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Hey Zam admins, how would you handle this kind of harassmentFollow

#1 Jan 20 2014 at 11:14 PM Rating: Good
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There is a person who is continuously making accounts on our forums for no reason other than to harass us. He has posted everything from vulgar/obscene images to spam that will cause anyone who opens the thread to lag out. He continues to spam our shout box and forums, even after being banned. He will make new accounts and fake IP addresses to use every day to no end.

Today he went as far as impersonating me, giving his new account the same name and icon as mine, in order to mass-email all of the members of our community telling them we are shutting down our Minecraft servers. Our servers make anywhere between $1000-$4000 a month. He has taken his abuse too far and now I'm wondering if I can start taking legal action action against him. I have his original IP address and know exactly where in Canada he lives.

We actually have 3 pages on Enjin that he is constantly attacking, each for a different Minecraft server:

http://pokeheavenmc.enjin.com/home
http://pokeheavenjohto.enjin.com/
http://finalheavenmc.enjin.com/home

If something like that were to happen here, I'd imagine it wouldn't last very long. What kind of steps do you take to stop people from simply generating a new IP to post from?
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#2 Jan 21 2014 at 2:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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It depends where they are located at, and how much information I know about the actual location and ISP of the person doing the harrasment. It is unfortunatly very easy for someone to make use of a proxy address, but chances are they didn't start out doing so until they felt they had reason to make mischief. Anything approaching that level I would first go back and look at what information I have related to that person. Since you have his origional IP address and location, and Canada is a signatory to the Digital Millenium Copyright act (which included the cross border enforcement of computer related laws provision), you can at a minimum file a formal report with his ISP to have service shut off, as well as any e-mails that he may have used. He's also entered the realm of criminal activity, so you can take legal action if you have the resources and time to persue that. You can also hire (or have somene in house with a security and intel background) someone to locate all the pertinant details of the perpitrators existance, and then call them on the phone with a device recording the conversation and ask them to stop. They won't, but the reaction on the phone might be worthwhile, and once you have their phone number, the second call from your lawyers to them usually gets a more muted response unless they are bat sh*t insane, in which case law enforcement becomes your best option.

It's usually relitivly easy to get an ISP account terminated for abuse. It's next to impossible to get an overseas proxy server shut down. Depending on where your servers are located, there are various local and national statutes that can be acted on, most often the Computer Fraud and Abuse act.

Even if you get their ISP account terminated, there will usually be 2 or 3 other options they can sign up with, and local library aco@#%^s and whatnot within walking distance, so what we have in place are various account signature comparison and triage tools built into the forum so we can find and destroy incoming spammers and the like, prefferably before they post. People who spam almost always use the same junkmail service (gmail people keep using gmail, etc.) and similar naming convention on their throwaway e-mail addresses (same password too if you can get that from them) They create accounts during the same windows, and they often forget to turn on the proxy when making the account in the first place. Griefers, such as gourdraiden and what you are dealing with are easier and more difficult to deal with, because you don't get the same volume of potential targets, but you also aren't dealing with an army of India based computer roboposters to kill of either.

The law enforcement layer is tricky, and can be somewhat of a crapshoot unless you are persistant. FBI cybercrimes may or may not do anything unless actual money was stolen. Local law enforcement enaction on your server end or his end will vary based on the technical savvy of the officers you interact with. It helps if you have access to a lawyer to act on your behalf, as they tend to take your issue more serious at that point.

If you want, PM or e-mail me the details and I may be able to give you additional pointers.

edit: also, if the icon he used is your artwork, you can also sue him for copyright infringment for around $16k per use. Thats actually a pretty simple and quick legal matter most of the time.

Edited, Jan 21st 2014 12:24am by Kaolian
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#3 Jan 21 2014 at 2:36 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks so much, Kao. I'll share this information with my admins. Right now we are waiting for a response from our website provider, Enjin (which is sort of like Angelfire or Geocities for gaming guilds and such).

Until then, the guy continues to spam people's profile pages pretending to be me. I'm hoping we won't have to resort to getting a lawyer over it. This guy did the same thing last year when I was less prepared. He got a lot of people cross with me who would not talk to me and allow me to explain what had happened...

I wish I could call him somehow. If he is who I think he is, he used to be a good online friend of mine, who suddenly and inexplicably became the world's biggest douche bag.
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#4 Jan 21 2014 at 7:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Whatever you do, do it. Dont have second thoughts and reservations about it. Nothing irks me more than people in authority letting people walk all over them. Well, abuse of rank and authority irks me more, but that's a side issue.
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#5 Jan 21 2014 at 7:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
Whatever you do, do it. Dont have second thoughts and reservations about it. Nothing irks me more than people in authority letting people walk all over them. Well, abuse of rank and authority irks me more, but that's a side issue.


Yeah! Hunt down that ****** and skin him alive in front of his family! Then fry his pets in butter and whip 'em at cars!
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#6 Jan 22 2014 at 5:57 PM Rating: Good
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So today I learned I can very swiftly have a person's ISP deny them service on the basis they breached a website's Terms of Service given I can provide them with proof connected to their IP they have done so.

This leads me to wonder to what extent this will work.
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#7 Jan 22 2014 at 6:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's usually relitivly effective, expecially if you are dealing with an angsty teenager. I hear Mommy gets really really cranky when her internet gets shut because the kid is a nitwit. If he's out on his own, it should at least slow him down. Some ISP's are easier to get in contact with than others, and some have shared IP pools that make it annoying to tie to an actual user account on their end (timestamps help, especially if you know what time zone their servers are set to) Eventually after you get all the local ISP's they use shut off, they will take to using local public libraries and internet cafe's, or even prepaid phones with data plans to get around it if they are really crazy. About that same time is when the death threats usually start.
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#8 Jan 22 2014 at 7:47 PM Rating: Good
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His ISP hasn't done anything yet. They keep demanding more and more information and it's getting to the point where I can't give them everything they want to take action with.

So far they have asked for his IP and Enjin's ToS, which I have given them. Just now they are asking me for a complete log of everything he has been doing with his IP as proof. If something like that exists, it's not something I have access to. I have sent a support ticket to Enjin filling them in on the details of the situation and the IP of the offender, but they still have not responded to my first ticket after nearly two days.

I'd love to get a lawyer but I'm not exactly prepared to pay for one. For now he has not been making any new threads on the forums themselves. Instead he has been covertly bombarding individual's user profile pages with false information from an account he made to look identical to mine, most of which have no idea this person is not me, or think my account was "hacked." It really bothers me is how Enjin allows people to use names that have already been taken.

I'd really like to know how it is possible for people to find all the pertinent details of the perpetrators existence, as you say. What sort of person who does that would be for hire?
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#9 Jan 22 2014 at 8:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Time to move away from Enjin then if their policies are giving you so much trouble.
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#10 Jan 22 2014 at 8:32 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Time to move away from Enjin then if their policies are giving you so much trouble.


I was thinking of that. The trouble is finding an option that is anything close as convenient. The other factor being that a huge chunk of our traffic comes from the site's social network aspect.
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#11 Jan 22 2014 at 9:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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Oh yeah, without the IP access logs and timestamps you will have some difficulty getting anything escalated at all unfortunately.
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#12 Jan 23 2014 at 9:01 AM Rating: Good
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Wait, your Minecraft servers make up to $4,000 a month?

I'm in the wrong business, holy ****.
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#13 Jan 23 2014 at 2:37 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Wait, your Minecraft servers make up to $4,000 a month?

I'm in the wrong business, holy sh*t.


$4000 in one month is the most our three servers combined has ever made. There are servers out there that gross something like $30k a month, though, but only because they had a lot of money to begin with to pay for the hardware and fiber optic internet to carry thousands of players on their servers with, not to mention the advertising to get them all there.

Typically we make barely over $1000, but it's good extra income nonetheless, especially during the non-summer months. We never have more than 50 players online per server, and no more than 100 players overall between them. It also costs about $110 per month to pay for hosting and other costs. Our operation is steadily growing though. If I could get my hands on a dedicated machine to run the servers with from my home, and a fiber optic line established, I wouldn't have to pay monthly for hosting, and my servers would be able to hold infinitely more players on them.

Edit:

Once my wife graduates and establishes herself in a career we should be able to afford the hardware we need to make this happen. Hopefully by then the US will catch up with the rest of the world and make fiber optic lines available on a consumer level instead of overcharging for crappy outdated cable lines they're too cheap to update.

Edited, Jan 23rd 2014 11:41pm by Kuwoobie
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#14 Jan 23 2014 at 3:10 PM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Hopefully by then the US will catch up with the rest of the world and make fiber optic lines available on a consumer level instead of overcharging for crappy outdated cable lines they're too cheap to update.
Smiley: lol
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Theophany wrote:
YOU'RE AN ELITIST @#%^ AETHIEN, NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS AND PEOPLE HATE YOU.
someproteinguy wrote:
Aethien you take more terrible pictures than a Japanese tourist.
Astarin wrote:
One day, Maz, you'll learn not to click on anything Aeth links.
#15 Jan 23 2014 at 3:22 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:
Hopefully by then the US will catch up with the rest of the world and make fiber optic lines available on a consumer level instead of overcharging for crappy outdated cable lines they're too cheap to update.
Smiley: lol .... Smiley: frown



Edited, Jan 23rd 2014 3:23pm by Vataro
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#16 Jan 23 2014 at 3:57 PM Rating: Good
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Pray for google fiber?
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YOU'RE AN ELITIST @#%^ AETHIEN, NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS AND PEOPLE HATE YOU.
someproteinguy wrote:
Aethien you take more terrible pictures than a Japanese tourist.
Astarin wrote:
One day, Maz, you'll learn not to click on anything Aeth links.
#17 Jan 23 2014 at 4:59 PM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
Typically we make barely over $1000, but it's good extra income nonetheless, especially during the non-summer months. We never have more than 50 players online per server, and no more than 100 players overall between them. It also costs about $110 per month to pay for hosting and other costs. Our operation is steadily growing though. If I could get my hands on a dedicated machine to run the servers with from my home, and a fiber optic line established, I wouldn't have to pay monthly for hosting, and my servers would be able to hold infinitely more players on them.


I'm a little confused as to what exactly is generating the income. Do people pay to play on your server? If so, why? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not debating whether or not Minecraft is worth paying for, but aren't there free servers and stuff?

I have literally zero knowledge of the Minecraftian multiplayer side, and very little experience with the game overall, so I'm only asking out of curiosity. Seems like a relatively painless profit, assuming you know how to set up such stuff.
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#18 Jan 23 2014 at 5:48 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:
Typically we make barely over $1000, but it's good extra income nonetheless, especially during the non-summer months. We never have more than 50 players online per server, and no more than 100 players overall between them. It also costs about $110 per month to pay for hosting and other costs. Our operation is steadily growing though. If I could get my hands on a dedicated machine to run the servers with from my home, and a fiber optic line established, I wouldn't have to pay monthly for hosting, and my servers would be able to hold infinitely more players on them.


I'm a little confused as to what exactly is generating the income. Do people pay to play on your server? If so, why? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not debating whether or not Minecraft is worth paying for, but aren't there free servers and stuff?

I have literally zero knowledge of the Minecraftian multiplayer side, and very little experience with the game overall, so I'm only asking out of curiosity. Seems like a relatively painless profit, assuming you know how to set up such stuff.


We follow a "free to play" model. They can play for free all they want, but players pay in "donations" which first and foremost is to further the cause of the server and ensure it stays running. In return for their payments, they may qualify for special ranks and privileges, such as the ability to make use of certain in-game commands giving them the ability to do things like fly or instantly fill their food bar.

We also have shop pages on each of our server websites that communicate directly with our servers via Enjin (though other plugins are available to use for this purpose should we decide not to use Enjin, such as Buycraft). There players can purchase special in-game items that would otherwise be difficult (though not impossible) to obtain. On our Pixelmon (Pokemon in Minecraft) servers, players can pay to have pokemon spawned directly into their PC (in game PC used to store pokemon). Once the payment is made, the website communicates with the server which then runs a custom command automatically to do this.


Edited, Jan 24th 2014 2:49am by Kuwoobie
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#19 Jan 24 2014 at 10:38 AM Rating: Good
That's pretty awesome. I wish I'd have thought to do something like that. Here I thought free-to-use Teamspeak was the way to go. Sadly, that venture still isn't working out too well for me.
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#20 Jan 24 2014 at 6:22 PM Rating: Good
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Wow, that's really stupid.

Congratulations, though.
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