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  1. #1

    Blizzard adding almost invisible watermarks on screenshots

    Hello! I just stumbled upon a topic on slashdot.org site about Blizzard adding an almost invisible watermark on the screenshots that users take. You can find the story here http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/0...warcraft-users

    The original discussion takes place here <removed>

    Thoughts?

    Mod Edit: Please don't link to sites that contain information on botting/exploits etc.
    Last edited by mmoc99cfbcce04; 2012-09-12 at 01:03 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
    Hemet was behind Garrosh's escape and time travel just so he could hunt big game on old Draenor.

  2. #2
    if it catches exploiters and cheaters go for it. with a game this easy its kinda sad people bot, cheat, and exploit.

  3. #3
    Legendary! Fenixdown's Avatar
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    Are they actually doing this now?
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  4. #4
    The Insane Thage's Avatar
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    Watermarks are fine and I didn't even know this particular one existed, meaning it's so unobtrusive there's really no point being concerned about it.
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  5. #5
    Epic! videotape's Avatar
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    They've been doing it since 2008. In the original thread you can find irrefutable evidence of the fact, as someone took the time to disassemble the OS X WoW client and even alter it to explicitly capture only the watermark when taking a screenshot.

    Furthermore the information has been successfully decoded and it contains server IP, account name, and a timestamp.

    I don't really think this is an issue at all, but it is certainly happening and people are apparently very freaked out about it.

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-11 at 11:18 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Callei View Post
    Watermarks are fine and I didn't even know this particular one existed, meaning it's so unobtrusive there's really no point being concerned about it.
    The concern people have is with respect to privacy, not obtrusiveness.

    Of course I don't personally feel this is a privacy battle worth fighting.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenixdown View Post
    Are they actually doing this now?
    Apparently it's been going on since 2008 already.

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  7. #7
    Isn't that some kind of compression artifact ?

    Edit : Well, apparently not.
    Last edited by Eled.; 2012-09-11 at 03:27 PM.

  8. #8
    The Insane Thage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    The concern people have is with respect to privacy, not obtrusiveness.

    Of course I don't personally feel this is a privacy battle worth fighting.
    Ah. Well, on that Ownedcore thread, I didn't see password info, and one without the other doesn't do you much good unless the person in question has a simple password (which nearly every website for a major service strongly advises against when you enter a weak one).

    I agree, if it's a privacy battle it feels like it would by Pyrrhic at best to "win" it.
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  9. #9
    Epic! videotape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eled. View Post
    Isn't that some kind of compression artifact ?
    No. Read the thread.

  10. #10
    I tested and indeed after 3 sharpening operation some regular shapes appear on the screenshot. i'm not savvy enough to interpret them though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
    Hemet was behind Garrosh's escape and time travel just so he could hunt big game on old Draenor.

  11. #11
    Epic! videotape's Avatar
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    Stealing this from a Slashdot poster since it helped me see the clear evidence amidst all of the ignorant speculation:

    What's important are these posts:

    1.) Disassembly from the Mac OS X client, which shows watermark functions triggered in the screenshot routine.

    2.) Using a memory modifier, the client is edited to only save the watermark (discarding the actual screenshot) even in JPEG 10 and Lossless formats. Completely disproves compression artefacts theory.

    3.) Further disassembly shows the following are included in the watermark: Account Name, Realm Info (Serialized, unknown content), Realm IP, Timestamp
    Last edited by Tziva; 2013-01-02 at 03:39 AM. Reason: removed links per mod edit in OP

  12. #12
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    so they designed the game so that when you press printscreen on the last sec there is an extra almost unseen layer added?

    interresting, i myself am not so worried about it. but its interesting too see WoW had still secrets after all this time.

  13. #13
    The Undying Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
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    Hey, it also helps give credit where credit is due for people who SS cool new things.
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  14. #14
    The only real issue here is if outside parties find a way to access and use this feature to steal accounts or something like that. If only blizzard can decipher them, it a non-issue and just helps them catch account sellers and cheaters.

  15. #15
    Can't find anything in my .TGA screenshots.
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  16. #16
    Epic! videotape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serissa View Post
    Can't find anything in my .TGA screenshots.
    As the disassembly of the client reveals, the watermark is explicitly left out of high-quality screenshots, presumably to avoid ugliness (as opposed to the more paranoid speculation that it's to avoid detection.)

  17. #17
    The Insane Thage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    As the disassembly of the client reveals, the watermark is explicitly left out of high-quality screenshots, presumably to avoid ugliness (as opposed to the more paranoid speculation that it's to avoid detection.)
    Any word if it shows on .png screens?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    They've been doing it since 2008. In the original thread you can find irrefutable evidence of the fact, as someone took the time to disassemble the OS X WoW client and even alter it to explicitly capture only the watermark when taking a screenshot.

    Furthermore the information has been successfully decoded and it contains server IP, account name, and a timestamp.

    I don't really think this is an issue at all, but it is certainly happening and people are apparently very freaked out about it.
    Couldn't of said it better myself.

    It only shows when you take a screenshot in WoW and you use the image stored on your screenshots folder.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by videotape View Post
    No. Read the thread.
    I could have been the case because, if I remember well, TGA was the only available screenshot option until around WotLK, if my memory is correct.
    Then the problem could have been synchronous with the release of JPEG screenshots.

    Anyway, that's quite funny. I don't really see how that could be of any use.. identifying people giving away screenshots on the internet ? Well, yeah.

  20. #20
    Legendary! Fenixdown's Avatar
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    Yeah, I wasn't about to go to two websites I've never been to to read articles, but now that I've seen a few more replies to this thread I see what the "issue" is.

    Yet another "OMG BLIZZARD IS SHARING ALL MAH INFOZ AND IMA GET RAPED OR SHOT IRL" argument. It's Real ID on the forums all over again.

    Your right to privacy ends when your IP connects, people. This isn't an abortion clinic. This isn't the Department of Motor Vehicles. This isn't your on the side girlfriend's house. If you don't want your information exploited, here's a hint. Don't use the internet. Period.
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