EDIT: C# has byte order backwards, silly me. Got it working now! Full pattern in ASCII is
You can use this http://www.mediafire.com/?2r5hu1jsjcg533c to see the watermark on processed images (isolated to be perfect with _Mike's patch, turned to black & white as allesist has done. Ignore patch option)107642169#15MJ52mrksv107642169#15MJ52mrksv107642169#15MJ52mrksv
I wonder why blizz has done this kind of watermarking though... it's pretty much impossible to retrieve something from a normal screenshot that will give you a proper data set. To even get it working we needed a perfect screenshot that had the watermark applied to a blank image, which isn't viable for most images. What would be the point on having such a useless watermark? Doing the sharpen trick gives you the watermark pattern, but no reliable information could come out of it.
Last edited by eldavo1; 09-11-2012 at 07:31 AM.
Perhaps that's a way of recognizing/monitoring accounts which might relate to exploits. But then again, how many people which have posted exploits with screenshots at ownedcore.com have been banned ever since cataclysm started?
Sendatsu are you sure the first screenshot is dated 2010 and not earlier?
I dont know anything about this and am deeply impressed with the amount of research that went into this by you guys and now you have a working method to decipher it.
This is amazing but on the other hand scary.
My thoughts on this are like someone stated earlier the only use Blizzard has with this is tracking NDA. It makes no sense in context with screenshots despite NDA tracking or busting some explorers. And I don't think explorers are a problem that Activision Blizzard is willing to put that much effort into because they hurt no one.
However like you stated there is a connection between Activision and a company that specializes in watermarks.
As we all know Activisions intention over all is MONEY. The most obvious reason in my eyes is market research.
May I ask you to check screenshots from other online games? Diablo 3 comes to mind.
Edit: just read this
Last edited by biervertrieb; 09-11-2012 at 06:40 AM.
I made a little tool for those who want to play around or experiment with the watermarks. Only works for the current (16016) 32-bit windows client.
Hopefully it'll work without you guys needing to have visual studio installed, dunno what the dependencies are. It does require .net 4.5 though, mainly because I can't figure out how to target earlier versions
Excuse the semi-ugly UI, but it isn't obfuscated so you should be able to use something like reflector to rip the logic and make your own if you feel like it.
And don't complain about the sometimes messy code. The debugger is a work in progress
This holds for official and private servers. The normalization is irrelevant, 0xF3FFF00u seems to be some end-identifier instead of the addr, which would be useless anyway.
So yes, they can track your account on a private server. They can't track anything else.
Hello guys, I'll respond to all:
http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/worl...ml#post2490910 (Looking inside your screenshots)
Our "space invader" white pixel, as I called it, seems to be dating back to 1998 (!! US patent #6104812, figures 2-12) when it was still just a dot, so all this watermarking is certainly not new. The current problem with this action though, is the fact that not only we weren't informed this was going on, but since we were kept in the dark we were unwillingly endangering our account and realm id every time we shared a screenshot for the past 4 years.
This may not sound like much to some, but think that if someone (outside Digimarc) has found out about this, they could already be using it to identify which account holds which characters and perhaps stalk and annoy its user, or maybe even help perpetrators choose their phishing victims with a more targeted approach.
It is important to note that after 2008, when Activision took over, private servers started dropping like flies (Blizzard legal targets private servers) which eventually led to the amazing $88 million dollars lawsuit they won (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2...rver_Owner.php). I am not saying they shouldn't have protected their intellectual property but the important factor one should consider is that: if they used illegal (covert) methods of tracking these private servers[/B], by "bugging" all WoW users to act as their "unaware informants", while at the same time endangering their privacy and security http://www.ownedcore.com/forums/worl...ml#post2496404, then you see how this whole case could take a completely different turn...
Last edited by Sendatsu; 09-12-2012 at 11:01 PM.
I very much doubt this is in place to create targets to prosecute - especially as they did not profit from the case you describe and because it only led to that after they ignored the C&D letters. (DId not profit as the person being prosecuted only made estimated $2 million profit so how could he pay the full $88 million - blizzard would have paid a lot in legal fees).
Last edited by sn4rk; 09-11-2012 at 09:20 AM.