P.Servers spying?

Started by Kushiro, Mar 03, 2023, 09:31 AM

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So I read this:

And now I am curious what servers are known to spy on their users?

Sairek Ceareste

You are effectively downloading unknown software from some random strangers on the internet. Said random strangers can effectively, put anything they want into their program. Keep in mind that private server hosting is already in a grey area as far as the law is concerned. The law also depends on where the server is even hosted in the first place.

Even on RMS, people have made server listings before where the sites try to phish for peoples' information, let alone any downloads they may have hosted on said website. There was a Russian one impersonating OathRO less than a day after the server got "Oathkeeper'd".

Even if the program itself doesn't do anything, things like passwords, log-in information, emails, IPs, etc, are all stored somewhere, and if the admins wanted to, they could see those passwords and abuse that information. Then of course anything you say in-game is automatically logged as well, so if you talk about your personal life, tell someone in-game where you live, etc, that can be collected as well if the owner is nefarious and likes spying on peoples' chats.

Some servers however do not abuse that information, and sensitive information like passwords, while stored on the server, said server may be hosted via a third party and even encrypted, so even the owner cannot see what the passwords are.

Sometimes it's not the owners you need to fear, but the players. There have been a number of scams and attempts I've seen by now where a "player" will pretend to be a GM and get a player to download something, saying they're going to hire them and give them bitcoin or whatever, only to steal it from people and completely infect their computer. It's social engineering at that point and isn't necessarily a "Ragnarok Online" issue, but it unfortunately still happens.

Finally, even if a server begins legitimate, technically, nothing is stopping from the owner to patch in something nefarious into the game later that will try to do things to your computer. While I am not sure if it has happened in any private servers specifically, it has definitely happened for fan game projects, such as the infamous "Sonic Gather Battle" fan game which will outright close your web browser if you so much type in the word "cheat" and will send personal information to the owner via a blacklist. Or, even more recently, a Final Fantasy XIV filter mod was changed to shut off users' PCs because the owner was too narcissistic for their own good. While not stealing any personal information, most people don't like having their programs executing the shut down process without their consent.


it always amazes how many problems the mortals have


Quote from: Blinzer on Mar 03, 2023, 08:24 PM
it always amazes how many problems the mortals have

Haven't talked to any immortals yet.


In my opinion, spying on players is not worth doing, and it's unlikely that the game's owners and developers have the technical knowledge to do so. As a precautionary measure, it may be wise to play Ragnarok using a guest account on your computer to improve your privacy.
solacero rip


Just always use Sandboxie-Plus and you should be safe.


It's certainly a reasonable concern to have.

What's to stop someone from stealing your data, installing ransomware, or using your computer for crypto mining? Like Sairek said, there is a legal gray area around hosting private servers, and if a would-be private server owner isn't deterred by that, what's to say that same attitude doesn't carry over to how they handle other legal and moral obstacles?

Not to say that hosting a private server makes you a bad person, but to some people even the thought of possibly breaking the law is a huge taboo, so that legality question can be seen as a barrier of entry that filters out some of the good intentioned individuals out there, and as a result it makes it so bad agents make up a larger share than they otherwise would.