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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How the carebear sees it.

You've just had a rough day at work. There were far more demands on your time than minutes allowed. You moved from one crisis to another with no end in sight. To cap the day, your boss calls you in at 5 until 5. He says you aren't pulling your weight around the shop and he'd better see some improvements soon or he might have to let you go. You think, fuck you, and all you want is to get home and pop someone's pod.

You finally walk through the front door, throw your coat on the couch, grab a beer from the refrigerator and walk over to your PC and log in. You decide you need to check a couple blogs to catch up on what happened while you were gone from the game.

You open up your web browser, click on a bookmark you've used a hundred times before and suddenly your screen is covered in a warning that your PC might be at risk.
It looks legit. Security Essentials came with Windows 7. You breath a sigh of relief and click on the button labeled "clean now." Suddenly a download bar appears. That shouldn't happen, you think to yourself. Suddenly it dawns on you, you've been duped!

Frantically you push the power button and take your system down hard. You bring it back up, all the while hoping that you were fast enough. You log in and the first thing you see is a warning that says,
Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet

C:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe
is suspected to have infected your PC.
This type of virus intercepts entered data and transmits them to a remote server.
You try and launch EvE. The launcher starts and then immediately shuts down. You try again. Same result. You get more warning messages. They look bogus but every time you try and start a program it immediately shuts down. You get an offer to purchase a program that will clean your system. It will only cost you $100. You know it's extortion but what can you do? The hacker has your EvE computer by the balls.

You pay the $100 and the messages are suddenly gone. You hope that it never happens again, but you are worried the hacker left his calling card on your computer. You call a friend who knows about these things. He says you've probably been left with a root kit. He says you've proven yourself a lucrative target - you paid - he'll be back. You say, "I guess I shouldn't have done that." He replies, "Derp."

This is a gank. How does it feel?

Fly careful.


  1. D'oh. Sorry to hear that.

    I will just say that after a bit of a painful setup, as long as you don't want to bother with CQ, EVE runs pretty well on Linux with Wine....

  2. OK, I'm an idiot. I thought the post was autobiographical, not a parable. :) Ignore me.

    1. Though not autobiographical, it is what I do now that I am on my second career. I've seen a lot of this - and cleaned up the mess afterwards. It's always painful for the one subjected to it. They don't understand why anyone would go out of their way to inflict misery on them. I tell them, "Because they can." To that I'm usually told, "That doesn't make it right." Derp.

  3. Regardless of whether it is biographical or metaphorical; this is biographical of someone. It happens. Don't pay the gankers. If you have the skills to rebuild a PC; now is the time to rebuild it. If not - pay someone else trusted to do it for you.

    I will spend $$/ISK on antivirus/protection, just as I also will pay taxes. Only things I can afford to replace will be put on a computer or ship.

    This doesn't mean that I won't have pain having to rebuild what is lost when problems strike.

    I just decline to pay someone for bringing me that trouble.

  4. Paying someone who is ganking you is really a psychology fail. They picked on you because they want to upset you, to get at the person behind the screen. Of course they're going to betray you if you pay off extortion money - because it upsets you.

    The exception is that some pirates honour ransoms although the ones that do are a dying breed. And of course many don't so better not to pay a ransom and just accept the loss.

  5. Anyone who pay them is a total retard. Someone with no computer knowledge but with a piece of brain pull the power plug and all the other plugs, grab the PC, move it to a PC-service and pay THEM to clean up the PC and to install a legitimate antivirus product.

    I have exactly zero compassion to the morons who get ganked this way. They aren't smarter than the guy who mines in a max-yield Hulk in a 0.5 system, alone, during Hulkageddon.

    1. Blame the victim, eh?

      It is possible for there to be grey area. It can be true that it's not smart to solo mine in 0.5sec during Hulkageddon, and it can be true that it's not smart to pay pirate ransoms. However, just because somebody does that, it doesn't mean that you should have no compassion for them.

      I watched a student once come dangerously close to answering one of those "You've won the UK Lottery!" spam/phishing emails. He had something printed out and signed and ready to mail back. I saw him doing it, and pointed him to Inwardly, I cringed at his naivete... but, we're all naive until we've gained the experience.

      I only recently learned that if somebody random invites you to a fleet if you're in a target-rich system, they will instantly fleet warp you to an ambush and gank you. I felt like an idiot after so doing, and I won't make that make the mistake of accepting a random fleet invite again (I was just going to ask what it was about in fleet chat once I was in...), but it had to happen the first time.

      So, be more sympathetic. Yes, it's dumb to pay the ransom. That doesn't mean that the victim isn't worthy of at least a little compassion.

  6. I think the point with this example is that either way you SHOULD have some knowledge of the environment that your in.

    If you don't know then you ask.

    In the PC trade if you see that virus pop up and don't know enough to resolve it yourself then you need to ask someone for advice on how to avoid or fix it.

    The same applies to EVE - if you find yourself in that situation where you think your being scammed and not sure then you should either learn how to know the difference or ask someone else who will be able to teach you (I think its more representiative of a scam than a gank).

    Either way in many respects it represents 'survival of the fittest' and if your flying around in a 200million ISK ship and a paper tank during Hulkagedden then you do actually deserve to get shot and take that hit to your wallet as then maybe you'll learn.

    Don't get me wrong; I'm completely on your side and as furry as any carebear in highsec but I make an effort to understand the game, understand the mechanics enough to spot a scam or a potential gank, learn how to avoid or limit them and keep an eye out on the various news sources to ensure I know roughly when to avoid certain systems or certain activities - its not like the information is difficult to understand or obtain.

    I guess it also comes down a lot to the 'meta game' element of EVE where most if not all of this type of information is not provided for you by the game itself and usually from other sources and not everyone has access to these sources and they only know what the game provides; is that then a fault of the game or the player?

  7. Get one of these burnt to a cd:

    Keep it in your house.


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.

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