Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Freaky hidden private info in your screenshots

Now this article has freaked me out, and I think I need to start renaming all my screenshots instead of just uploading them as they are to my blog!

WoW Screenshots allegedly include Account names, IP info
...users on the OwnedCore forums did some digging and discovered watermarks within official (read: not taken by third-party programs, ala FRAPS) screenshots that, when decrypted, reveal three key pieces of information: 1) your account name, 2) a timestamp of when the screenshot was taken, and 3) the IP address of your current realm. (Note: that’s not your IP address.) Many users – among them, PC Gamer – then went on to verify that this is, in fact, true...
Well one way to counter this they say is to set it to high quality screenies (which I THINK I have already I'm off to do it again just in case) by doing this:

/console SET screenshotQuality “10″

Of course, if I stopped being lazy and renamed all my screenshots that I uploaded... I wouldn't have this problem.

So what are you waiting for?  Set it to high quality screenies NOW!

10 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever uploaded a WoW screenie in it's original form. I always open them in Fireworks and crop their size, or edit something, and save them with a different name. So, hopefully that's enough to keep the watermark off or hidden or something.

    One of the posts I read about this, at the official WoW forums, suggested a way to test it out to view watermark. I tried what they said and couldn't see one. Granted, I used an original, and un-edited screenie, I already had saved to my computer. I only followed the part about opening it in IrfanView and change the "sharpen image" setting a few times. I sharpened it probably 10 or 11 times and a watermark never appeared.

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    1. Well that's good, I was just reading it and panicking because I have a lot of pics uploaded up there. I just saw Keredria's post here http://keredria.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/secret-watermarks.html
      and I am a bit calmer now. And the comments on her posts are quite funny :)

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  2. I'm not too worried about this. There's no real info there that I don't particularly want them to know. But as it's a way for them to catch people exploiting the game, etc. I think it's fair enough.

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    1. I was wondering if that was how they hacked your account, because you have a lot of pictures. However, all your pictures are edited so that is really unlikely.

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  3. Interesting! I guess that makes sense since even most photos often have detailed metadata about what kind of camera, time, date, location, etc. But that is rather unsettling if hackers would be able to just get our login info through the image files... :(

    Thanks for sharing this news, Navi!

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    1. I wonder what other things hackers can find in there. Maybe they'll find my lost keys.

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  4. I think I'm safe, it is set to high quality and I usually crop out half the picture anyway. Creepy.

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    1. Phew! I wouldn't want anyone taking over my friend Ancient's account! I'd be freaking out wondering why you wouldn't speak to me :)

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  5. Only your account number is in there, not your login name. So a hacker can't really use it to guess your login id. For what its worth, you can get someone's account name (apparently) from examining the html/css code that loads when you look them up on the armory.

    Also, they're saying that at image quality 10, the watermark is likely being moved into color space so sharpening won't pick it up. It would however show up if you know what you were looking for.

    That said, there is really no info in there a hacker can use. There is almost always more info on a blogger's "about me" section than is in the screenshots!

    No cause for alarm at all here. :-)

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