April 8, 2002
OMG!!!!! Home owners READ!!! Horrible exploit!
Over the past few weeks, I have tried to warn you and post about scams and exploits as they occur to prevent people from further losing what they worked hard for to scammers, hackers and exploiters. But this one beats all. If you have a house for sale or are considering trading it, be extra careful so you're not the next victim.
The following is the story of Deimos, a moderator of Tradespot and how he got shamelessly exploited out of his large marble. Now this guy (from his own words listed below), followed every procedure not to be scammed, yet he lost his house. This is a clear example of an exploit. Now scams are not bannable, but exploits are. Why?
Because you get scammed if you're uninformed, gullible,
impatient, greedy or downright stupid. Scams CAN BE prevented. Exploits, on the other hand, are illegal use of either the game's mechanics or a hack into the system. Those CANNOT be prevented and are thus illegal.
This story has been posted on the UO.com boards. I strongly suggest you register there (it's free) and read the entire thread (you cannot access the multiple other threads unless you're registered and logged on.
Here is a copy of the email I sent to UO....
I was advised to email these addresses, in the hope that you can help me with a situation that occured last night.
The time it occured was around about 22:33PM (GMT). The GM that investigated the claim was GM ********
Here's what happened...
A guy by the name of "Oz" approached me about 30 minutes before the exploit, and offered to pay 22 million for my lrg marble outside of vesper. I gated him to my house, and he looked around
A further 2 people followed (El Supremo and Deacon Frost). He offered me 21 million plus a small tower on the road to vesper I declined. So he then offered me 22 million (the buy out) PLUS the small tower. His excuse was that he couldn't have another house on that account. So I agreed
We both went outside, and stood under the sign.
I initiated the trade and it said "Please wait while the other player verifies the trade". A few seconds passed, I asked him if he was going to accept or not. He said he would rather transfer the small tower first, I thought no problem.
We walked about 4 or 5 screens east to a small tower on the road. We both stood under the sign, and he initiated the trade. On my screen came up "Are you sure you wish to lose your coowner status" (Can't remember the exact wording). I clicked OKAY.
Then came up the trade window box, with the scroll for HIS tower, in HIS pane of the trade window. I clicked the scroll, and verified it WAS the small tower, I even checked the coordinates WITH a sextant, they both matched. I clicked the diamond, and poof.
At the bottom of my screen it said something to the effect of "You have transfered the house"
That's when I realised my marble had gone.
I paged a GM under harrassment ASAP (While standing outside the marble). I got a reply back within about 6/7 minutes stating "We don't support scams" (or something to that nature)
I re paged and stated something like "Oz" has stolen my house with an exploit!"
I saw Oz dissapear off the screen, and I later dissapeared and was moved into a Jail cell. GM ****** asked me various questions (All of which I took screenshots of)
After about 15 minutes, I was teleported back by the marble, and was left a message stating "I am afraid I could not find evidence of an exploit. I cannot reverse the trade."
Also, after seeing what the GM was told, I can prove without a doubt that Oz lied to the GM. Oz told the GM that he had sent $350 via Paypal to pay for the marble, which is why I think the GM didn't transfer it back. I can prove, that he never sent me payment. And I can prove, that he is only 12 years old.
He also told the GM at the start of the conversation, that he paid 100k for it.(Another lie)
So the fact he (A) Used an exploit to steal my marble, and ( Lied to the GM about 2 things Should mean I get my rightful property back. So why haven't I?
Any house trade has to occur within 2 tiles of the house sign. He managed to steal my marble when I and himself were 3 or 4 screens away. An obvious exploit if ever I saw one..
I am extremlely mad about this, not only is it clear to me, that secure systems of house trading are NOT secure. But in game support for victims of exploiters ALSO do not help.
Please write back
Now this guy reacted quickly but more importantly, he acted intelligently. By sending an harassment call, a log of all dialogs between them was automatically saved and sent to the GMs so he has a record of all that's been said which would not have been the case with a regular help page. He has followed a number of other steps and gotten quite an uproar going on the boards with this so OSI had no choice but to stand up and take notice. Below are a couple of pics of the latest developments in this story.
Deimos' Post - Continued Upon logging in this morning, I was promptly teleported to Jail by GM **** (A Lead GM)
He asked me a couple of questions, and stated that he was investigating it
He also asked if it had been paged under Harrassment
I said yes, and he said that he has the harrassment log
He's waiting for "Oz" to log in, so he can talk to him.
He also asked me to show him the house
I did so, and he took ownership of the house, and put a sign on it saying...
"Owner of this house needs to page into the Game Masters ASAP. Maleki"
He actually constructed a fence around the entrance, but obviously decided to take ownership instead.
Pictures are below. (GM names removed inline with the rules)
I am very curious to see how this all turns out, but people be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS whenever you do trades with people you don't know. Now, until this issue is resolved, De of Tradespot has offered to perform any house trades involving more than 1 house for free. So if you're buying/selling a house and the deal involves the trading of one house PLUS gold, please use a broker. The exploit obviously requires you to initiate the trade on your house. I have an idea how it all works but will obviously not post it here. If a third party performs it for you, that would eliminate the possibility of your house being stolen.
Signs someone might be attempting this exploit on you
- Both parties stand under house. If the other party moves around, or behaves suspiciously, recall out...DO NOT click ANYTHING in the trade window.
- If they run off screen, Recall out
- If the deal involves two houses, please, please, please get a broker
- If you choose NOT to hire a broker (at your own risk!!!) insist on the buyer transferring his house first. DO NOT initiate the trade window on YOUR house as long as you do not already own HIS.
Deimos' Post - The Conclusion Did I get the house back?
Is the suspense getting to you yet?.....
Is it true!?
Aye I got it back
I didn't remove the gm's name this time, because i'd like to say something about him..
Lead Maleki , was one of the most professional, curteous, and understanding of ALL gm's i've ever encountered in 2 years of playing.
At last, a victory over a scammer/exploiter.
I'm happy and very,,,very suprised at the outcome.
It's 1am here, and i'm off to bed.
Thankfully, they did the right thing.
And i'm sure, it's partly down to the overwhelming support I had from the people on here, Tradespot and my own personal friends.
I can only hope the scammer/exploiter was punished suitably.
Deimos (aka Prometheus) has been extremely lucky in his plight. OSI reacted the right way first off because he handled the situation intelligently and thanks to the overwhelming support he got on the boards and the outrage of the customer base. Do not rely on this though to think should such a think happen to you, the outcome will be as pleasant for you. Protect yourself so you never have to deal with it.
Subsequently however, the exploit was fixed after I reported it (in....great detail) to the producer at the time and about 8 days later, a publish was put out to fix it