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Square Enix Response to System Scan Rumor

Response from Square Enix:

Recently the FINAL FANTASY XI community on Allakhazam has been discussing an untrue rumor. We would like to put that rumor to rest by stating that there has been no change in the PlayOnline software that would allow it to report on a user's active programs, or cause it to send the data back to Square Enix. We want to make this official announcement so that our members will not be alarmed or confused by a rumor that has no basis in fact.

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Processguard
# Apr 04 2007 at 1:46 PM Rating: Decent
I read this post and decided to check it out myself. I downloaded processguard, set it up, and launched ffxi. Indeed, FFXI does scan your system's processes. Since they are probably allowed to do it because thats the rules if you want to install their software, its up to you to figure out how to block it from scanning things if you dont want it to or to choose not to install FFXI on a computer you want secure.
Um...
# Mar 11 2007 at 7:19 PM Rating: Good
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1,056 posts
If all the program is doing is a version of Blizzard's check program, I really don't mind, ONLY as long as it's checking my system the way Blizzard does.

But this IS kinda fishy. I'd also like to see something like this posted on POL website to make it "OFFICIAL".

What I want to know is why someone would post this on alla when Pikko/Exo pointedly stated that an SE rep reads these forums. I doubt they would be invited back after impersonating someone from SE.

But if it really IS an announcement straight from SE, could they legally lie this blatantly? Most of the time they will just walk around the issue to make it seem like they said something they came nowhere near stating.
Premier Community Website
# Mar 11 2007 at 11:42 AM Rating: Default
Premier Community Website? Ahhhh. So that's what they call a website set up by a well known Currency seller..... and as far as the pol.exe.... IT'S ALWAYS BEEN IN THE GAME YOU R-TARDS!
who cares
# Mar 11 2007 at 8:49 AM Rating: Decent
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150 posts
who cares if they do search your comp. What you trying to hide. So long as your following the terms of agreement you got nothing to fear. I say let them search my files I dont use any hacks or cheats so i could care less
found this
# Mar 11 2007 at 1:23 AM Rating: Decent
i found this

Description: File pol.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows XP are 641536 bytes (66% of all occurrence), 949760 bytes, 645632 bytes.
The program has a visible window. It is not a Windows system file. Program listens for or sends data on open ports to LAN or Internet. It can change the behavior of other programs or manipulate other programs. pol.exe is able to record inputs, monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 35% dangerous.


it says pol.exe can monitor our applications there they were already aware of what we were running while we were playing...i believe they tried to accomodate for new patches and third party programs and a programming error occurred... they will fix it...hopefully sooner than later..
Putting the "rumors" to restaru
# Mar 10 2007 at 11:05 PM Rating: Decent
Lunaryn from FFXI Online wrote:

For what it's worth, based on the threads about this I decided to take a look with the free version of Process Guard, here's the alerts from launching POL Viewer:

19:06:51 [EXECUTION] "c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe" was allowed to run
[EXECUTION] Started by "c:\winnt\explorer.exe" [932]
[EXECUTION] Commandline - [ "c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe" ]
19:06:55 [EXECUTION] "c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\util\ startpol.exe" was allowed to run
[EXECUTION] Started by "c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe" [1504]
[EXECUTION] Commandline - [ "c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\util\ startpol.exe" /init ]
19:06:57 [READ] c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe [1504] was blocked from reading c:\winnt\system32\lsass.exe [236]
19:06:57 [READ] c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe [1504] was blocked from reading c:\program files\processguard\dcsuserprot.exe [516]
19:06:57 [READ] c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe [1504] was blocked from reading c:\winnt\explorer.exe [932]
19:06:57 [READ] c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe [1504] was blocked from reading c:\program files\java\jre1.5.0_11\bin\jusched.exe [1072]
19:06:57 [READ] c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe [1504] was blocked from reading c:\program files\bittorrent\bittorrent.exe [1024]
19:06:57 [READ] c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe [1504] was blocked from reading c:\program files\openoffice.org 2.1\program\soffice.exe [1140]
19:06:57 [READ] c:\program files\playonline\squareenix\playonlineviewer\pol.e xe [1504] was blocked from reading c:\program files\openoffice.org 2.1\program\soffice.bin [1216]

And that's just the processes I bothered to protect from reading for this test run; presumably it's going through the whole list. This doesn't tell us what it's trying to read or why, but it is making the attempt to read something.


Yes, it is scanning your system.
No, it is not limited to justaru your POL folder; it's scanning your ENTIRE system.
Read the EULA
# Mar 10 2007 at 8:52 PM Rating: Decent
Always funny to read post about people saying its against the law, they cant enter my pc, I will sue them. For the guy who said that Blizzard was not guilty to enter your PC, im sorry for you but you dont know what your talking about.

Never heard about the WARDEN ? It process every 15 seconds in your PC to scan any open window for words like 'Bots' etc, etc. Its legal for Blizzard to do so because everytime you enter the game YOU agree with them to do it. How? When you click: "Do you agree with the EULA?" you give them the permission to do so.

Read the EULA carefuly its written there that they have the right to check for software running in the background. And everyone who play WoW since the BETA will tell you the exact date when it started: when Iron Forge start lagging like mad.

And if Square Enix decide one day to do the same, they will write it down in the EULA and its up to you to decide if you want them to scan your PC, and they wont ask your permission to do so, maybe they will ask the japanese ^^.

Its just sad that companies have to insert Spies in their games because of stupid players using "speedhack", "fishbots" and other crap.

But if I had to choose between a game with a thousand of fishbot level 1 with Lu-Shang on my server destroying the game economy and a Spy running in my background, I dont know but I think I prefer the Spy.

Have a nice day everyone! <(^-^)>
connection problem since march 8th update
# Mar 10 2007 at 4:29 PM Rating: Default
Hi,

Since the March 8th update, I noticed that I get "stuck" when entering certain zones (Mount Zhayolm, Bhanflau Thicket, etc.) What happens is I enter the zone, I see the sending and receiving work for a few seconds, then I see receive number on top the screen drop to 0. Eventually, this times out, and I get kicked from the system.

I am running the game on a PC. I have a router at home that does IP port forwarding. I tested the game without my router, and all the sudden, the same zones become accessible again. As soon as I hook up the router again, the same problem occurs. I went to the extend to map every TCP and UDP port to my PC through the router. This still causes the game to fail in certain zones (not every zone, just certain zones...)

Conclusion: SE has changed the PC client in some part of the code that does not permit IP port forwardiing for certain zones. I am not sure if the same bug exist on PS2 or XBox 360 since I don't have these 2 systems.

I guess I have to play the game with dedicated IP connection until this bug is fixed.
    SE if you are reading this, THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM WITH ISP, THIS IS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR CLIENT SOFTWARE.


Onidori.
connection problem since march 8th update
# Mar 12 2007 at 9:44 AM Rating: Decent
I also have this exact problem. I can't use a dedicated ISP because i have many computers in the house running off one router. I spoke to the GMs to try and inform them of the problem. and they told me it had nothing to do with there servers and ended the session without notice. I was appalled by their ignorance and rudeness. I had never called a GM before and I can't say I ever want to again after dealing with this one!

S.E. i urge you if you are indeed reading this. Please look into the problem don't dismiss it as connectivity problems 'cause i can log in as any mule and i can get the same character into certain zones. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE CLIENT!
this is fucked up shit
# Mar 10 2007 at 2:45 PM Rating: Default
ok well something is going on because i cant log on to my main character but i can log on to my mules with out a problem. i call SE up and they say its my isp and they tell me that i need to rerout the isp address and they give me the numbers and **** and i do it..... nothing changed at all so its not our isp i think its SE and they are just to ******* lazy to fix it.
Ok here's the Scope
# Mar 10 2007 at 2:25 PM Rating: Default
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193 posts
Under International Law, NO company is aloude to us a program to look into your HDD at any given time. Bilzard the makers of WOW and Diablo I, II, and Diablo Lord of Tarror, where also acused of this, and they where found to have not done so, doing such could Cause the company to be shut down and that would kill the game as a whole. Fearth more, if you are really that worried then try running the POL Check program Feature on the POL start-up screen yo me have had a download error, it has happened to me befor, I got a new update and I couldn't get my macros to work at all. SO don't jump to conclusions just yet and yes I have a friend haveing that same problem in the Sky areas. I wouls say there's a Glich in the program first befor I'd think that SE is stuipd enough to Juperdize their company to a potenchel MAJOR Lwasuit. So please wait, be pationt and lets see what happens next.
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Ok here's the Scope
# Mar 11 2007 at 5:51 AM Rating: Decent
Quote:
Under International Law, NO company is aloude to us a program to look into your HDD at any given time. Bilzard the makers of WOW and Diablo I, II, and Diablo Lord of Tarror, where also acused of this, and they where found to have not done so


first of all WoW uses warden whitch does just what you said they do not. Your an idiot if you think that there is some internatial law that says companies can not scane your hdd. Hello wake up fool everytime you up date windows or a update for any of the MMORPG running now they all scane your HDD for things. What do you think that first part of any update that you get on FFxi you know the one that is scaneing your computer to see what files you have for the actle update of fine. Microsoft whe makers orf windows its self scanes your computer on a reguler bases and has no one coming after them for any violation of any internatial laws nor ir WoW whitch every time you log onto has a program scaning your computer for illigale in game activity. What they did prove is that they were not gathering personal information whitch scaning your puter fot that is not against any law
Show me your screenshots.
# Mar 10 2007 at 12:20 PM Rating: Default
I read this thread: http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10;mid=11733838719219803;page=1;howmany=50#11733838719219803

I didn't see that before. Sorry if anyone read what I had posted before I edited it all out.

When people ask ME what I have to hide, I say I have a patient-therapist obligation to NOT TELL OR SHOW ANYONE WHAT MY PATIENTS TALK ABOUT. I often take notes on my computer. I could go to jail for SE scanning my ****.

Edited, Mar 10th 2007 3:38pm by SummonerFenrir
Show me your screenshots.
# Mar 11 2007 at 5:57 AM Rating: Decent
Dude chill out if SE is gathering information there is in no way your going to get into trouble. If they are gathering information its most likly them getting info to see if bots and what not are running nor to look in your personal files
BS
# Mar 10 2007 at 10:20 AM Rating: Good
So I guess Process Guard is lying to me, and I photoshopped the screen shot showing POL.exe scanning EVERY running process on my system?? Sorry but this "official" announcement is bullShit.
BS
# Mar 11 2007 at 6:02 AM Rating: Decent
I can't get my process gaurd to show anything like what you are getting.


When is it doing the checks? Do you have to zone?
BS
# Mar 11 2007 at 7:13 AM Rating: Decent
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660 posts
Consilieri wrote:
I can't get my process gaurd to show anything like what you are getting.


When is it doing the checks? Do you have to zone?


Open process guard. take it out of learning mode. click on the tab for protection. Click on the top process then scroll to the bottom. hold shift then click on the last process (this will select all). Put a checkmark in protect this application from reading.

Sort the list by name. If POL.exe is in there, remove its permissions that authorize the app to read protected applications. If it is not listed, add the application pol.exe from 'C:\Program Files\PlayOnline\SquareEnix\PlayOnlineViewerpol.exe' and remove its permissions.

Launch POL.exe. Upon launch process guard will show in the alerts tab what is being detected
World of sh*t
# Mar 10 2007 at 8:24 AM Rating: Default
Well i can tell ya this is SE is doing this they are in a world of trouble hence its against the law to sit there and hack into your harddrive to see what programs you are running. So if its true SE will crash in the biggest scam on the internet.


bah sry if double post...u guys gotta fix this error thing
World of sh*t
# Mar 10 2007 at 8:24 AM Rating: Default
Well i can tell ya this is SE is doing this they are in a world of trouble hence its against the law to sit there and hack into your harddrive to see what programs you are running. So if its true SE will crash in the biggest scam on the internet.
Why would you care?
# Mar 10 2007 at 8:14 AM Rating: Good
Yes, this is my first post in here, but still, all this brings me to one question to you guys (and girls):

If you are not using any third party applications, why would you care about this rumor?

No need to answer, it was rhetorical.
Paranoid.
# Mar 10 2007 at 7:03 AM Rating: Good
45 posts
You guys are paranoid. Nobody cares one iota what you have on your harddrive, and even if SE was scanning users harddrives, there would be too much information to process in any reasonable amount of time.

You want to feel important enough to be spied on, but you guys just aren't evil enough.
i keeping getting dc'ed
# Mar 10 2007 at 2:27 AM Rating: Default
ok so maybe its not just my comp thats doing this...i tried to zone from lower to upper jueno and got dc...friend logged into khazam and everytime he gets dc'ed...he tried to zone from windurst to east sarutabaruta with his mule and got dc'ed...whats going on?
What a coincidence
# Mar 10 2007 at 12:44 AM Rating: Default
Just when SEI is trying to cover its collective "assets" related to this issue, sudden "connection issues" appear, are subsequently denied by SEI, then when investigated are blamed on player ISP. Could it be that some ISP's have built in protection against just this kind of malicious spyware...or is this all just a small misunderstanding on the part of we the players? All I know for sure is that I've already lost <impossible to gauge> gil due to lost plants during the update and will lose more now because of this connection issue (for which SEI continues to deny responsibility). Ah yes, my trust grows by the moment...

Solfleur (Flower)
Alexander
lol
# Mar 10 2007 at 12:32 AM Rating: Default
Quote:
I phoned PlayOnline. I spoke to Charles, who would give no further identifying information (ie. ID#, etc) to distinguish himself from any other Charles who might be employed there, but did mention that he was the "only Charles in the information centre".

In short:

Yes. pol.exe is scanning your running processes and memory.

Yes. This data is being transmitted back to SEI.

The first time the guy stated that it was being transmitted back, he assured me that it was only to check for third party apps. I pointed out that this was not acceptable under the terms of their current agreement.

I was then placed on hold for about 20 minutes.

When I came back from being on hold, I was informed that the data collected was in line with their software agreement, and then quoted off to me a section of their privacy policy regarding to collection of personal data during account creation. I'd like to note here that I cannot find their privacy policy on the playonline website, I can only find the User Agreement, their GM policies, behaviour guidelines, and their website Privacy Policy, despite the User Agreement clearly stating that the POL/FFXI Privacy Policy can be found on www.playonline.com. (Charles also directed me to the website.)


lol
# Mar 10 2007 at 12:29 AM Rating: Default
opps

Edited, Mar 10th 2007 3:31am by sugyii
Allakhazam = Roswell?
# Mar 09 2007 at 9:48 PM Rating: Decent
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3,317 posts
I think they key sentence is "Recently the FINAL FANTASY XI community on Allakhazam has been discussing an untrue rumor." Putting it on the official website is unnecessary , as the rumor stems from here. And why would Pikko all of a sudden out of the blue decide to ruin any of her chances of being invited back to a Square-Enix event by making up an offical announcement? I'd sell you a bridge but you probally don't carry real money because of the secret government recording devices in the ink.
Allakhazam = Roswell?
# Mar 10 2007 at 9:11 AM Rating: Default
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201 posts
Redyoshi wrote:
I think they key sentence is "Recently the FINAL FANTASY XI community on Allakhazam has been discussing an untrue rumor." Putting it on the official website is unnecessary , as the rumor stems from here.



I can point you at different sites (some of which are "premier community sites") that have had this topic in their forums. In some cases it's been in their forums longer then the thread here. They don't have as an active or as large of a posting community, but it's more than just allakhazam. The FFXI community is larger than allakhazam. If somebody from another site reads the posts here, and then takes that information to other sites, if none of those people ever read anything on Allakhazam, they're left with the impression that SE is spying on them.

Again, If it's not on playonline.com or within POL, I don't care how good pikko's intentions or contacts are, it's not an official announcement. Maybe if there was a "John Doe from SquareEnix said:" or "This guy I met when I was at SE's offices sent me email saying:" I might give it more credence, but I still wouldn't consider it an "official announcement". An unattributed announcement like this has as much believeability as the original "SE is spying on us" stuff.

I'm not suggesting that anybody break out the tinfoil hats, I just think SE needs to stop being so damn secretive. Even when companies make announcements on network news, there is a company representative that makes the statement, and usually that statement is mirrored somewhere on the official company website. I don't see why SE won't follow what would be considered standard business practices. Maybe if they did follow the accepted standard their BBB rating wouldn't be an "F" and there wouldn't be a need for this conversation.



Allakhazam = Roswell?
# Mar 10 2007 at 6:51 AM Rating: Decent
oh my god! I'm totally out of tin foil!
Allakhazam = Roswell?
# Mar 10 2007 at 12:54 AM Rating: Decent
"Nothing to see here... Move along, move along..."
..........
# Mar 09 2007 at 9:14 PM Rating: Default
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660 posts
What about the screenshots? What about the multiple confirmations by multiple users that pol.exe was caught trying to check the processes running? What about the customer service rep who stated that SEI is scanning for 'third party applications'? It's not on the pol website and you're not giving us a name of an 'official' from SE who gave you the comment. The thread is locked where the subject was breached and the sticky is locked leaving no room for questioning.....

Smells fishy to me......
not real
# Mar 09 2007 at 8:26 PM Rating: Default

Not real. This isn't official. If it isn't on PlayOnline USA's website it isn't worth more than a grain of salt
National Protection
# Mar 09 2007 at 7:03 PM Rating: Default
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"Nothing to hide, nothing to worry about"?
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Hey Square-Enix
# Mar 09 2007 at 6:38 PM Rating: Default
If this is an official announcement, can it be found on the POL website? :D



Just curious.
Hey Square-Enix
# Mar 09 2007 at 7:23 PM Rating: Default
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201 posts
sonicmonkeys wrote:
If this is an official announcement, can it be found on the POL website? :D

Just curious.



I can't find this information anywhere on playonline.com.

If it is not on playonline.com or within POL, it can't be an official announcement.
No sane company would make anonymous "official announcements" on third party websites.


Hey Square-Enix
# Mar 09 2007 at 8:05 PM Rating: Good
SE does post official notices on Premier websites, this being one of them.
Hey Square-Enix
# Mar 09 2007 at 7:42 PM Rating: Good
Worst. Title. Ever!
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17,302 posts
Quote:
third party websites.


You mean a Premier Community Website?

It's not just some random website.
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