Friday, November 04, 2005

Two Accounts = Trouble

Until two days ago, Dr Advice was a dodgy reference about the goings-on of the Super Cheats staff. And until then Mr King of Games was afresh from his technical victory over The Legend Killer RKO, who was caught faking up 'Mr Kennedy' and Soucercer of Wise (the latter I had banned for a month from the team area). But then some horrible exposé had to come up, and it was left to Dennis to declare that he had found them, on the basis of an IP check, to be the same person!

I have seen people create fake accounts before, but I have never seen it used for a purpose like this. Dr Advice was nothing very special — although Sanzano did toy with him in a session called 'Psycho Surgery' and ended up banning him temporarily for trying to interfere with the moderation process (two moderators at the time, LPD and The Ultimate Cheater, was also banned for this offence, but The Ultimate Cheater was cleared shortly afterward) — and Mr King of Games didn't seem to necessitate an about-face on his record, having initiated a popular character tournament. In contrast, I had always known the creation of a sub-account to get around restrictions on forums; on PKMN.NET I have seen several members try to get around signature restrictions (if the size of all images attached to a profile exceeds 40,960 bytes (40 kilobytes), signature display is suspended until the pictures are changed to fit the quota, but their rule code only states that the signature will be edited directly) by creating an account on which they suppose they can exploit a sig once more — but these are usually found out and either the restrictions are tacked onto that account as well or that account is removed from the database.

Many pre-built member databases — forums and submission and comment systems like the Super Cheats system and blog venues like Blogger and MySpace — try to discourage the creation of multiple accounts, but this is easily defeated by creating a new email account (which, due to the presence of public computers, can't possibly be monitored). The objective isn't to keep people from bypassing restrictions on their formal accounts, but rather to deflect 'phishing' (the use of a mask of a valid email account by a bogus user to trick people) and to thwart the installation of adware and spyware that could pass from the site to the user's computer. Since that measure hasn't worked well, of course, sites have resorted to forcing users to type a security code to log in or register (a bot used to install spyware won't be able to decipher the code, which is embedded in a graphic).

Then, in rare cases, there are people — Video Gamer Network is unfortunately full of them — that create accounts to feign another user. The Legend Killing tournament on Super Cheats, a question-and-answer game much like a cross between Hollywood Showdown and The $100,000 Pyramid, was the venue of the Dr Advice case: Mr King of Games was the emcee and Dr Advice, for reasons then unknown, was doing unusually well in the tournament and was able to beat out 'The Legend Killer RKO' at his own challenge and get him banned. (It was later revealed that The Legend Killer RKO was itself a sub-account to Jcdamasta330.) But after The Legend KillerRKO emailed Dennis for clemency and was turned down, Dennis decided to do a little study on Dr Advice and found him to have IPs identical to those of Mr King of Games himself. Oops.

At any rate, there is no way for this practice to be effectively stopped, but it is not, as you may think, a very common practice on most forums due to the presence of vigilant administrators like Dennis.

1 comment:

JCD said...

Crossy ,Crossy,Crossy.I Did Have An AccountOnPSXStil lDo]As The Legend Killer Rko,But Not On SC. Supercheats I Only Have One AccountNowadays,That i Dont Even Use For That Matter.That Would Be GamEnigma.