Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More on the game spyware fiaso

Update to my previous post about Battlefield 2142 . . .

Some serious problems being discussed over on HardOCP about the issue.

1) The advert company in question has responded, and just as I and others guessed, Geolocation by IP address is indeed how they have implemented their targeted ads for display within the game.

2) The warning about the "adware" is INSIDE the box, not outside. Buyers have to break the seal before they get full disclosure from EA, which makes it impossible to return the game to most retailers for a refund.

3) Worse, the Microsoft Critical Update MS06-051: ''Vulnerability in the Windows kernel could result in remote code execution'' breaks the game, and Electronic Arts is recommending UNInstalling that Microsoft patch.

I cannot stress this enough. DO. NOT. UNINSTALL. THAT. PATCH! The patch in question was released just this last August and blocks a very serious security vulnerability in Windows that is being actively exploited to introduce unpatched computers to several very nasty Trojans, key loggers and rootkits.

Please tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Spread the word about this mess to other forums and gamers that you know. The hope I have is that if everyone makes enough noise, EA will release a patch that "fixes" this and removes the spyware.

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