We need your help in testing "Easy Anti Cheat"

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by EleonGameStudios, Apr 21, 2016.

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  1. EleonGameStudios

    EleonGameStudios Developer
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    Hi everyone,

    We have integrated a very effective anti-cheat system called "Easy Anti Cheat" (EAC) to avoid cheating on dedicated servers in Empyrion.

    EAC is not yet activated per default but we are planning to activate it beginning of next week. However, before we launch it officially, we would like to ask for your help in testing it. To use EAC you have to follow these steps:

    1. On your server, open dedicated.yaml and set: "EACActive: true"

    Now start your server and EAC is active. In the Server Browser, you will see a little protection icon besides the name of your server.

    2. All clients that want to connect to your sever have to run "EGS.exe" from inside the installation folder of Empyrion: C:\Steam\SteamApps\common\Empyrion - Galactic Survival
    (if Steam is not installed to standard location, see: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7418-YUBN-8129)

    Remember: Starting the game normally from your Steam Client will not allow you to connect to an EAC protected server for now - you have to manually start "EGS.exe".

    Next week, we will activate EAC per default and you will be able to start the game as usual from the Steam client (however, you can opt out to not use EAC by setting "EACActive: false" in your dedicated.yaml)

    Thanks in advance for your feedback and sharing your experience with EAC. Please post your feedback in this thread.

    Empyrion Dev Team
     
    #1
  2. Lt_Holt50 [Anthony]

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    For my part I know quite well that anti-cheat on another game. And frankly there has not be on it ... this is a good anti-cheat :). I think the returns you'll be logically positive
     
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  3. Frigidman

    Frigidman Rear Admiral

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    I'd like to test this, but honestly, I don't know how to cheat... so turning it on wouldn't be much help in testing, as I'm sure you guys have already tested if it can at least be turned on ;)

    Maybe some more unscrupulous individuals will take on the challenge of trying to setup a Cheat-Me! server. Maybe Eleon can setup an official server for the sole purpose of "Try and cheat here!".

    Plus, I don't want any zings against my steam account for actually cheating! That VAC stuff is scary as hell, and I don't know EAC.
     
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  4. Shannon Patterson

    Shannon Patterson Lieutenant

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    This game had a good vision and was a lot of fun to play to play online before it became more popular and attracted the "hackers". The developers are really nice people that just aren't cynical enough to know how much effort they need to put into security, specifically encryption of data between the client and server. No anti cheat software or system can ever solve this problem. The link below explains a bit about the current state of cheating and why I think this battle was lost before it even started.


    Insights from an Ex (Anti)Cheat Developer on the current cheating situation
    https://www.reddit.com/r/GlobalOffe...sights_from_an_ex_anticheat_developer_on_the/
     
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  5. Navonil Mukherjee

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    Is cheating is very concerning for this game??? what kind of cheating we are talking about?? this game is not a e-sports/competitive game where cheaters will use script to give themselves perfect reaction in a PvP where wining increases your stat globally (like CS or DOTA or LOL) nor having infinite resource actually dis balance the game (like starcraft)..
    only think I can think off is people using admin commands even they are not admin....
     
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  6. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    We do not necessarily search for help in cheat-testing, but if everything works as expected (no issues when starting/connecting)
     
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  7. Marca666

    Marca666 Commander

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    It's better to put in an anti cheat sooner, than being too late and sorry later. I have never heard of EAC, so I can't know if it's good or not. Let's just hope it won't end up banning wrongly due to bugs or other common Alpha things.

    What I think the most important part in an Anti-Cheat is it's ability to not be stopped. Same as a virus should not be able to take down the anti-virus.
    What also is critically important is how the program notifies admins. Having a fully autonomous program taking care of it all may sound wonderful, it obviously can't detect everything 100% correctly. This is where people step in and act.
    Regular updates to it would also be welcome.

    Hope it goes well and good luck.
     
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  8. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Coming from Minecraft PvP servers, I think this is a good thing to be implementing earlier rather than later.
     
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  9. Tyrax Lightning

    Tyrax Lightning Rear Admiral

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    Griefers & Player Haters. They go through an insane amount of trouble to ruin other people's fun for their own evil demented pleasure. :(

    Fully agreed. :)
     
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  10. Shannon Patterson

    Shannon Patterson Lieutenant

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    Cheating can imbalance the gameplay and the performance of the server itself, even crashing it in rare cases. These issues will continue to be addressed by the developers as they learn of them but the "hackers" will always be one step ahead due to how the client and server communicate currently. The potential damage caused by cheating is IMO much higher here than in a standard online game, where many hours are typically not spent building something that you or others care about. The new tools are great but they're like being handed a chainsaw to fight zombies when it is still possible for there to be no zombies to begin with.

    That's my 2 cents at least.
     
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  11. Ulithium_Dragon

    Ulithium_Dragon Lieutenant

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    Why not just use VAC? Your game is already being run though Steam...

    Granted I know Easy Anti Cheat works perfectly well, it's just: why not just use Valve's included service? :L
     
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  12. Darkness (yami)

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    sorry to burst bubbles but i know of 2 games that use eac and both still have hacker problems (granted not as much as if it was not there) but its like a bandaid on a gunshot wound
    however if used as a tool by server admins properly it can be quite the one up on the hacker eliment limiting things or rather making them do things so they can cheat (eg forcing them to resort to getting access to creative in a survival game easaly detectable when admins bother looking for it)

    but regardless eac is 1 good factor in a 2 factor system and the second factor is already out and inplay they are just not in play together yet

    as a side note vac only nails KNOWN cheats not new ones someone can write a new cs hack today and vac won't even know it for another 6 weeks and thats only if they sell their exploit eac looks for those new ones but often tryed tested and true slip threw

    implimenting eac at this stage however is a big plus as theres very very few tryed tested and true methids of cheating yet and by beta most of those methids will likely be irelivent
     
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  13. Astasia

    Astasia Ensign

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    Most anti-cheat software is a scam, at best it's useless bloatware only capable of stopping last month's popular cheats, sometimes it's outright malware that games force users to install. From what I've read about EAC in other games, it doesn't do much but cause a lot of issues for normal players, including frequent disconnects and crashes. It doesn't make sense to me to add to a game like this, servers are private, owners already have all the tools they need to keep out hackers and restore the damage done.

    As somebody who only plays single play though, I don't much care what you do with server play, as long as it doesn't effect me, but I'd rather not have to download or install that garbage at all. Being forced to go into game files and change settings is not ideal, and presumably that means I wouldn't be able to delete the EAC files completely after being forced to download them? Not happy if that is the case.
     
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  14. Crazyfly

    Crazyfly Commander

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    The main issue is there different things going on for example a lot of things the trainer does there are glitches in the game you can do for most except the fabled god mode (maybe one or two other things) which has been explained to me to be false. This god mode just makes the players hp have 999 hp and a regen of 999 hp, 1 sec tic. These people are still killable if you have enough firepower. As for hex editor users theres 2 groups the malicious and the passives. The malicious like to instant spawn not one or two ships, but, armada's worth of ships and then throw abnormal stacks of ammo into the cargo boxes (stacks of 15mm at 5k, 50k, 90k, or whatever they inject what they want into existing cargo boxes). The passives up there drill power and r&r power and depending on the individual some inject things like, alien deco blocks.

    From my point of view having seen a lot of this stuff since I play a lot. The passive hexeditor users are really happy about textures and symbols they don't need there editors for that anymore. They still up there drills so in my honest opinion, either another tier or 2 of drill might be considered. Possibly, ultimate solution is already underway which is the automated mining down the road, after, other features have been put in. The other possible solution may come much later down the line with mod support (talking a few years probably, being realistic, if it happens sooner hurray!). For example, someone may make a magic drill mod or a multitier drill mod where there could be more tiers with a price to fit the benefits. The passive hexeditor user may even be one of your current neighbors or helped you when you needed it. Not just a taxi they may have helped you rebuild after you lost your stuff. These people from my point of view won't need these later down the line as the game gets various features added to it.


    Whereas I don't really see the passive ones as a threat to even the stability of the game. I feel the opposite for the malicious users. Spawning entire armada's? We found one dude at first we thought he was actually making his ships. I salvaged one and somehow missed the ammo boxes someone else found'm and saw stacks of 100k. Later on when we patrolled pvp space someone found him over one of the snow planets. Multiple dreadnaught mkIIs various large ships most flying deathtraps over 50 capitol ships(the guy has barely been on for a week, even if I stayed up between work hours, I couldn't make you a small fleet of dreads). At that point he was like well gg and logged off. That zone crashed as one of the salvage participants actually just wanted to blow stuff up. Doesn't help in a zone with so many large vessels that might as well be lag ships at that point.

    The malicious ones don't care or think about the consequences of what they are doing. For example they want to pvp, they don't want to mine, they spawn ships in and go fighting. I have battled in zones for prolonged periods, zones become unstable, not just the one that the battling is done in, but, the rest as well will start having more core glitches, people falling through the ground, and other issues. The initial changes like the injected ammo actually do little to harm the server. On the other hand the amount of ships and there sizes do have a impact on server performance when there playfield is active, and results in drastically larger save files (a lot sooner than they should be).


    Then we have the hackers. A breed all of there own (two groups of them as well). The best make there own programs and either sell them or keep them to themselves. In this case it may not fall on any one group to fix. Anti-cheat sounds like a good first step. But, now the cat and mouse games will begin. Everytime someone makes a defense, someone comes up with a way to destroy it. Same with anti-cheat someone who decides they want to cheat, will find a way.

    Then we have the funny stuff like people who edited the creative file on there ships and throw hv or cv turrets on a sv. Other things you can do with that, its kinda funny. No, before you, ask you can attach sv landing gear to a cv doing it, but, when you try to actually dock the said cv with sv landing gear to another cv they explode (doesn't matter sv/hv landing gear all explode). Just the landing gear and the blocks of both cvs damaged or destroyed (depends on settings for that playfield).


    I won't act like I'm a high and mighty guy. I stand on even ground that's bout it. I almost used a series of glitches along with a dupe method to try to crash a zone. Why, you ask? A guy with a faction we were at war with came and render glitched. Then proceeded to destroy our base for two hours, while admins sat in a do not disturb channel. At first we had no idea it was still nighttime and to dark but once I got him close to my lights and daylight got closer we could see it. Even after being told by others he was render glitched he continued.
    20160317144932_1.jpg 20160317145109_1.jpg

    Up to that point we had really done nothing wrong except, two of our 11 person crew wouldn't stop using the float glitch and our whole plan was to declare war on the server from there lawless region, create a big battle. Instead one dude jumped into an asp with one or two rocket launchers. He went and shot down an aid ship. We had meteorites shot out from us on pve worlds. When we finally left to go to the lawless region, it was through blood and flame and two of us being ninjas. They ran into a base with a decent gun setup and ammo already loaded in. Up to that render glitch stated above the majority of our ships were built using reactor cores to drastically reduce bp times or stolen from the main faction we were at war with. After that, one dude got a trainer, another duped hardcore. I started to dupe. I went to a moon no one recided and started, my berserker rage overboiling. The guy who got the trainer said "Dude, I don't want to do nothing like that lets just blow there stuff up and leave". I had to go to work shortly after. I asked the gamer friends I had there. They quoted me in a way "the guy who says its all pixels at the end of the day is mad over what now?". In the end I realized there was no point to trying to destabilize a zone through that method (which considering what I was willing to spawn in they might have had to roll back the whole server cause of one zone). We blew a bunch of stuff up I left 2 narn vessels in a pole as a gift and even told them how to get'm out. Instead of as many venator class vessels I could put into the center of bieber ( you know the 600m long ones). All using glitches mind you. Not hacks.

    Strangely shortly after returning to the server I want to call home someone showed up and did something similar. They spawned bout 30ish 100x100x100 buildings in the middle of a starter planet none of us were even on. All that they were composed of when the admin through them into creative was a core and stairs. Everyblock a stair. I had no idea but apparently nice blocky staircase is a lag item when used with tons of others. We believe in this case they either used a hexeditor for instaspawn or the trainer to instadupe reactor cores (Reactor cores knock off the most time on bp builds at the this time. Example it takes about 45ish to make a 35minish build to 1 sec). The only thing that happened is where most of us were building someone through up two moonbases inside one another. Since the guy mentioned above started on akua we have no idea if this was revenge or just someone messing around. Same with the moonbases.


    So to end it theres glitchers, trainer users/scrip kitty's(might be kiddie's only heard the term not actually seen it written or typed), hexeditor users, and then hackers. If the eac stops the trainers and/or hexeditor users nice. That still leaves us the glitchers and hackers. Glitchers will phase out as the game becomes less buggy. The hackers who knows? Maybe one day.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
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  15. Eliteace

    Eliteace Captain

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    i cant have to many processes running on my computer it overload as it is
     
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  16. Ulithium_Dragon

    Ulithium_Dragon Lieutenant

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    Even good anti-cheat software often fails due to poor implementation.

    A perfect example of Easy Anti Cheat working well (and on a very similar style of game) would be Robocraft: the minute they got it running, ALL cheating stopped. No more cheaters have been spotted and not immediately banned since.

    While a lot of anti-cheat stuff IS absolutely TERRIBLE, EAC is "fine" if implemented correctly.

    ---
    That being said (as I said above), not sure why you guys didn't just use VAC (Value Anti Cheat) - the game isn't even available not through Steam, is it...?
     
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  17. Darkness (yami)

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    VAC is useless against live true blue hacks (morals that i have put aside) that means i can go onto a vac protected game and with my mad skills rather then prebuilt stuff and actually turn on godmode but that is because i am manipulating the code in a live manner (simplest example of this in action is "cheatengine" however not always as simple as just using the listed application as nearly every anticheat blocks it this is why it was the chosen research example because its WELL KNOWN making it useless) but even vac nails the prebuilt stuffs like the mentions simple example the way around the vac system is to do what the example does with out the application (not easy not easy at all)

    EAC on the other hand is the reverse unfortunately seeing out and tracking down live manipulation it catches the same example application by not looking for the potential of the program but the actual changes thus in the case of say a god mode cheat EAC detects nothing untill said cheater takes a hit because its looking for that change in health that should have happened but didn't

    the best anticheat is to combine both eac and vac together with vac looking for the stuff that does the the cheat eac watches what the cheater does and works off that

    this is what i suspect they are going to try and do however another point to get hands on vac they need to meet valves seal of approval and to my knowledge that requires a released game not an alpha or beta there are also a few other stipulations to it such as a closed testing group (i could be totally wrong on what the criteria is when it comes to valves seal of approval but i do know its needed so it could also be something as simple as a released game on steam but i do know from observation there has never been to my knowlage a beta alpha or prerelease of any kind protected by vac its always been after release in alot of cases the day of the release and the day of getting vac protection have been the same((side note ark did not have vac protection it did however have vac ban lists and the ability to submit stuff to vac but the protection system its self the "vac secure" is still to this day not there
     
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  18. Ulithium_Dragon

    Ulithium_Dragon Lieutenant

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    @Darkness (yami):

    Ah, good to know - thanks for the information!

    I've never tried to hack before (it would take all the challenge out of a game, and thus at least for me, all the fun lol), so I was a bit "uninformed".

    I've used Cheat Engine before, but only to resolve errors and gamebreaking bugs in games without alternative methods of fixing them. I didn't know VAC did not handle real-time data tampering lol.

    ...That being said, I've recently been talking with some people who have been using Cheat Engine scripts to "hack" on various Emperion Multiplayer Servers that have EAC enabled, and it's not doing very well at spotting them! n.nU

    Like I said above, EAC can work at an almost 100% spotting rate (I think I've said this before, but a good example of this would be "Robocraft"), but the implementation of it into the games it is being used on is often not well-done, which is what causes it to "fail"... =.=
     
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  19. piddlefoot

    piddlefoot Rear Admiral

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    Its simple really, for all the people complaining, go play on a server not monitored by the anticheat software, have fun and good luck wiih that.
    The rest of us would like the anti cheat system worked on, and no anti cheat will ever be perfect.
    Darkness is correct Steam wont touch it unless the game is a fully released game.

    This game needs anti cheat software, even if not perfect.
     
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  20. Cpt_Beefheart

    Cpt_Beefheart Captain

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    Sure I'd love to help, but the servers with easy anti cheat on them at the moment kick me for apparently launching the game through Steam. Can this be fixed without needing to dig out the actual executable file?
     
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