings.

But I went with Travis' statement that the WildTangent server was only
used to unlock the game, and for no other purposes (and could be
uninstalled after). Well, I took it off after installing and unlocking
the first time but I had to reinstall it to unlock the game again, and
again, and finally forgot to uninstall it again.

Well, blow me over - I just came to do a backup of my C drive and Fate
had invited its friends over to party! Where I had one directory for
Fate, and nothing else, there are now 7! different Wildtangent games in
different directories resident on my C drive.

I must consider this as utterly malicious. They have gone behind my back
and stolen my bandwidth (for which I have to pay) to install software on
my root drive (that I never asked for).
This is NOT acceptable. Since I can only assume that they know what they
are doing, and that this is semi-legal at best, I have not even bothered
to go back to their forums to complain. However, I have taken the
WildTangent software out of the system (I hope). WildTangent keys in my
registry will be hunted down and exterminated.

I'm afraid the woe-criers were definitely correct on this company.
Avoid.

-Peter
Anonymous
July 31, 2005 6:57:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 02:57:46 +1200, Peter Huebner wrote:

> Well, blow me over - I just came to do a backup of my C drive and Fate
> had invited its friends over to party! Where I had one directory for
> Fate, and nothing else, there are now 7! different Wildtangent games in
> different directories resident on my C drive.

Hmm, if I didn't know you as a regular, I'd think you're a troll. But since
you are a regular, I'm a bit floored by this. I play Fate nearly daily,
usually with my internet connection active, and there are no other WT games
on my drive. Not anywhere. I aso monitored the game for net activity, and
there's none whatsoever.

> I must consider this as utterly malicious. They have gone behind my back
> and stolen my bandwidth (for which I have to pay) to install software on
> my root drive (that I never asked for).

Did you stop to ask *why* they should do this? Why should they install
games(!) somewhere in a cryptically named directory where no one would
normally find them? I don't see a reason why they should do this, so I'm
more inclined to wonder if you perhaps installed something that else that's
responsible for this? (Or maybe you were drunk and downloaded their other
games? :p ) What are these games called?

> I'm afraid the woe-criers were definitely correct on this company.
> Avoid.

Since what you describe did not occur on my system, and doesn't really make
any sense for a company to do, I tend to believe that there is another
explanation.

M.
Anonymous
July 31, 2005 6:57:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

In article <c59c5l2hvwcz$.dondo0y8q2lz.dlg@40tude.net>,
mvondung@gmail.com says...
> On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 02:57:46 +1200, Peter Huebner wrote:
>
> > Well, blow me over - I just came to do a backup of my C drive and Fate
> > had invited its friends over to party! Where I had one directory for
> > Fate, and nothing else, there are now 7! different Wildtangent games in
> > different directories resident on my C drive.
>
> Hmm, if I didn't know you as a regular, I'd think you're a troll. But since
> you are a regular, I'm a bit floored by this. I play Fate nearly daily,
> usually with my internet connection active, and there are no other WT games
> on my drive. Not anywhere. I aso monitored the game for net activity, and
> there's none whatsoever.

Nor mine. I haven't played for a while, but the full version is
installed. I think I nuked the updater entry in the registry, though.
And I remember telling it not to update automatically.

- Gerry Quinn
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Anonymous
July 31, 2005 6:57:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

"Michael Vondung" <mvondung@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:c59c5l2hvwcz$.dondo0y8q2lz.dlg@40tude.net...
> On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 02:57:46 +1200, Peter Huebner wrote:
>
>> Well, blow me over - I just came to do a backup of my C drive and Fate
>> had invited its friends over to party! Where I had one directory for
>> Fate, and nothing else, there are now 7! different Wildtangent games in
>> different directories resident on my C drive.
>
> Hmm, if I didn't know you as a regular, I'd think you're a troll. But
> since
> you are a regular, I'm a bit floored by this. I play Fate nearly daily,
> usually with my internet connection active, and there are no other WT
> games
> on my drive. Not anywhere. I aso monitored the game for net activity, and
> there's none whatsoever.
>
>> I must consider this as utterly malicious. They have gone behind my back
>> and stolen my bandwidth (for which I have to pay) to install software on
>> my root drive (that I never asked for).
>
> Did you stop to ask *why* they should do this? Why should they install
> games(!) somewhere in a cryptically named directory where no one would
> normally find them? I don't see a reason why they should do this, so I'm
> more inclined to wonder if you perhaps installed something that else
> that's
> responsible for this? (Or maybe you were drunk and downloaded their other
> games? :p ) What are these games called?
>
>> I'm afraid the woe-criers were definitely correct on this company.
>> Avoid.
>
> Since what you describe did not occur on my system, and doesn't really
> make
> any sense for a company to do, I tend to believe that there is another
> explanation.
>
> M.

I'm also playing Fate on a daily basis, but have found no WT intrusions on
my system. I've got my firewall set to block any WT communication attempts
and, AFAICT, WT has been very well behaved so far.
Anonymous
July 31, 2005 3:03:35 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

Michael Vondung wrote:

> On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 02:57:46 +1200, Peter Huebner wrote:
>
>>Well, blow me over - I just came to do a backup of my C drive and Fate
>>had invited its friends over to party! Where I had one directory for
>>Fate, and nothing else, there are now 7! different Wildtangent games in
>>different directories resident on my C drive.
>
>
> Hmm, if I didn't know you as a regular, I'd think you're a troll. But since
> you are a regular, I'm a bit floored by this. I play Fate nearly daily,


I'm not a regular here but still, like Wesley Vogel quoted below, i have
an opinion.
I was convinced already at the start of that thread, so i have not gone
through every link in the below quotes. Make of them what you want.
And even if WildTangent Inc. have somewhat mended its ways, it have by
past actions showed what scum-company it really is! Trustlevel = Zero!


from Subject: 'Wild Tangent' in <news:microsoft.public.windowsxp.general>

"Wesley Vogel" in <news:eA13JvyiFHA.2852@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl>

<quote>

[[Notice that removing WildTangent may cause the program that bundled it
to not function as intended.]]

WildTangent - Bundled software removal instructions
http://www.kephyr.com/spywarescanner/library/wildtangen...

</quote>


and more "Wesley Vogel" in <news:o 7TbhYAjFHA.3784@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl>
after post on the bussiness-deals between Micros~1 & WildTangent Inc.

<quote>

So you've cleaned up your act and WildTangent is no longer
installed without a users consent or knowledge while another program is
being installed on the computer?

[[Threat type: Low Risk Adware]]
Threat: WildTangent
http://research.sunbelt-software.com/threat_display.cfm...

[[The being installed without you asking for it isn't cool at all.]]
WildTangent Removal
http://www.iamnotageek.com/a/245-p1.php

[[Although its not technically considered spyware it does have built in
components to update itself and gather information about the computer
system including
a.. Operating System Version
b.. CPU Type and Speed
c.. Memory Amount
d.. Video Card type and Driver Version
e.. Sound Card type and Driver Version
f.. DirectX Version
g.. Location that the Web Driver was installed from ]]
PC Hell: How to Remove WildTangent
http://www.pchell.com/support/wildtangent.shtml

[[This program is effectively harmless. However, it can be installed on
the victim machine without the user's knowledge or consent. ]]
Viruslist.com - not-a-virus:AdWare.WildTangent.a
http://www.viruslist.com/en/viruses/encyclopedia?virusi...

[[The primary reason WildTangent is listed is because it is silently
installed with many programs. ]]
Tenebril - Spyware Research Center - WildTangent
http://www.tenebril.com/src/info.php?id=101408978

Wild Tangent
http://hoogervorst.freehosting.net/net_wildtangent.htm

WildTangent
Category Data Miner
http://labs.paretologic.com/spyware.aspx?remove=WildTan...

CastleCops WildTangent CDA RUNDLL32.exe cdaEngine0400.dll",cdaEngineMain
Startup and file information
http://castlecops.com/s5679-WildTangent_CDA.html

CastleCops WT Game Channel or WT GameChannel GameChannel.exe
wtgamechannel.exe Startup and file information
http://castlecops.com/s4547-WT_Game_Channel_or_WT_GameC...

CastleCops WildTangent Web Driver updater wcmdmgrl.exe Startup and file
information
http://castlecops.com/s4216-WildTangent_Web_Driver_upda...

[[Online game publisher WildTangent has signed on as the latest company to
integrate ads into its gaming network. The effort is part of a new
partnership with 24/7 Real Media.

Under the agreement, the Redmond, WA-based publisher will implement 24/7
Real Media's Open AdStream ad management technology into games, which
inserts in-game ads and tracks the number and duration of impression each ad
generates. The technology can change or rotate ads to keep them fresh.]]
WildTangent Puts Ads in Games, Jeep Signs On
http://promomagazine.com/news/breakingnews/wildtangent_...

</quote>

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Anonymous
July 31, 2005 4:23:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

In article <c59c5l2hvwcz$.dondo0y8q2lz.dlg@40tude.net>,
mvondung@gmail.com says...
> On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 02:57:46 +1200, Peter Huebner wrote:
>
> > Well, blow me over - I just came to do a backup of my C drive and Fate
> > had invited its friends over to party! Where I had one directory for
> > Fate, and nothing else, there are now 7! different Wildtangent games in
> > different directories resident on my C drive.
>
> Hmm, if I didn't know you as a regular, I'd think you're a troll. But since
> you are a regular, I'm a bit floored by this. I play Fate nearly daily,
> usually with my internet connection active, and there are no other WT games
> on my drive. Not anywhere. I aso monitored the game for net activity, and
> there's none whatsoever.
>
> > I must consider this as utterly malicious. They have gone behind my back
> > and stolen my bandwidth (for which I have to pay) to install software on
> > my root drive (that I never asked for).
>
> Did you stop to ask *why* they should do this? Why should they install
> games(!) somewhere in a cryptically named directory where no one would
> normally find them? I don't see a reason why they should do this, so I'm
> more inclined to wonder if you perhaps installed something that else that's
> responsible for this? (Or maybe you were drunk and downloaded their other
> games? :p ) What are these games called?
>
> > I'm afraid the woe-criers were definitely correct on this company.
> > Avoid.
>
> Since what you describe did not occur on my system, and doesn't really make
> any sense for a company to do, I tend to believe that there is another
> explanation.
>
> M.
>

Now I am Really scratching my head. Do you have some kind of Wildtangent
control applet in your control panel by any chance, like I did?
Obviously there are several of you who did not have this happen. It
didn't happen to me either after the first and second install of Fate.

I must admit, I wiped the control applet before even checking what it
does when opened.

All I did at this end, w.r.t. WildTangent was: downloaded program and
media files for v.1.18, later applied the 1.19 and the 1.20 patches.

I've installed the original three times alltogether and activated it
three times. (third time with a re-activated code).

After the first install when I killed the 'webserver.exe' (or whatever
it's called) that gets installed along with Fate and runs as a service,
rather than as an application, I did not kill it after the second
reinstallation and I foolishly also left the permission for it in place
in the firewall config: so it had free hand. My mistake, I know.
I also had MSIE with free access to the 'net at one point (normally it
goes through a local proxy that filters out malicious controls, scripts
and ads). Those are the only holes I know about.

The games I found were in cryptic directories much like Fate:
C:\Program Files\WildTangent\Apps\GameChannel\Games\D5E78171-FE0D-4D1A-
97B2-632684E68105 is the directory for 'polar golf' for instance.

Games are called:
(Fate)
Blaster Ball 2 remix
Crystalmaze
Final Drive Nitro
Super Granny
Polar Golfer
Phoenix Assault

There are xml files in each directory so that's how they were installed.

Other than that I am at a loss. Your point about "why would somebody
install games in obscure directories" is well taken. The same thing
occurred to me. Nevertheless, here they are. Maybe I inadvertantly
clicked something on the registration screen that performed these
downloads - if so I don't know about it.

B.t.w. I just had a brainwave and found the solution to your question:
the games are not as hard to find as previously thought: they show up in
the start -> programs -> wildgames program group!
They also show in the add/remove programs control panel app:
"Crystal Maze for Remote Control" (by Dell Media Experience)" something
or other for instance.

?!?

I am not normally stupid, and I would certainly remember if I had made
the conscious choice to download and install those games.

Go figure. Anyway, if you don't have the problem, all the better.

Instead of playing Fate I have started another game of ZangbandTk myself
<grin> - never tried a Half-Titan warrior mage before. Seems a good
choice so far, level 9 at the mo, 101 HP(!), never even got close to
getting killed and using sorcery and arcane magic mostly to scout and
detect. Can't wait to get Identify.

-P.
Anonymous
August 2, 2005 11:10:59 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

Sorry Pete, but I just don't buy it. I've had Fate for months, and I
haven't had a problem with the game or WT. Just out of curiosity, what
are the other games?
Anonymous
August 4, 2005 1:04:46 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

In article <1122991859.623885.314260@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
hawkbeak@hotmail.com says...
>
> Sorry Pete, but I just don't buy it. I've had Fate for months, and I
> haven't had a problem with the game or WT. Just out of curiosity, what
> are the other games?
>

I did post that info. They're all gone now. (google for the post if
you're interested, nntp propagation is not always 100%).
Crystal Maze stuck in my memory, Polar Golf or Golfer, and something
Granny.

There were several others here who also said they had no problems, so
.... well, whatever.

I just don't know. I never chose to install those games, I merely left
their 'webserver' active and with firewall permission - I also gather
they have some software that _does_ exactly that: download their newest
games and upgrade the stuff already on your machine. How and when that
would've got installed/activated on my machine is a mystery to me.

Shucks, this stuff isn't exactly rocket science for me, I do a lot of
security consultancy and some sysadmin work around this district as a
sideline ! <g> They snuck something past me, and I no longer trust them.
I got upset about it and posted a warning here.
So then I dumped ALL their software off my machine. I must admit to some
surprise that nobody else has had the same problem though, that really
has me scratching my head. For what it's worth, ymmv and all that.

(Anyhow, while the traditional rogue-likes are nowhere near as pretty,
past a certain level they are more fun, I reckon.)

Anyway, topic's closed for me. I'm moving on to other things.

-Peter
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 1:05:51 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

I liked the Fate demo. I would readily purchase the full version if
there was a way to do so going to their web site (such as from
Digital River, etc.). If there is such a way, let me know.
Anonymous
August 6, 2005 11:06:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg (More info?)

Forty Two <FourtyTwo@NoAddress.invalid> once tried to test me with:

> I liked the Fate demo. I would readily purchase the full version if
> there was a way to do so going to their web site (such as from
> Digital River, etc.). If there is such a way, let me know.

What they should do, IMHO, is go retail on this game. Sell it in the $10-20
range.


--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
!