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Author Topic: EAxian Spyware And YOU!  (Read 47227 times)
J. M. Pescado
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EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« on: 2010 June 29, 15:10:57 »
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As some of you may be aware, the latest Pudding contains an insidious SPYWARE that phones home to its EAxian Masters.

What nefarious things does it report? Well, for starters, the following things have found to be reported:
1. Your device stats. If you've ever read a crashlog, this means the game is reporting back the name of your computer, and your username. This quite possibly means *YOUR* name.
2. Every time you startup your game. Are you home? EAxis knows you are now.
3. The name of your saved games. Do you name your saved games after your fambly members, perhaps because its theirs? EAxis knows this now.
4. Every cheat code you type in. Do any of those things contain any names you wouldn't want someone to know about? EAxis knows this now.
5. Everything you buy from build/buy mode.
6. An enormous number of things your sims do: What jobs join or leave, what moodlets they get, potentially their NAMES...do you name your sims after people you know? EAxis knows this now.
7. Much more not yet uncovered.

Naturally, all internet communications reveal your IP address unless special measures are taken. In combination with some of the above, this information is now potentially life-threatening. A number of early modders were killed, disappearing under mysterious circumstances, when they came too close to the truth, so EAxis has been known to kill people.

How YOU can protect yourself:
1. Do not allow the game to communicate with the Internet.
2. Use AWESOMEMOD. AwesomeMod cripples many of these logging features by disabling their listeners, which will not only protect your privacy, but also improve game performance every so slightly.
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Klinn
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #1 on: 2010 June 29, 18:18:07 »
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Any evidence that the core or script mods you use are being reported? Since we get that nice friendly message on start up listing them, I assume it would be pretty easy for that info to make its way back to the mothership unless blocked.

How about the other mods you might be using. Now that there's an officially sanctioned location for them, are the file names being collected and reported?
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YoungOldPrude
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #2 on: 2010 June 30, 04:29:27 »
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I just want to check something…
If the game is not being played, but the firewall is off …it does not phone home, is that correct? Also, some time ago I switched most of the EAxis reports/web-page-creating-thingamajigs—to open with Notepad. Now, does that actually stop the reporting, or the webpage-creating process?
Note: I know that the reports still update, but I want to know if they still get shipped off somehow.
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #3 on: 2010 June 30, 05:43:00 »
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Any evidence that the core or script mods you use are being reported? Since we get that nice friendly message on start up listing them, I assume it would be pretty easy for that info to make its way back to the mothership unless blocked.
Very likely: Anything you buy or interact with is logged, as are your cheat codes. Except if you're using AwesomeMod. AwesomeMod cripples these features so no reports are sent.
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YoungOldPrude
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #4 on: 2010 June 30, 09:21:46 »
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AwesomeMod cripples these features so no reports are sent.

Let me make sure I have this straight…
So there is no EAxis-induced automatic sensing feature that pops on whenever you visit the internet? When the game is off the reporting is also off? Completely?
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #5 on: 2010 June 30, 10:27:32 »
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That's the goal. I'm not sure how much of the reporting is buried elsewhere, but I stubbed every call I could find, so if anything is still leaking, it's very useless. Still, have a firewall.
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YoungOldPrude
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #6 on: 2010 July 01, 03:52:21 »
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Sounds good. Thank you for clarifying, Pescado.
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radiophonic
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #7 on: 2010 July 02, 06:17:10 »
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I thought initially that they were collecting crash data, machine stats and general demographic data (ie. player country, windows version, that kind of hoo-ha) to see who is afflicted by what problems but I never thought they'd be that intrusive.

Pretty interesting stuff, I'll have to run a packet sniffer and have a looksie.
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KawaiiMiyo
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #8 on: 2010 July 03, 13:49:38 »
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^_^ I have a very silly question that just goes to show my ignorance on such things. You say to have a firewall as well just in case... Is the typical windows firewall good enough? (Especially since you mentioned AM disabled alot of this?) or should I get something a little "Extra" ?

When you say don't allow the game to communicate with the internet, Is just refraining from hitting the "Allow" button when windows firewall gives you a popup good enough? Or is there some extra step I should take?

And when you say having AM improves performance ever so slightly by disabling these things, do you mean "ever so slightly, performance is increased, as now the only thing that should slow it is hardware related, rather than EA spying"  or do you mean "ever so slightly, performance is increased, as while you were able to disable most things, there might be some communications going on still that might affect your performance a bit"

I have been using AM since ambitions came out, but every once in awhile my game might get oddly slow/laggy for just a few seconds every now and then for no apparent reason, then goes to normal. The first few times I checked to see if anything was going on in the background, but all was well. Since then I was a bit suspicious that maybe it could possibly be slowing at those moments to take some time to make a few "Phone calls", but end up brushing aside the idea, as what does my lil' non-technical self know anyways?
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #9 on: 2010 July 03, 15:40:02 »
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Windoze Firewall should be sufficient. The causes of the sudden slowdown are probably unrelated to the spyware features, and probably more due to caching lag.
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kuronue
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #10 on: 2010 July 05, 00:14:21 »
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I have EADM blocked in windows firewall for Vista and I caught it updating the download manager anyway. I suggest Vista users at least get a better firewall.
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wizard_merlin
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #11 on: 2010 July 05, 09:59:52 »
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Not at all surprised if EA have something in the EADM to reconfigure, or bypass Windows Firewall.  While I trust microsoft slightly more than I do EAxis, I have always run a separate firewall and ignored the windows one.
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FireDrake
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #12 on: 2010 July 06, 05:52:32 »
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I'm having this error message pop up when I start up the Sims 3, before opening the launcher it says this little message:

*snipped*

It started after I blocked all of my Sims 3 .exe and Launcher programs from accessing the internet. Could it be the Launcher trying to "phone home" and failing? Or something more serious I should look into? Thanks.

Speaking for the legal version (for the base game, at least), I think that happened when the launcher and EADM tried to talk to each other. It only happens to me when I use the launcher to install things because I use the .exe to launch the game. If you're trying to play from the launcher, just go into game/bin and use the .exe to bypass it.

Okay, thanks. I'd say it's useful, but I went out and got TS2 after reading about how much fun everyone said it was, so bye TS3 for now. Thanks though Tever.
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #13 on: 2010 July 11, 11:31:26 »
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Offtopic Weeaboo Abuse moved to here
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #14 on: 2010 July 13, 01:09:41 »
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That looks more like an Adobe Air error which is apparently the crapplication they used to build their terribad launcher. I would assume Air is trying to check for its own update before the EA stuff loads and since it can't, the application fails. Regardless, that launcher is a terrible piece of work.
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FireDrake
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #15 on: 2010 July 13, 01:23:46 »
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That looks more like an Adobe Air error which is apparently the crapplication they used to build their terribad launcher. I would assume Air is trying to check for its own update before the EA stuff loads and since it can't, the application fails. Regardless, that launcher is a terrible piece of work.

As long as it isn't a serious problem to my computer. Thanks radiophonic. EA's shoddy and half-assed work seem to be showing it's face a bit more than usual with all this jazz.
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Nameless Horror
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #16 on: 2010 July 21, 09:21:39 »
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I was just reinstalling the framework yesterday and in base game bin you put the d3dx9_31.dll I noticed a new file called "EAWebKit.dll". I don't know what it does but the game launches without any problem when I removed it. I always disconnect the internet before I run the game so I don't know if that would affect anything.
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qdoba
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #17 on: 2011 February 01, 23:50:12 »
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They might take a "peek" at the websites we visit too.
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jezzer
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #18 on: 2011 February 02, 00:10:24 »
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Man, the seven months we've waited for someone to reply to this thread have been agony.  Thank God you came.
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rudai
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #19 on: 2011 September 25, 17:41:25 »
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Has anyone had an experience with EA origin.   It is a program that monitors what you put in your game and if you don't agree to install it you cant install.  If you unstall it once it is on your compputer, you lose all access and playability for any of your worlds.

Is there a way to block this thing?  Big Brother is an understatement my friend.
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #20 on: 2011 September 25, 19:34:53 »
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Yeah, don't install EAxian spyware. Buy it from TPB store instead.
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ElectricSimmer
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #21 on: 2011 October 22, 12:13:34 »
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Oh fuck, i've already installed Origin.
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edwood
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #22 on: 2011 November 13, 22:38:52 »
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@ElectricSimmer
Go to Control Panel and uninstall Origin. Uninstalling it does not prevent you using your game. It is a bluff. I uninstalled it from my son's computer and game works fine.
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Tever
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #23 on: 2011 November 14, 04:05:53 »
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I uninstalled it from my computer, and Sims refused to launch.
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brownlustgirl
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Re: EAxian Spyware And YOU!
« Reply #24 on: 2011 November 14, 05:48:38 »
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I uninstalled it from my computer, and Sims refused to launch.

I hope that you are not using that god awful launcher to start your game. Make an .exe shortcut on your desktop.
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