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ZOS integrated spyware RedShell by mistake, deleted from live, still in PTS folder

LumbermillOverlord
LumbermillOverlord
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https://redshell.io/home

i just left this here
i have a knowledge than ZOS added this spy utility into eso with latest patches

enjoy new level of targeting ADs on main screen in a future

guys we need a guide how to disable this library
any programmers here who can do a short FAQ?

P.S. @ZOS_GinaBruno lady you know not officially informing us about collecting this data and their intent of usage along with instructions on how to delete said data is already a violation of the European laws?

HOWTO block it, workaround:
edit your host file on windows

Press the Windows key.
Type Notepad in the search field.
In the search results, right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator.
From Notepad, open the following file: c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts.
Make the necessary changes to the file.
Click File > Save to save your changes.

add

0.0.0.0 api.redshell.io

at the bottom

This will block traffic from your computer to that server. You can block it from reporting through your modem or your router as well.

HOWTO opt-out:
Hey guys small update. I got contacted back by a R.S. employe:

Email 1:
Hi Insertnamehere,
We were working with Bethesda to determine how you can pull the Bethesda Account ID we need from you to implement the opt-out for ESO in particular. Hopefully we will have it all sorted by EOD.

In general though, in order to opt you out from tracking we need to know your SteamID64. You can find this ID if you don't already know it using a website like https://steamidfinder.com/. That can at least get us started while we are waiting to hear back from the Bethesda team.

Let me know if you have any questions,
The employe

Email 2:
Hi Insertnamehere,
Just heard back from Bethesda. It sounds like if you can provide either the email address or the user name tied to your account and they can provide us with the internal ID we need. If you can provide that I'll get the process started on the Bethesda end and give you an update as soon as the optout is done.

So yes, you can remove the information like this no-problem. Contacting Zos via email is probaly pointless as they watch this thread. Just use this page: https://redshell.io/optout?success=1

what else we can do:
If you want a response quickly, you'd need to send this as a tip to lower-tier bloggers, MMO news sites and other gaming media.

For example, the sites that covered the Guild Wars 2 spyware debacle included: Massively OP, Motherboard (Vice), Kotaku, Bleedingcool, Pcgamesn, TechRaptor, N4G etc.

other sites discussion/news:
https://www.reddit.com/r/elderscrollsonline/comments/8nqzkt/zos_just_silently_installed_spyware_in_eso/
http://massivelyop.com/2018/06/01/players-try-to-figure-out-how-to-opt-out-of-elder-scrolls-onlines-new-spyware/
http://www.esoui.com/forums/showthread.php?p=34889#post34889
https://steamcommunity.com/app/306130/discussions/0/1694922980043392965/

P.S.
Everyone,

My apologies for the confusion over the integration of Red Shell into ESO. Here’s what happened: we have been experimenting with a better way to link which advertisements and web content new players see to the eventual account that is created in the game. The ONLY purpose this would be used for is to determine from which origin points our new players come from, so we can better plan where to place advertisements and other web content. Existing accounts will never encounter this, as they are already created.

Several factors came together in Update 18 and Red Shell was erroneously added to the live build when we were still testing and evaluating it. It has never been active in ESO, even though the base tech is in the client – i.e. it was never enabled. So, we will remove it from Update 18, which will take place in the PC/Mac incremental build scheduled for this coming Monday (it was never considered for Console, so won’t be in Tuesday’s U18 launch). We never should have done this without giving everyone a heads up it was coming, and we will learn from this mistake.

That being said, we are still investigating how to use this technology in the future to grow and sustain ESO more effectively. When/if we do so, we will give everyone a heads up with clear instructions as to what it is doing, how it is doing it, and how to opt-out should you so desire.

Check out the patch notes on Monday for the notice that Red Shell has been removed from U18, and we will keep everyone posted – and again, my apologies.

Matt


P.S.S. spyware still at PTS, but was removed from live
Edited by LumbermillOverlord on June 5, 2018 5:22AM
  • WillS1888
    WillS1888
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    xRIVALENx wrote: »
    Where did this knowledge come from? Anyone actually check that RedShell.dll is being loaded and called when launching the ESO executable?

    No but it would be easy to disable it. Isnt this kinda dangerous since it logs peoples finger prints? A finger print is usually enough to access most peoples personal things in todays world.
  • TequilaFire
    TequilaFire
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    Red Shell not available for consoles yet, but in development.
    Safe from for a while. Wonder if it would fly with Sony and MS.
    My Imgakin beta monkey is frozen.


    PSN: Tequilafire
    PC: @Tequilafire


  • xRIVALENx
    xRIVALENx
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    Totally agree with you @WillS1888, if this is indeed the case then I bet we can find a work around and disable it. What I do like to see are facts when someone states such a claim that a spy utility is added into ESO.
    Edited by xRIVALENx on May 30, 2018 5:38PM
  • idk
    idk
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    https://redshell.io/home

    i just left this here
    i have a knowledge than ZOS added this spy utility into eso with latest patches

    enjoy new level of targeting ADs on main screen in a future

    Are you on Steam? Steam uses this.
    Edited by idk on May 30, 2018 5:56PM
    Really, idk
  • zaria
    zaria
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    danno8 wrote: »
    I just assume that crap is happening. So my gaming computer is just for gaming. Nothing else.

    It still sucks that they can't manage to get rid of lag and bugs, but found space for this.

    Regarding the ad targeting, they can't seem to understand that I already bought summerset. So I'm not sure what amount of information can actually help them.

    Like every stupid ad on the internet. I go and buy some LED lights for my camper and now all I see are ads for the exact LED lights I already bought. Companies pay for this ****?
    This, google and FB is probably the experts here.

    Note that ESO obviously know everything you do in the game as its on their servers.
    This is primarly use for balancing and finding that content is most popular as in see no other uses,
    Grinding just make you go in circles.
    Asking ZoS for nerfs is as stupid as asking for close air support from the death star.
  • zaria
    zaria
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    danno8 wrote: »
    I just assume that crap is happening. So my gaming computer is just for gaming. Nothing else.

    It still sucks that they can't manage to get rid of lag and bugs, but found space for this.

    Regarding the ad targeting, they can't seem to understand that I already bought summerset. So I'm not sure what amount of information can actually help them.

    Like every stupid ad on the internet. I go and buy some LED lights for my camper and now all I see are ads for the exact LED lights I already bought. Companies pay for this ****?
    This, google and FB is probably the experts here.

    Note that ESO obviously know everything you do in the game as its on their servers.
    This is primarly use for balancing and finding that content is most popular as in see no other uses,
    Grinding just make you go in circles.
    Asking ZoS for nerfs is as stupid as asking for close air support from the death star.
  • Merlin13KAGL
    Merlin13KAGL
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    Presently, it's only under the PTS subfolder.

    I doubt it does half of what you think it does.

    Still, I'm curious enough to look into it a bit further and will likely pass on what I find.
    Just because you don't like the way something is doesn't necessarily make it wrong...

    Earn it.
    I am neither warm, nor fuzzy...
  • Marginis
    Marginis
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    [accidental double post]
    Edited by Marginis on May 30, 2018 6:24PM
    @Marginis on PC, MARGINIS II on Xbox, leader of Magicka. Also known as Kha'jiri, The Night Mother, Ma'iq, Jane Shepard, Damia, Kintyra, Zoor Do Kest, and You.
  • xRIVALENx
    xRIVALENx
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    Excellent work @Littlebluelizard, will have to try jumping the call to RedShell and see if the game still runs.
  • Elsterchen
    Elsterchen
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    Marginis wrote: »
    Any collection of personal data should have some sort of oversight. Even if it's just having knowledge of what's happening to you, even if it's not malicious, even if it's not clear how or to what extent it's being used. +1 OP for knowledge sharing.

    From the FAQ from the Red Shell website:
    Does Red Shell track my personal information?

    No. Red Shell tracks "device" based information about your computer. We do not collect any personal information about gamers. We don't collect names, emails, or addresses. Our service basically says "this computer clicked on a link from this YouTube video and the same computer played your game." We have no interest in tracking people, just computers for the purposes of attribution. All of the data we do collect is hashed for an additional layer of protection.

    I don't even think this can be applied on Crown Store buys. They are probably using this to track how effective their ads from YT, FB, and etc are. Assuming OP is telling is the truth, since they provided 0 evidence to support his claim.

    EDIT: There is a RedShell.dll in "Zenimax Online\The Elder Scrolls Online\game\client", in both Steam and non-Steam versions the game.

    EDIT 2: I tried renaming the dll to see what would happen. It gives an error and doesn't open the game. I tried putting a empty "RedShell.dll" and opening the game, different error but same result.

    The highlighted part ony works if IP adresses are stored.

    Zeni is a firm that is ESRB Privacy Certified and most probably know what they do. Unless its not related to illegal activities, marketing or analysis directly related to Zenis buisness, our personal data (and generally IP adresses are handled as such (there are exeptions concerning governmental assignments for i.e. telecommunication firms)) should be handled anonymiously only. Imo those RedShell-files just share the name with that other firm. ;)
  • Littlebluelizard
    Littlebluelizard
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    Marginis wrote: »
    Marginis wrote: »
    Any collection of personal data should have some sort of oversight. Even if it's just having knowledge of what's happening to you, even if it's not malicious, even if it's not clear how or to what extent it's being used. +1 OP for knowledge sharing.

    From the FAQ from Red Shell website:
    Does Red Shell track my personal information?

    No. Red Shell tracks "device" based information about your computer. We do not collect any personal information about gamers. We don't collect names, emails, or addresses. Our service basically says "this computer clicked on a link from this YouTube video and the same computer played your game." We have no interest in tracking people, just computers for the purposes of attribution. All of the data we do collect is hashed for an additional layer of protection.

    I don't even think this can be applied on Crown Store buys. They are probably using this to track how effective their ads from YT, FB, and etc are. Assuming what OP is telling is the true, since they provided 0 evidence to support his claim.

    EDIT: There is a RedShell.dll in "Zenimax Online\The Elder Scrolls Online\game\client", in both Steam and non-Steam versions the game.

    Their and my definitions of "personal information" are different. Stuff that I, personally, do, places where I, personally, go, games that I, personally, play - that is personal data. The definition they're going by is likely more a legal term, like "personally identifying information". The kind of information they collect, as far as we know by what they say, likely can't be used to personally identify us individually from others. However, as people have previously stated, your computer is still targeted, and you can still be targeted by ads and such. The targeting is what I worry about, not about being personally identified by my videogaming habits.

    EDIT: Not to say any of this is the case, but it could be, and is as far as I'm aware likely to be the case. Either way -

    Any kind of talk disregarding the need for transparency and not exercising due caution when it comes to data collection is dangerous, because in just one step any data collection can turn malicious. Not to say it will, just that it's important to be vigilant in these matters.

    Read the link about hash function. They can't obtain personal information about you unless they try really hard. And even then, RedShell is quite common, they would've been exposed and closed the company by now if that was the case. As for transparency, you probably forgot about it or simply didn't read ZOS terms when they updated it. They have a whole section about Monitoring. You can check it out if you want, at section 6. Though I will admit it not clear that they are doing this but it fits the EULA.

    There are plenty of other sources that will spy on you and obtain much more information from you than RedShell will. Many apps on your phone ask a lot of access like Local (meaning they can track where you go), your Contacts, Photos, etc. Facebook can even track what you're browsing when you have it open, or simply installed on your APP. FB even has access to your microphone, so they can potentially hear your conversations whenever they feel like it. We have to accept that we will have this kind of data collected from us, or we will go nuts thinking about x app or x game is spying on you.
    Edited by Littlebluelizard on May 30, 2018 6:49PM
  • Littlebluelizard
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    Or we can fight back against it.

    The EU is allready having one hell of a legislative hullabalu over what data they collect, and that if anything will likely kill this sort of thing.


    You can fight it. That would include simply not using any software that spies on you at the moment. For instance, not using Windows, Steam, not playing ESO, not using google, etc.

    As for Apps, you can manually remove some permissions from it, so they can't track x function of your phone when they want. EDIT: Keep in mind that depending on what you disable the app may not function properly.
    Edited by Littlebluelizard on May 30, 2018 6:58PM
  • karekiz
    karekiz
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    Or we can fight back against it.

    The EU is allready having one hell of a legislative hullabalu over what data they collect, and that if anything will likely kill this sort of thing.


    You can fight it. That would include simply not using any software that spies on you at the moment. For instance, not using Windows, Steam, not playing ESO, not using google, etc.

    As for Apps, you can manually remove some permissions from it, so they can't track x function of your phone when they want. EDIT: Keep in mind that depending on what you disable the app may not function properly.

    And toss out your Iphone. Well even any phone!
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