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Unread 08-04-10, 09:40 PM   #1
Psychophan7
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Addon to detect secret alts?

I read this column on wow.com yesterday, and it had me thinking. That entire situation could have easily been avoided.

In-game, /ginfo will list off when the guild was created, how many members there are, and how many unique accounts there are. Furthermore, the GuildEventLogFrame lists off all the recently joined/promoted/kicked/etc members.

Would it be possible for an addon to extract the contents of the GuildEventLogFrame, as well as /ginfo data? If the addon detected that there was a new member but the same number of accounts, it could report such to the user (and perhaps optionally to /officer or /guild chat.)

Alternatively, does such an addon already exist?
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Unread 08-04-10, 10:18 PM   #2
Phanx
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I'm not sure that sort of thing happens so often that writing an addon to (try to) detect it would really be worthwhile.

I say "try", because if the guild had 42 accounts and 71 characters when you logged off, and then had 44 accounts and 76 characters when you logged back on, you'd have 5 new characters and 2 new accounts. While 2 of the new characters obviously came from the 2 new accounts, you'd have no way to tell where the other 3 new characters came from.

You could try to avoid this issue by having multiple people in the guild run the addon, and share data, but if you're in a guild where you feel like you need to get a bunch of people running an addon to make sure other guild members aren't using alts to masquerade as different people, that's probably a strong sign that you should find a new guild.
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Unread 08-04-10, 11:54 PM   #3
sakurakira
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
... but if you're in a guild where you feel like you need to get a bunch of people running an addon to make sure other guild members aren't using alts to masquerade as different people, that's probably a strong sign that you should find a new guild.
Not just members, but officers. Because of this thread I went and read that Wow.come article (I usually avoid the guild drama letters there) and was surprised. It's one thing if some person sees that an officer didn't make a note about their alt status or something and decided to take advantage of it, but the problem in that guild was perpetrated by the officers themselves. There is no remedy for deceit like that, and the only way to avoid it is to leave such a guild.

If such an addon existed, I don't know how it would be able to distinguish alts that were IN the guild, vs those who were OUT of the guild. I have a main raider. I'm a good, loyal raider. I show up early for every raid and try to bring my A-game every time. If I want to have alts that are outside the guild (like I have currently, though they aren't very active), or an opposite faction alt (which I also have) I don't think that the rest of the guild has to know.
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Unread 08-05-10, 12:08 AM   #4
Enceladus
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Here is a thought:
My understanding is that the RealID information for your character can be seen in game by an add-on coded to access it. Anybody, supposedly, can access this data. If this is true, you could make an add-on that collects and associates character names with RealID information in a database. It could alert you when you a new character name is associated with a RealID and even share that data with others that use said add-on.
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Unread 08-05-10, 01:15 AM   #5
Nefrirr
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Originally Posted by Enceladus View Post
Here is a thought:
My understanding is that the RealID information for your character can be seen in game by an add-on coded to access it. Anybody, supposedly, can access this data.
Source? I'd like to know more details about this. If this is true and includes real names, this would be an outrage and would unleash an even bigger uproar among the community than the realID forum thing.

That's also the reason why I doubt that realID info can be accessed by anyone via the WoW API. Even revealing your name in the forums was a choice while this would be mandatory for everyone. Heck, this basically would be equivalent to publishing realID in the arsenal.
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Unread 08-05-10, 01:51 AM   #6
Enceladus
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wow.com link

WoW Forums thread

Here are links to wow.com and the WoW forums. I think I originally saw it linked from the epic thread on RealID being implemented on the forums. I did a google search on 'wow realid addons' and got a lot of results including one with a gearscore/realid hoax screen grab.

I would hope the API would not allow anyone but the BlizzUI to access that information but you never know.
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Unread 08-05-10, 03:16 AM   #7
Nefrirr
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Originally Posted by Enceladus View Post
Here are links to wow.com and the WoW forums.
Thanks. This actually doesn't look as bad as I thought. The problem discussed in this thread is, that addons can request RealID data of the user that is running the addon, not to anyone on the same server.

The danger is that addons can potentially pass on this information to other players without the user's knowledge, i.e. there is the possibility of "trojan addons".

This also means, this API function is not suitable for the addon that is discussed in this thread. Actually, I am pretty sceptic about the idea of revealing alts that others try to keep secret. I see that secret alts can be misused, but this is a conflict between privacy and security. I myself also prefer to have alts that are not necessarily known to everyone, for instance my auction house alt.
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Unread 08-05-10, 10:20 AM   #8
Taryble
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Also, according to Shefki (author of BlizzBugsSuck, which had a "fix" for addons being able to get your RealID Name), Blizzard removed that particular "bug" in a hotfix on the 10th of last month.

The API call that allowed addons to get it has been changed so that when you call it on yourself it just returns your character name.
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Unread 08-05-10, 10:26 AM   #9
Psychophan7
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Originally Posted by sakurakira View Post
If such an addon existed, I don't know how it would be able to distinguish alts that were IN the guild, vs those who were OUT of the guild. I have a main raider. I'm a good, loyal raider. I show up early for every raid and try to bring my A-game every time. If I want to have alts that are outside the guild (like I have currently, though they aren't very active), or an opposite faction alt (which I also have) I don't think that the rest of the guild has to know.
/ginfo only lists people in the guild. If your alt wasn't in the guild, then this hypothetical addon couldn't detect you.

Originally Posted by Enceladus View Post
Here is a thought:
My understanding is that the RealID information for your character can be seen in game by an add-on coded to access it. Anybody, supposedly, can access this data. If this is true, you could make an add-on that collects and associates character names with RealID information in a database. It could alert you when you a new character name is associated with a RealID and even share that data with others that use said add-on.
Addons were able to request the RealID information of the user, but Blizzard hotfixed it. It seems quite underhanded to exploit RealID that way, anyways.
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Unread 08-05-10, 04:53 PM   #10
SaraFdS
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Originally Posted by Phanx View Post
I'm not sure that sort of thing happens so often that writing an addon to (try to) detect it would really be worthwhile.

I say "try", because if the guild had 42 accounts and 71 characters when you logged off, and then had 44 accounts and 76 characters when you logged back on, you'd have 5 new characters and 2 new accounts. While 2 of the new characters obviously came from the 2 new accounts, you'd have no way to tell where the other 3 new characters came from.

You could try to avoid this issue by having multiple people in the guild run the addon, and share data, but if you're in a guild where you feel like you need to get a bunch of people running an addon to make sure other guild members aren't using alts to masquerade as different people, that's probably a strong sign that you should find a new guild.
Given the fact that only one character per account can be online at the same time (except for disconnects and some other technical issues like stuck characters) one could easily get the information who could (not) be whose alt.

Sure, it would take some time, depending on activity and number of members, but it's possible.
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Unread 08-05-10, 11:19 PM   #11
Phanx
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Originally Posted by SaraFdS View Post
Given the fact that only one character per account can be online at the same time (except for disconnects and some other technical issues like stuck characters) one could easily get the information who could (not) be whose alt.
True, but as you said, it would take time, and if there was a problem, by the time you gathered enough data to make a good guess as to which characters were on a single account, any damage would likely already be done. Depending on the guild's activity level, there's also a high likelihood of false positives using this method, as it's entirely possible for two people to go months without being online at the same itme.

Another thing to point out is that there is no way to detect if two accounts belong to the same person. It costs $20 (or less) to create a new account. If someone really wants to mess with you, I don't think $20 would be much of a deterrent. I know plenty of people who have bought a second account and paid for two months of time on it, just to get the Refer-A-Friend mount. Buying a second account is cheaper than buying a Celestial Steed, and look how many people have that thing.

Finally, like I said before, if you're in a guild where you suspect that this kind of thing is happening, or is likely to happen, you should just find another guild.

Originally Posted by Enceladus View Post
My understanding is that the RealID information for your character can be seen in game by an add-on coded to access it. Anybody, supposedly, can access this data.
Incorrect. There was a vulnerability, but it was hotfixed quite some time ago now. There is no longer a way for an addon installed on your system to learn your Real ID name.

It is still possible (obviously) for an addon installed on the system of someone you are Real ID friends with to compile a list of your characters, but you shouldn't be using Real ID with people you don't trust anyway.

It is also possible for an addon installed on your system to compile a list of your characters, and send it to someone else without your knowledge, without using Real ID at all. This has always been possible, but you shouldn't be using addons from untrustworthy sources, and I doubt reputable sites like WoWI or Curse would knowingly host such an addon. If you were really worried about it, though, you could simply install StopAddonMessage or something similar to control your outgoing addon comm traffic.

However, I don't think this concern is very relevant to the topic, as it's unlikely you'd get someone who is (possibly) harrassing you with secret alts to install such an addon.
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