Today we would like to answer the questions that have been discussed on many forums and newspages these days, if we or other Anticheat Communitys do have fakebans. The answer can't be given with just a simple yes or no. We have to dig a little deeper into this topic.
Punkbuster is build to create logs about anomalies like detections of manipulated game processes by cheats. Our Serveradmins allow us to use those logfiles by streaming to us. The Problem about this is, that the process can be manipulated by modifying a gameservers Punkbustersoftware and so Punkbuster could be used to fake a violation with any GUID and Nickname which is then submitted to our banlist via the streaming function.
We do ask ourselves where the security hole at GGC is that some people are talking about now. It's a fact, that the problem is not GGC-Stream, but Punkbuster itself and Evenbalance is aware of that for years now. So it is nothing new about it. Not for us, nor PBBans or others, who have to deal with fake ban attacks:
Pbbans Statement #1
Pbbans Statement #2
We have tried several times to contact Evenbalance and its supporters, even by using their Ticketsystem, to talk about this problem, but only had little success in doing so. Those bans have been detected fast by our system and were removed, so there was no bigger damage done. As said above, we know about this since 2008 and we relied on highest possible security measures, but as you might imagine, there is no 100% security, when the problem with PB is not fixed.
Since there were many accusations against us, we want to give some short statements here:
Why did it take so long to give an answer?
GGC-Stream is a project by volunteers. Every Demo that has to be analysed and so every News that has to be written, is work that has to be done in spare time. We had to collect those accusations and questions first and are trying now to give you answers, instead of giving single fragments from time to time.
Besides collecting informations, we had to collect logentries as well to press charges against the attackers. We had to get in contact with our Partners like Electronic Arts and DICE as well to inform them about recent events. All of that takes time.
Can you remove the fake bans?
Yes, but it can take a little time. We have a lot of Cronjobs running, that check our Website and Databases at different times. Those fake bans were detected and removed by our scripts and were only active for a short period. There wasn't even a manual removal by an Admin necessary, which proves that those kind of bans do not stay long at GGC. If it should be still the case that there is a fake ban in our system, our Admins can remove them manually and if you feel you fell victim to a fake ban attack, please contact our team by using our Ticketsystem to appeal your ban.
GGC is tampering Informations on their Website!
We had to smirk while reading that. Yes, they might have looked tampered because of caching. We had removed a ban of a player for example who was already able to play again, but our website still showed an active ban against him, since those informations were cached. To avoid that in future, we will add a delay on our website.
Some person is claiming that we are covering things up.
We are trying to give you as much transparency on our project as possible. That's why we are giving you any Information that we are legally allowed to. We release Statistics and our Partners are getting every Information needed, like when a player is unbanned for example. We are archiving every proof according to german laws as well and can show them to those concerned even years after an incident.
GGC-Stream has even been taking legal actions against this person, because of his actions to damage our reputation. It is not a suprise, that he is trying to blame us again without knowing backgrounds.
Do not play on GGC Servers to be safe from fakebans.
As said before, it is a problem with Punkbuster itself. It doesn't matter if your server is streaming to GGC, PBBans, PsB, GV, ACI or someone else. In the end, every Anticheat Community is vulnerable to fakebans, as long as Evenbalance does not fix that hole.
Why have ESL Admins been removed from the banlist so fast?
Everyone should know, that players in higher positions get aware of those incidents faster, than players who do not read forums and news regularly or play only from time to time. The ESL is an official Partner of GGC and we do have direct contact persons (like we do have with other scenes and communitys as well). Those persons have been contacted and we checked their cases like we do with every other case as well and since the evidence did not stand a check, their bans have been removed and our other partners have been informed.
Perform better checks and security measures like other Communitys do!
We do check the same things like others and sometimes even more. What we do not want is, that Serveradmins have to wait unnecessarily or are harassed.
When a Serveradmin registers a server, there are several automatic processes running to check the Server and its Admin in the background. We also use different interfaces from other Partners and Communitys in this process, which affect the denial or acceptance of a server.
But the XXX Site claims something else!
It's a shame that only few sites asked for an interview to hear what we have to say and only multiplied the propaganda of cheater forums with links. Due to their lack of journalistic standards and the hunt for headlines, some of them make themselves to willing instruments of the Cheatscene. There were many claims and advises that totally lacked facts nor that were founded on statements from us.
So we ask those Websites to check and update their statements to avoid misinformation. Furthermore we would like to advise them, that they are welcome to contact us to get answers and avoid further false statements.