Stop Press! RedZone Vanishes from Marketplace

18 02 2011

The listing for zfRedZone has vanished from the Second Life Marketplace.

This looks like the beginning of the end for the spyware.

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24 responses

18 02 2011
Unya Tigerfish

Too early to celebrate – but I am happy to see a movement at last!

18 02 2011
Magnuz Binder

My guess is that either zFire is trying to pull some peoples’ legs, or LL, just like in the case of the Emerald Viewer, have requested him to remove some features that they consider may be non-compliant with the ToS. I guess the 90-95% of the buyers who see the alt outing as the main feature will be a bit pissed if it’s removed though.

Anyway, I’ll wait with seeing this as the end, or even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Sorry if I’m a kill-joy.

18 02 2011
Unya Tigerfish

Kudos to the Churchill quote!

18 02 2011
no2redzone

Magnuz, you may be right about his being asked to remove non compliant features. A post on his forum today seems to be setting this up. He spends a lot of time vilifying protestors but tellingly says something about not previously realising that we are upset about connecting accounts.

Here we are:

After I personally spoke with a mob of GZ gangsters… sifting through piles of irrelevant hate comments and name calling…putting to rest the IP address debate… it turns out GZers are upset about usernames being linked. I had no idea this entire time

The gangster mob, btw, was actually the Greenzone Users Group. He seems to have joined that group so that he can be mobbed. Maybe he likes it. I suspect his alt may enjoy some sims I heard about!

Anyway, yes… That did make me wonder if he is going to play the “oh that is what you were on about” card before doing a u-turn on alt detection.

Personally though, I think removal of that feature is only a first step. Basement guy still has our personal data.

18 02 2011
Magnuz Binder

Sorry, I should of course have given old Winston cred for it, but please note that it’s not an exact quote, although darn close.

SL Marketplace zF RedZone listing is still down, while GreenZone remains, if that’s any comfort. There are also some vague reports on the SL blogs that the RedZone server seems non-responsive and that Soft Linden has tweeted something about some action(http://blogs.secondlife.com/message/624192#624192).

18 02 2011
Magnuz Binder

@no2redzone
Yes, I read the RedZone forums as well, seeing that very lame “excuse”. But Mikey-boy needs to save face. If LL have actually cut the pipe to the RedZone database, I suspect it will stay that way, even after any re-writing of RedZone. Hopefully the pipes to its siblings have been cut as well then.

Still, as you say, there are a lot of personal, more or less inaccurate, data in that database. I e.g. found out in the RedZone gossip columns that I’m sporting “a whole bunch of alt slaves” (http://isellsl.ath.cx/madsci/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=419&start=40#p1842). Most people who know me, both RL and in SL, would probably find that allegation highly amusing. I can also imagine “Master” Redd Heron, one of Mikey-boy’s fan-boys, really appreciated crackerjack’s subtlety in his remark about such practices.

Ah well, brains never were any trademarks of that bunch. I suppose Mikey-boy keeps them around just because they make him seem comparatively smart.

18 02 2011
no2redzone

Little to report still. But the first strong evidence that the Marketplace removal is not instigated by zFire himself… he was asked on his forum where the listing is, and he quickly deleted the thread.

As we know he deletes all threads that show RedZone in a bad light, I am increasingly convinced that it is Linden Lab that removed his listing.

19 02 2011
Karen

http://www.manta.com/c/mtcn0q1/insanity-productions-llc

So this is him? Check where my IP addy is from 😛 It would be funny to have a certain ex follow him and take candid pics of him that might be embarressing for him and post them on a web site for all to see. (most apt. A’s are ground floor) maybe it would be good taste of karma to have his privacy invaded.

19 02 2011
no2redzone

Yes, although Washington State’s official search has him at apartment C. Try it here:

http://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/corps_search.aspx

Thet information is easy to locate and link with some other web based data sources (his linked in profile is amusing. Security and Investigations! I had a giggle over that one, having seen what his web security is like! I found it all some time ago, but I would strongly advise neither spreading the information too widely, nor doing anything with it that could be construed as stalking. Just because he can play the fool with personal data, does not mean we should do the same.

Also I believe it would still be against SL TOS to tell people his real name on SL.

19 02 2011
Boy Lane

Just for the giggles if you did not find out yet. His “real name” :p is John Hamlin. A professional gambler who tries to sell you a “beat the casino” DVD for just 300 bucks: hamlinpro.com. Do a reverse IP to find out more about someone who tried to become a sex king earlier under another name…

No, that’s not a joke.
Boy

19 02 2011
no2redzone

Yes, I found that site too. Or rather someone asked me to check it out so I did the whois lookup for them. The gmail address seems to concur with the company registration.

19 02 2011
no2redzone

Oh and I should add I can tell you how to beat the casino, and I won’t charge you ridiculous amounts of money to do so.

To beat the casino is simple.

You don’t play.

🙂

19 02 2011
no2redzone

Another reply from me! I just typed Hamlinpro in (having disabled my blacklists) and the CIA web page comes up. As we all know, the domain is registered to Insanity Productions LLC, so I wondered whether he was redirecting or whether he had changed his A record. A quick dig of the DNS shows the A record still points to his site. He is virtual hosting based on hostname and using requests on that host to forward to the CIA.

Most odd behaviour. Is he really a grown up?

19 02 2011
Magnuz Binder

Someone “leaked” me the information that Mikey-boy is working on disabling the alt-outing from his official release of RedZone, but that it will be kept in a “private” version for “trusted” users. Even if I definitely have no reason to trust the person leaking so far, it would kind of be in line with Mikey-boys usual MO.

Also, since my Ban RedZone page is becoming a bit more public by now, I have updated it some, mainly adding a RedZone product review, added a few links, an index, changed a few phrasings, and (temporarily?) removed a few persons from the ban list who claim they’ve removed RedZone, even if I haven’t been able to verify those claims myself.

19 02 2011
no2redzone

Your site is the Ban RedZone one I linked to on Thursday, right? If not, send me a link and I will add it.

19 02 2011
no2redzone

Also thanks for the info. Disabling alt tracking does not resolve the legal issue with RedZone. The only thing that would do so is to provide clear compulsory opt ins for data collection, and not collect data until users have opted in. He must also delete all held data. Failing to address that will not address the problem with his database.

The easiest way to do this is to abandon the parcel media bug and have click to register instead. On entering a protected sim you must click a web link or else be ejected.

Simple solution. The fact that people will not buy it shows they are living in cloud cukoo land when they think the general user base has no problem with this data collection. A moment’s reflection makes it clear that given the choice to register or leave, most of your customers will leave.

That is why some sim owners resort to subterfuge and spyware.

19 02 2011
Boy Lane

Thanks Magnuz, I linked you on my blog too.

19 02 2011
Boy Lane

I just read this in SLU. Crazy.
zf redzone can disrupt secondlife service for residents of the UAE
http://treminarisecondlife.blogspot.com/2010/12/zf-redzone-can-disrupt-secondlife.html

19 02 2011
Volker

Given the fact that in newer version of RZ cookies are used (*) I am not sure this still applies.

Of course the older data will still be flawed, but the newer one will be less flawed and should not throw everyone with the same IP into the same pot.

No one without access to the source can say for sure. A few packet dumps should confirm if RZ tries to put cookies into your client. Still a different story if they are used 🙂

(*) At least the claim they do.

19 02 2011
no2redzone

I can confirm that RedZone attempts to pass cookies. I can also confirm that there is a data cleansing algorithm that does not use cookies but will remove alts where there are improbably high numbers of matches. I presume this was done in part to deal with the UAE problem, which happened a while ago. However I can also confirm there are still plenty of people behind large proxies who are matching each other despite not even knowing each other. I personally was given the name of someone behind the proxy I use as one of my alts by a redzone stalker I have picked up. This, of course, demonstrates the problems of RedZone’s highly inaccurate database.

The data cleansing algorithm does not make data more accurate. It just hides the more obvious inaccuracies. ZFire likes to paper over the cracks.

19 02 2011
Magnuz Binder

@no2redzone: Yes, that’s me behind the link you already have. And like I said before, I’ve also been informed by Mikey-boy’s fan-boys about all the “alts” I’m running. Which just once more confirms that RedZone never had anything to do with security but is just your average griefer tool, however blunt in some respects.

@Boy Lane: Thank you for the linking. Hopefully my page will be somewhat more useful as a resource after the changes I made today.

I finally decided to bereft myself the pleasure of laughing at the RedZone forum by blocking the servers in my host file. It feels like the clowns there are running on empty now, so I kind of heard it all before anyway.

19 02 2011
Magnuz Binder

Seems that my “leak” has been more or less confirmed by Mikey-boy himself in his GreenZone meet-up now. It appears one of Mikey-boy’s fan-boys bragged about how he had been granted continued access to the alt-outing to another fan-boy who hadn’t been so, and that second fan-boy got upset enough to want to get back at Mikey-boy by squealing on him. Aren’t they a cute bunch…?

20 02 2011
relmfoxdale

I’m confuzzled. Is he in the UK or Washington State? I kept hearing UK…

I was addressing his amusing remarks about LLCs in my blog and googled and found this Washington State person. Is it one and the same or another company of the same name? I can totally see two people coming up with that name.

20 02 2011
no2redzone

He is in Washington State USA.

Comments on this blog relating to European law are applicable because he sells to and gathers data from people in Europe.

Cole Cybertar, his biggest fanboi, is in the UK, but zFire is not.

His real name is not John Hamlin, btw. That is a RL alt he made up to sell a scam DVD. I personally refuse to post his real name, but you will find it easily enough if you look up his LLC company registration, registered in Washington State.




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