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Spies communicate via MMOs?

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  • BitterClingerBitterClinger Newark, DEPosts: 225Member Uncommon
    "Chopstiks to SpicyBeef, Chopstiks to SpicyBeef... Take the knife out of the kitchen and kill the dog... repeat... take the knife out of the kitchen and kill the dog... end message."

    Top Games Played in 2015: World of Tanks, Tera, World of Warships

  • BitterClingerBitterClinger Newark, DEPosts: 225Member Uncommon
    Darn, I see someone has already beat me to it.

    Top Games Played in 2015: World of Tanks, Tera, World of Warships

  • Goatgod76Goatgod76 Stow, OHPosts: 1,214Member
    Originally posted by crysent

    Alright - It's a serious question, I know it sounds a bit silly, but, I've been thinking about this for sometime now.

     

    Do you think spies may utilize mmo's to communicate with sources or eachother or their home agency by using various mmo systems? (in game email and chat?).

    It seems it would be rather easy to get away with, especially if you used a mmo themed communication code.  If you did it through some random small game from a country other than the U.S. it would be very hard for any govenment to get logs and records if they were suspicious.

    Anyway, I know it might sound a bit ridiculous, but was just something that has crossed my mind from time to time...wondering what other people think?

    Why not. It's possible.

    Islamic Terrorist groups have been found to put encrypted messages buried in porn sites to one another...since such things are against their religion...no one thought to look there for quite some time.

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by Goatgod76
    Originally posted by crysent

    Alright - It's a serious question, I know it sounds a bit silly, but, I've been thinking about this for sometime now.

     

    Do you think spies may utilize mmo's to communicate with sources or eachother or their home agency by using various mmo systems? (in game email and chat?).

    It seems it would be rather easy to get away with, especially if you used a mmo themed communication code.  If you did it through some random small game from a country other than the U.S. it would be very hard for any govenment to get logs and records if they were suspicious.

    Anyway, I know it might sound a bit ridiculous, but was just something that has crossed my mind from time to time...wondering what other people think?

    Why not. It's possible.

    Islamic Terrorist groups have been found to put encrypted messages buried in porn sites to one another...since such things are against their religion...no one thought to look there for quite some time.

    That might explain my urge to build a suicide vest.

  • VolgoreVolgore Posts: 2,209Member Uncommon

    According to my latest top secret information they don't always use MMOs, but they communicate via this forum alot.

    Don't tell anybody who told you this!!

    image
  • L0C0ManL0C0Man Puerto OrdazPosts: 1,065Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Volgore

    According to my latest top secret information they don't always use MMOs, but they communicate via this forum alot.

    Don't tell anybody who told you this!!

    Actually, according to my sources the words "sandbox" and "themepark" are actually top secret codes to describe terrorist target attacks.

    (waves at the bored NSA intern that is now trying to read years of sandbox Vs. themepark threads looking for some secret codes).. :)

    What can men do against such reckless hate?

  • BarrikorBarrikor Phoenix, AZPosts: 316Member

    Reason the terrorists can't use MMOs to communicate:


    .
    MMO Player >>>> ISP >>>> Backbone >>>> Host >>>> MMO Server
    MMO Player <<<< ISP <<<< Backbone <<<< Host <<<< MMO Server
    .


    Inside the US the ISPs run software for NSA (made by FBI though) that filters and records data that reaches the ISP (Ex: for every website you view it runs twice) Outside the US, CIA taps the main wires (what we'd call the Backbone just not as good) and NSA gets the data. They've tried monitoring the backbone in the US too (They were caught splicing AT&T's wires) but it's not as easy as doing it on the ISP level, and not really very legal either, so they stepped away from that for now.


    For an MMO that's the data packets your computer sends to the MMO server and the packets it sends to you. I've never heard of MMO companies trying to encrypt the packets, so the NSA would get plain text. If the terrorists try to use a code that would just make things obvious.

    There's the overhead of having to (maybe) spend money (traceable) to log into the game, and that the NSA could learn your game name fast, and that if the NSA took over your account you'd have a hard time trying to warn your contact... It wouldn't work that good.


    ------------------


    What Al-Qaeda does (last I heard) is they encrypt the data and then cryptograph it into digital pictures. (encryption = makes unreadable, cryptography = makes undetectable)

    Ex: a medium size picture in the internet might have the size of 400x300 pixels. This gives us 120,000 pixels to play with.

    Each pixel has at least 3 variables, normally the primary colors (Red, Green, Blue) or RGB for short, each with a value between 0 and 255 (there's also RGBA and color palettes but we'll stick with RGB for this). If you change any of the RGB values by one or two, the human eye cannot detect that the image has changed at all. Assuming we have both the changed picture and the unchanged one, We could easily convert this to binary by taking an unchanged color value as 0 and a changed color value as 1.


    2 value states make 1 bit. So now we have 1 bit per: 3 colors, 400 pixels long, 300 pixels high.

    3

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by crysent

    Anyway, I know it might sound a bit ridiculous, but was just something that has crossed my mind from time to time...wondering what other people think?

    Pretty much everything you say and do in an MMO is logged.  That's generally not something I expect a spy would be looking for in a communications channel.

    ( then again, some have reportedly thought they could get away with using the drafts folder of webmail systems as a dropbox to escape email scans  ... so who knows, anything that looks normal and boring I suppose; not a world I really want to play in )

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,476Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by crysent

    Alright - It's a serious question, I know it sounds a bit silly, but, I've been thinking about this for sometime now.

     

    Do you think spies may utilize mmo's to communicate with sources or eachother or their home agency by using various mmo systems? (in game email and chat?).

    It seems it would be rather easy to get away with, especially if you used a mmo themed communication code.  If you did it through some random small game from a country other than the U.S. it would be very hard for any govenment to get logs and records if they were suspicious.

    Anyway, I know it might sound a bit ridiculous, but was just something that has crossed my mind from time to time...wondering what other people think?

     I can neither confirm nor deny that.

  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,585Member Uncommon

    I think professional spies would rather encrypt the data using multiple algorithms, split the encrypted data into at least two, and then send those parts through different routes.

    Sending part of the data through something like World of Warcraft's addon data -channel masked as data from addon to another might not be unrealistic. But I think it's unrealistic that modern day spies would rely on something as simple as mmo-themed codes. If they really want to keep something hidden, there are better ways to do it.

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    In other news, enemy staplers are spying on classified documents.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member
    I'm pretty sure the spies are communicating in the Wizzad101 givaway thread today...
  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,235Member Uncommon

    I don't know about spies sending information, but...

    ...Funds?

    The interesting thing about game currency is that it isn't "recognized" as a currency per se under most laws.  But it can be converted into currency.  Transactions that might land someone in jail if conducted in dollars (like drugs, porn, or aid to terrorists) aren't real "transactions" by law when done in game currency.

    Part of the reason governments are looking into taxing virtual currency is to give the virtual currency some legal status.  Because you can't charge someone with selling illegal drugs, when the thing the drugs are transacted for doesn't legally exist.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    I always get wary if I see the russians writing something with their spacey russian characters in general chats of different MMOs. They're coming for us, mark my word. And the chinese folks. And the Illuminati.

    It's all happening in the Secret World, it's THE MMO for conspiracy theorists.

    /tinfoil hat

     

    Secrets of Dragon?s Spine Trailer.. ! :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwT9cFVQCMw

    Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2X_SbZCHpc&t=21s
    .


    .
    The Return of ELITE !
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  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    Why isn't there a cool Spy MMO?

  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Greencastle, INPosts: 2,594Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    Originally posted by Elsabolts

    Shawn Smith tried to get a message to his cohearts at Langley before he was killed in Libya through Eve. The Goonies got quite for abit also.

    image

    I know he was gaming with his corp mates before he died, and did share some information about the attacks but not sure anyone every proved/confirmed he was trying to get information to any of his employers.

     

    My sorces are saying alot of the missing weapons in Libya and maybe others areas were being sent via Turkey to Syria and Muslin Brotherhood ie: Iran back rebels. In short we the US were gun running. That is why your seeing President being protected that he new nothing after 5pm normal brifeing on Sept. 11 2012.

    image

  • craftseekercraftseeker kynetonPosts: 845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by FromHell

    I always get wary if I see the russians writing something with their spacey russian characters in general chats of different MMOs. They're coming for us, mark my word. And the chinese folks. And the Illuminati.

    It's all happening in the Secret World, it's THE MMO for conspiracy theorists.

    /tinfoil hat

     

    Dont you know?

    The tinfoil hat idea was circulated by THEM it alows THEM to identify you and focusses the mind control rays so that they can really get you!

     

    </paranoia mode off>

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member
    Originally posted by craftseeker
    Originally posted by FromHell

    I always get wary if I see the russians writing something with their spacey russian characters in general chats of different MMOs. They're coming for us, mark my word. And the chinese folks. And the Illuminati.

    It's all happening in the Secret World, it's THE MMO for conspiracy theorists.

    /tinfoil hat

     

    Dont you know?

    The tinfoil hat idea was circulated by THEM it alows THEM to identify you and focusses the mind control rays so that they can really get you!

     

     

    Dude...there is no "them". That's just what THEY want you to think...

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member

    I have an answer for you:  You pretty much cannot use an MMO to communicate, for the following reasons:

    Assume you have access to classified information via a clearance.....all your purchases will be examined as part of your clearance.  Say you purchase an MMO game, then your personal computer will likely be monitored occassionally, including a keylog program.  This is similar to your phone being monitored occassionally. The more suspicious your activity, the more monitoring you get.

    Hence, you have to find a way to communicate "off the grind", which is why drop points for information remains the best way to pass information between a spy and their handler. 

     

  • WolfenprideWolfenpride San''doria, WIPosts: 3,988Member
    I recall seeing them talking about this on the news years back with the whole terrorist thing. I'm sure it's been done, but i'd imagine there are better more secure ways of holding secret evil meetings.
  • xpowderxxpowderx Radcliff, KYPosts: 2,131Member Uncommon
    Such active imaginations :-D I am fond of Skype and Ventrilo personally!
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,919Member Uncommon

    From what I heard they tried MMOs for communications but gave up due to random ganks and all the gold seller spam.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    Depends on what you consider to be spies?? Well not to sound like some kind of made for TV movie, I would imagine that It would be with in reason to think that a spy network could use VR to cordinate with RL IMHO.

    image

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