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Comment: Re:Unsubstantiated Rubbish (Score 5, Informative) 272

by kgkoutzis (#41299515) Attached to: Activision Blizzard Secretly Watermarking World of Warcraft Users

From reading the thread, the artifacts do not appear when JPEG quality is set to 10 (i.e. maximum) or if a non-lossy algorithm is used (like TIFF or PNG). If this was meant to be a watermark, the programmer who wrote the algorithm should be fired.

These are most likely JPEG compression artefacts.

They did this on purpose, in order to avoid having their watermark identified when viewing the images in really high quality. An Assembly expert wrote some code that allows you to add this watermark on purpose in the high quality images: http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/world-of-warcraft/world-of-warcraft-general/375573-looking-inside-your-screenshots-4.html#post2491687 We also decoded the content of the watermark and it indeed contains the account information, as mentioned. It is NOT artifacts. Please read the full forum post before posting dis-informative comments. Thank you.

+ - Activision Blizzard secretly watermarking World of Warcraft users.->

Submitted by
kgkoutzis
kgkoutzis writes "A few days ago I noticed some weird artifacts covering the screenshots I captured using the WoW game client application. I sharpened the images and found a repeating pattern secretly embedded inside. I posted this information on the OwnedCore forum and after an amazing 3 day cooperation marathon, we managed to prove that all our WoW screenshots, since at least 2008, contain a custom watermark inside. This watermark includes our userIDs, the time the screenshot was captured and the IP address of the server we were on at the time. It can be used to track down activities which are against Blizzard's Terms of Service, like hacking the game or running a private server. The users were never notified by the ToS that this watermarking was going on so, for four years now, we have all been publicly sharing our account and realm information for hackers to decode and exploit. You can find more information on how to access the watermark in the aforementioned forum post which is still quite active."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Enemies of Voltaire->

Submitted by
kgkoutzis
kgkoutzis writes "I wrote an article (http://www.kgk.gr/2012/03/28/enemies-of-voltaire/) expressing my opinion regarding the Liam Stacey Twitter-racism trial (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17515992). Stacey has been sentenced to 56 days of imprisonment for mocking, in a tweet, Fabrice Muamba's heart attack (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17460781) during a football (soccer) game. Stacey also lost his appeal today (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17562016)."
Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - Latest Facebook virus is a double combo->

Submitted by kgkoutzis
kgkoutzis (1018536) writes "The latest virus spreading around Facebook via friend messages is actually two viruses in one. The virus is passed around in a Windows executable called 'photo.exe' and is also known as 'Facebook Surprise' because of the message it uses to lure users ('I got you a surprise'). As soon as the file is executed in a Windows PC, it extracts two new executable files in the hidden Windows folder 'Application Data' (or 'AppData'). The first file immediately starts abusing the Facebook mobile protocol to mass message all the friends of the victim with a link to photo.exe, while the second file installs the well known "Security Tool" virus which slows down the computer and urges users to buy a fake antivirus in order to steal their credit card information."
Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - Latest Facebook virus is a double combo->

Submitted by kgkoutzis
kgkoutzis (1018536) writes "The latest Facebook spreading virus "photo.exe", also known as "Facebook surprise" because of the message it uses ("I got you a surprise") to lure users, is actually two viruses in one. As soon as the file is executed it extracts two new files in the hidden Windows folder "Application Data". One file takes care of abusing the Facebook mobile protocol to mass message all the friends of the victim and the other one is the well known "Security Tool" virus which urges users to buy a fake antivirus in order to steal their credit card information."
Link to Original Source

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