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How do I protect my game and friends network from Modders?


SheerTorcher

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SheerTorcher
Posted (edited)

At the beginning of this week, I suddenly began having a lot of modder problems. I would be kicked from sessions before I successfully joined, modders would begin reading my IP into chat and describing my home, modders left a text file on my computer threatening me, or I would be burned/rooted/CEOlocked/MClocked/weaponless/session disconnected/servers unavailabled/poor sported/chain dismounted within a few seconds of logging in. Likewise, if I create a solo session, sometimes I am joined by a modder within mere minutes.

 

Finally a player who I had helped  make a start in the game contacted me in Discord. He was using a mod menu with a new feature: the ability to flag "Mod-Cops", or people known to report modders, as soon as they started to join a lobby, and he said that this mod option was flagging me as a Mod-Cop. This allowed the modder to instantly execute an attack on me, sometimes before I was even fully loaded. 

 

So, apparently is Rockstar not only helpless before the modders, but the modders can now use Rockstar's own systems to execute pre-emptive reprisals on players known to report them. It's to the point where my online playmates have stopped joining my sessions because they know that, within 20 min or so, a modder will appear to start disrupting any activities we do together.

 

Are there any resources I can use to help protect my game and my ability to play with my friends and still allow me to run the businesses I've invested millions in? People have suggested that I download mods to use to defend myself, including something called codeswine, but I'm heavily invested in the game and don't want to be banned for using even defensive mods.

Edited by SheerTorcher
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dieseltech20

Why would a menu user care that someone reports them when their menu blocks the reports from ever reaching R*? Pretty useless feature to add to a menu and none of the menus I'm familiar with have it.

 

Best thing I recommend is to always use a VPN when playing GTAO. The games fanbase is filled with scumbag human beings with nothing better in life to do than to f*ck with people.

 

I also recommend playing this game on a console. Lots of great games to play on a PC but GTAO is NOT one of them. I never play without a menu running and NEVER get f*cked with but that isn't something a lot of players want to do.

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SummerFreeze
Posted (edited)

GTA Online is peer-to-peer so every other client in your session needs to know your IP, else it wouldn't work. Of course the IP isn't shown, but it is trivially easy to find out. If you use VPN then this IP wouldn't be your real IP.

 

You can also play solo with nobody bothering you by blocking certain ports in your firewall. Third-party tools like Guardian/Safekeeper take the same approach and you can whitelist the IPs of friends so you can play with them and nobody else. (If your friends use dynamic IPs you would always need to know their current one, but I believe Guardian has a feature to automate this.) Using third-party tools is technically against Rockstar's terms of service, although I doubt they would ban you for port blocking. But don't take my word as guarantee.

Edited by SummerFreeze
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Posted (edited)

"modders left a text file on my computer threatening me"

They can't do that, if you are not making up things, better start checking your PC for some other problems. But then it's like ~99% made up bs, ~1% someone who use your PC too left it. And extremely small chance of other ways.

Edited by ambi3nt
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SheerTorcher
2 hours ago, ambi3nt said:

"modders left a text file on my computer threatening me"

They can't do that, if you are not making up things, better start checking your PC for some other problems. But then it's like ~99% made up bs, ~1% someone who use your PC too left it. And extremely small chance of other ways.

Hmm. No, I'm not making things up, it had a message as well as some lines of html that I didn't understand. And that's even more unsettling that it "shouldn't" be possible. I use two programs for malware and two for viruses, but I guess this is insufficient. On the flipside, my computer at home is usually unlocked, so maybe one of my friends is f*cking with me.

 

10 hours ago, dieseltech20 said:

Why would a menu user care that someone reports them when their menu blocks the reports from ever reaching R*? Pretty useless feature to add to a menu and none of the menus I'm familiar with have it.

 

Best thing I recommend is to always use a VPN when playing GTAO. The games fanbase is filled with scumbag human beings with nothing better in life to do than to f*ck with people.

 

I also recommend playing this game on a console. Lots of great games to play on a PC but GTAO is NOT one of them. I never play without a menu running and NEVER get f*cked with but that isn't something a lot of players want to do.

 

Of note here is that I very rarely, if ever, use the menu function to report a modder. I report them all via the in game support function pc-online play-report cheating-report a modder/money lobby and link videos of their modding there. So basically the only way they would know the number of people I had banned is if someone at Rockstar was dirty. Which I hope is untrue.

 

4 hours ago, SummerFreeze said:

GTA Online is peer-to-peer so every other client in your session needs to know your IP, else it wouldn't work. Of course the IP isn't shown, but it is trivially easy to find out. If you use VPN then this IP wouldn't be your real IP.

 

You can also play solo with nobody bothering you by blocking certain ports in your firewall. Third-party tools like Guardian/Safekeeper take the same approach and you can whitelist the IPs of friends so you can play with them and nobody else. (If your friends use dynamic IPs you would always need to know their current one, but I believe Guardian has a feature to automate this.) Using third-party tools is technically against Rockstar's terms of service, although I doubt they would ban you for port blocking. But don't take my word as guarantee.

 

Thanks for explaining this! I am somewhat a techno-peasant, so this is very useful information for me. I guess I have to decide if I want to abandon whole aspects of the game until this sh*tstorm dies down or Rockstar finally intervenes in modding, or use one of these third party programs to be able to rejoin my friends in the knowledge that someday I'm going to have to start all over. 

 

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Posted (edited)

As long as this game is peer-to-peer and your IP is visible to other players, you can't. You need a VPN at the very least, or limit yourself to invite-only sessions and heists with friends, and stay out of public freemode altogether.

Also, don't buy any future game with peer-to-peer multiplayer, like RDR2, and don't buy microtransactions. Hurt them in their wallet. Let peer-to-peer die off.

Edited by AirWolf359
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SummerFreeze
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SheerTorcher said:

Thanks for explaining this! I am somewhat a techno-peasant, so this is very useful information for me. I guess I have to decide if I want to abandon whole aspects of the game until this sh*tstorm dies down or Rockstar finally intervenes in modding, or use one of these third party programs to be able to rejoin my friends in the knowledge that someday I'm going to have to start all over.

I have a few friends in GTA who use Guardian and haven't been banned. Again, it's no guarantee though.

 

I really doubt Rockstar is going to tackle modding in a serious manner. It's been going on for so long and has only gotten worse. Since the game is peer-to-peer it's hard to do anyway. Like a possible solution would be to put artificial clients into sessions that check if a player sends suspicious commands. But they'd have to develop something like this first and running it in thousands of sessions would cost them, too. I think it's more likely Rockstar would move to dedicated servers and make the game subscription-based.  But then they'd have to assess the profitability of that vs. the current model. A lot of players probably still buy GTA for the single player mode first, and only then get hooked on GTA Online, so a subscription model might not be as profitable.

 

1 hour ago, SheerTorcher said:

Of note here is that I very rarely, if ever, use the menu function to report a modder. I report them all via the in game support function pc-online play-report cheating-report a modder/money lobby and link videos of their modding there. So basically the only way they would know the number of people I had banned is if someone at Rockstar was dirty. Which I hope is untrue.

Yeah, that's the way to report modders that actually punishes them. They probably don't even care about the in-game report function.

 

Why a modder would know that you do this is the bigger question. Maybe Rockstar flags you as a "trusted player" or something like that. Like after a few successful reports maybe they stop bothering to check your reports in detail and just ban the offending player quickly, and maybe modders can read that attribute in the game. If so... 🤦‍♀️

Edited by SummerFreeze
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1 hour ago, SheerTorcher said:

Of note here is that I very rarely, if ever, use the menu function to report a modder. I report them all via the in game support function pc-online play-report cheating-report a modder/money lobby and link videos of their modding there. So basically the only way they would know the number of people I had banned is if someone at Rockstar was dirty. Which I hope is untrue.

Have you used the in-game report function on a cheater before? Because these mod menu creators are getting more clever. A possible explanation, I can think of, is that you likely encountered a cheater who was using a paid mod menu. Upon reporting him, his menu instantly blocked your report and added you to some sort of a blacklist. So that every cheater with the same menu who encounters you will instantly know you are a "Mod-Cop".

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The game being P2P is good. P2P is much more reliable in the long term (someone else can host if something happens; there is less issues with servers being eventually turned off; you can continue playing when you lose connection to r* servers; etc.). It does have disadvantages, but the advantages far outweigh them. Cheater issue is made worse by people who call cheaters per "modders", as those two have little in common and the later is a good thing; r* gets messages from real modders about letting mods in and messages from people who mistake those two saying to ban modding. STOP SAYING "MODDERS" ON CHEATERS! PLEASE!

 


Your IP is being exposed everywhere, not only P2P games. Every website sees your IP. Every communicator (STUN server with some NAT settings), every file transfer, etc. And there is nothing wrong with it, really. It's your job as a user to protect yourself with firewall, properly configured NAT, DNS sinkhole and whatever else you require.

 


As for the files being saved on your PC, it is impossible mainly due to windows permission system (I assume you use windows, but it's similar for other OS' anyway). Programs can't save/edit files outside of special zones meant for that (appdata and program data, and user documents in some cases). In fact it's difficult to even edit files within the programs own directory. So if that happened, you have bigger issues than some cheaters.

 


With "mod-cop" (or rather "cheat-cop"), it's concerning. I can think of reporting through the support website but I report lots of cheaters (both in game and if I happen to record then also through website) and haven't had such issue. Also there rarely is a very disruptive cheater in my sessions. I mean, some have god mode, some kill everyone, some flicker lights, but it's rarely persistent and switching sessions usually works (though I like playing with them to infuriate them until they kick me or leave themselves).

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SheerTorcher
27 minutes ago, WoJo07 said:

The game being P2P is good. P2P is much more reliable in the long term (someone else can host if something happens; there is less issues with servers being eventually turned off; you can continue playing when you lose connection to r* servers; etc.). It does have disadvantages, but the advantages far outweigh them. 

 I'm not convinced that this is true. My partner has played wow with our son for 17 years now, and can only recall twice in which she met what appeared to be a, ermm, "cheater" in all that time. And while WoW's servers do go down all the time, it's safe to say that I've lost as much time to session/game reloads to fix bugs or escape modders as she has in WoW  server outages mid-play 1in all those 17 years. Yes, WoW is PREDICTABLY down on Tuesdays or whenever, but it being PREDICTABLY down means you can plan around it.

 

In any case, there is another issue here. Rockstar, unlike Blizzard, apparently relies on players to report modders and otherwise apparently sits on its hands about the issue. Blizzard REACTS when exploits or cheats impact gameplay. I've been in GTAO which is rampantly spoiled by, and indeed where Rockstar itself is robbed of the microtransactions needed to keep the game profitable, for 5 months now and have yet to see Rockstar take any kind of systematic action. And now to discover as a Rockstar player that I not only have to take playtime to record, process, upload, and submit cheater videos but have to become a web security expert and fortify my computer and sessions to enjoy the game is starting to make this feel like work. 

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Posted (edited)

Rockstar don't care.

Just think about how many mod menus are still operational despite "listening to community complaints" and taking down certain names historically - did it really matter? The end users are still the same people, just using other accounts on other menu systems - of which there's many choices. 

 

Some people have success reporting cheaters via Rockstar Support but seeing as cheaters are able to spoof all sorts of profile information to "appear as someone else", and many people's "unlisted" videos don't get any views, it doesn't really inspire much confidence on that.

 

Don't even start me off on that "Finger of God" bullsh*t back in the day. How a game developer could leave stuff like that open to people is beyond me. 

Edited by Gaffa
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Gunbladelad

You need to add a VPN and a good firewall on top of that if modders have been able to get into your system (I would say that good anti-malware, Antivirus, Firewall and VPN are ALL essential things to have nowadays regardless)

As for being able to play safely, I would suggest you look into "Solo public lobby" tricks - you should still be able to get your friends in them by inviting them (or at least, you can on console)

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FrugalDangerMan
17 hours ago, SheerTorcher said:

At the beginning of this week, I suddenly began having a lot of modder problems. I would be kicked from sessions before I successfully joined, modders would begin reading my IP into chat and describing my home, modders left a text file on my computer threatening me, or I would be burned/rooted/CEOlocked/MClocked/weaponless/session disconnected/servers unavailabled/poor sported/chain dismounted within a few seconds of logging in. 

 

If true, there is a bigger issue at hand. 

 

I have no idea what a mod menu is capable of on PC, for example, making a game place a txt file with threats on your system. But if they actually gained access to your system to leave that file, what's preventing them from leaving others? 

 

Illegal stuff. Pictures of a nature I don't want to mention that could have you arrested, ostracized by friends and family and possibly required to spend the rest of your life on an offender registry.

 

First, contact your ISP and advise them what happend. And don't give them too much. Just the basics. While playing the game, someone put your I.P. in chat and now there's a file on your computer that wasn't there before.

 

Their security team will want to pull access logs for your I.P. address.

 

Second, contact your local authorities who deal with cyber crime. In Canada, that's the RCMP. In the US, that's the FBI. If you live elsewhere, contact the local police (non emergency line) and ask to speak to someone who deals with cyber crime.

 

Depending on the level of access they had, they could be looking hard time.

 

Again, if what you said actually happened.

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SheerTorcher
13 minutes ago, FrugalDangerMan said:

 

If true, there is a bigger issue at hand. 

 

I have no idea what a mod menu is capable of on PC, for example, making a game place a txt file with threats on your system. But if they actually gained access to your system to leave that file, what's preventing them from leaving others? 

 

Illegal stuff. Pictures of a nature I don't want to mention that could have you arrested, ostracized by friends and family and possibly required to spend the rest of your life on an offender registry.

 

First, contact your ISP and advise them what happend. And don't give them too much. Just the basics. While playing the game, someone put your I.P. in chat and now there's a file on your computer that wasn't there before.

 

Their security team will want to pull access logs for your I.P. address.

 

Second, contact your local authorities who deal with cyber crime. In Canada, that's the RCMP. In the US, that's the FBI. If you live elsewhere, contact the local police (non emergency line) and ask to speak to someone who deals with cyber crime.

 

Depending on the level of access they had, they could be looking hard time.

 

Again, if what you said actually happened.

Well, I don't know if the file was placed through the game or a mod menu, or by some other means once they had worked out how to contact my system. The only stuff that I was told runs from mod menus is the ability to flag "Mod-Cops", and since I haven't run those menus myself I am taking the word of the other player who warned me that his new mod was flagging me.

 

Malwarebytes has been rather busy lately, and I did have two files that it flagged in the space of two weeks when it has found nothing for months, so it may be time to dig deeper or consider wiping and rebuilding. The idea of having stuff planted on my system is alarming, and I guess if I'm going to keep playing in public sessions I really am going to have to learn more about protecting myself.

 

If this game wasn't so brilliant, I'd be gone already at your notes above. As it is, given the impact on my livelihood and social life that could come from planted files as you suggest has me considering it anyway. But mostly what it's making me regret is co-operating in policing the modders: if I'd known the cost of crossing them might be my livelihood and that Rockstar would be supplying zero top cover and no action, I wouldn't have started.

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SummerFreeze
13 minutes ago, SheerTorcher said:

Well, I don't know if the file was placed through the game or a mod menu, or by some other means once they had worked out how to contact my system. The only stuff that I was told runs from mod menus is the ability to flag "Mod-Cops", and since I haven't run those menus myself I am taking the word of the other player who warned me that his new mod was flagging me.

 

Malwarebytes has been rather busy lately, and I did have two files that it flagged in the space of two weeks when it has found nothing for months, so it may be time to dig deeper or consider wiping and rebuilding. The idea of having stuff planted on my system is alarming, and I guess if I'm going to keep playing in public sessions I really am going to have to learn more about protecting myself.

 

If this game wasn't so brilliant, I'd be gone already at your notes above. As it is, given the impact on my livelihood and social life that could come from planted files as you suggest has me considering it anyway. But mostly what it's making me regret is co-operating in policing the modders: if I'd known the cost of crossing them might be my livelihood and that Rockstar would be supplying zero top cover and no action, I wouldn't have started.

Where did you find the file?

 

If you want to know how to block ports with Windows Firewall so nobody can join your session, let me know. I could write an explanation.

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Posted (edited)

The mod menu can be used to find out your IP and the hacker can use a program called Sub7 to manipulate your PC through open port 27374.

As you said, you're not VERY proficient with the PC and a lot of people aren't as well, so in default setting, the PC has no VPN and the said port is open. Most routers are even "secured" by their default factory password.

It's as reckless as choosing "GOD" as your password.

uAUKHb9i_400x400.jpg

I advise everyone to look up to how to close ports and do it.

Edited by Polynoid
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SheerTorcher said:

In any case, there is another issue here. Rockstar, unlike Blizzard, apparently relies on players to report modders and otherwise apparently sits on its hands about the issue. Blizzard REACTS when exploits or cheats impact gameplay. I've been in GTAO which is rampantly spoiled by, and indeed where Rockstar itself is robbed of the microtransactions needed to keep the game profitable, for 5 months now and have yet to see Rockstar take any kind of systematic action. And now to discover as a Rockstar player that I not only have to take playtime to record, process, upload, and submit cheater videos but have to become a web security expert and fortify my computer and sessions to enjoy the game is starting to make this feel like work. 

They do take action, you just don't get to see it. I'm certain most of these cheaters receive a ban likely hours or a few days after. As a matter of fact, an update went out a few hours that detects some mod menus. There's also something Rockstar has been cooking that hopefully would put to use soon.

 

But of course, there's a ton of cheaters that actions on certain individuals wouldn't really cleanse the game of them. So, as you said Rockstar should do more to ban those cheaters. And the Epic deal made matters worse by giving those cheaters the ability to make up a ton of alt accounts. I would do say, however, that Rockstar is probably sitting on a ton of flagged accounts as of now as part of a new initiative and is likely planning to hit them all with a massive ban wave.

Edited by Tez2
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What's the point in banning people though? 
It would be far more effective to try and block the ways mods are being used. With respect, but some mod menus have been around since the back end of 2016 or 2017 and they're still operational - so whatever care or action they take, it's very little. 

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Internet Person
18 hours ago, dieseltech20 said:

The games fanbase is filled with scumbag human beings with nothing better in life to do than to f*ck with people.

 

 

This is the most true statement in the history of the world. I've had modders put me in bad sport, remove my rank and weapons, freeze my console, light me on fire...  And I never did anything to them.

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SheerTorcher
2 hours ago, Polynoid said:

The mod menu can be used to find out your IP and the hacker can use a program called Sub7 to manipulate your PC through open port 27374.

As you said, you're not VERY proficient with the PC and a lot of people aren't as well, so in default setting, the PC has no VPN and the said port is open. Most routers are even "secured" by their default factory password.

It's as reckless as choosing "GOD" as your password.

uAUKHb9i_400x400.jpg

I advise everyone to look up to how to close ports and do it.

Thank you for this post! I appreciate the advice: even just using the terms I should google has been a big help.

 

I have purchased a VPN service today, and I will do some googling on how to choose and close ports. Also, I have already changed my router password, but as a precaution I will reset it tonight after everyone has gone to bed and make a new one.

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SheerTorcher

After all my trouble earlier this week, I just played for 3.5 hours today and didn't meet one modder. Curious. The way I understand VPNs all they do is disguise my IP, so I would think I would still be encountering modders.

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14 minutes ago, SheerTorcher said:

After all my trouble earlier this week, I just played for 3.5 hours today and didn't meet one modder. Curious. The way I understand VPNs all they do is disguise my IP, so I would think I would still be encountering modders.

VPNs also change your geolocation, which the game matchmaking depends on, unless your VPN is in the same region.

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Volatollotalov
23 hours ago, SheerTorcher said:

modders would begin reading my IP into chat and describing my home, modders left a text file on my computer threatening me,

 

Could you please share a screenshot of this? Of course cut out any identifiable info.

 

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FrugalDangerMan
22 hours ago, Tez2 said:

...Rockstar is probably sitting on a ton of flagged accounts as of now as part of a new initiative and is likely planning to hit them all with a massive ban wave.

 

I've already waxed my surfboard. Can't wait to shoot the curl on this wave baby.

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SheerTorcher

Installed a VPN and my sessions have been much quieter. I've been able to log into nearly all of them, and I have not been pre-emptively kicked or instantly attacked by modders after loading in. Not sure if the VPN interferes with the "Mod-Cop" tracker mod somehow or if some larger muscle movement by Rockstar has defeated that mod menu function.

 

Encountered my first modder in about 24 hours just now. His range of options also seemed more limited: he had only invulnerability, cash drop, and direct fire weapons and either was unable to or chose not to use the typical array of fire/explode/cage/bad sport/organization lock etc. Again, not sure if this was due to the VPN or if some larger move by Rockstar constrained his choices.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SheerTorcher said:

INot sure if the VPN interferes with the "Mod-Cop" tracker mod somehow or if some larger muscle movement by Rockstar has defeated that mod menu function.

 

Neither. 

And Rockstar hasn't done any anti-cheat stuff for a while if it's not money related. 

Can you get a screenshot of that file by any chance? 

Edited by Gaffa
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dieseltech20
Posted (edited)

The only thing that has changed is that the player that was following you around and harassing you has grown bored and moved on to another player. Not everyone with a menu uses it to screw with other players and ruin their game. Most only drop cash to players that ask for it.  R* hasn't done a damn thing about any menu lately. 

 

That said, I believe they are looking into ways to eliminate them because the current menu makers out there are completely silent and not releasing any new updates for them. One of the big RDO menus has been down for months now. 

Edited by dieseltech20
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ṼirulenⱦEqừinox
Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2021 at 8:41 AM, SheerTorcher said:

Of note here is that I very rarely, if ever, use the menu function to report a modder. I report them all via the in game support function pc-online play-report cheating-report a modder/money lobby and link videos of their modding there. So basically the only way they would know the number of people I had banned is if someone at Rockstar was dirty. Which I hope is untrue.

R* no longer accept video evidence as proof and haven't in years even if you catch someone on video who are obivouslly using mods because a lot of innocent people were being banned Why?

 

Because these mod menus have name and ID changers so chances are the person you recorded and even reported isn't even their actual Game ID and/or Profile there have been plently of times where i've looked at a modder Social Club account and it showed a different GamerID not only that the social club profile it took me too would either not have any activity on it for a long time or not even have GTA V in the list of games.

 

So the reporting system is utterly useless anymore the main reason most modders get banned these days are because of detected cheats such as money rather than reports

Edited by ṼirulenⱦEqừinox
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SheerTorcher
10 hours ago, ṼirulenⱦEqừinox said:

R* no longer accept video evidence as proof and haven't in years even if you catch someone on video who are obivouslly using mods because a lot of innocent people were being banned Why?

 

Because these mod menus have name and ID changers so chances are the person you recorded and even reported isn't even their actual Game ID and/or Profile there have been plently of times where i've looked at a modder Social Club account and it showed a different GamerID not only that the social club profile it took me too would either not have any activity on it for a long time or not even have GTA V in the list of games.

I had seen them spoof other people's names when they, for example, used my name to explode every player on the server, so I knew they went that far. But some of the people I've reported sent me angry social club mails also from the name they appeared to have in game, so I haven't seen evidence that they themselves can log in with someone elses' name.

 

In any case, as a TakeTwo investor I find this whole thing very disturbing. I think if it comes to the point where myself and others actually have files damaged or kiddie pr0n planted or something, parents/spouses the world over, and potentially even governments, are going to forbid TakeTwo products. I understand the peer-to-peer model has distinct pro's vs a server based model, but I think TakeTwo/Rockstar is absorbing a lot of risk by producing games with security this lax. 

 

Is RDO any better? Might I be safe playing RDO? Are there any plans to improve security for GTA6?

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SheerTorcher
On 5/15/2021 at 11:28 PM, Gaffa said:


Can you get a screenshot of that file by any chance? 

Well, I'm kind of technopeasanty, and when my malware detector pointed this file out I let it quarantine it immediately and then deleted it. It had a .txt extension, it was on my desktop and not centered but aligned with my other files in rows, and the reason I know it was about my reports was it was titled "Stop reporting our mod users" or words to that effect. If it happens again, I will certainly take screenshots because if kiddie pr0n or likewise incriminating stuff was planted on my computer, I'm going to need some better proof that I was hacked to protect myself. I'm afraid my somewhat panicked response was not optimal.

 

I guess what is interesting here is that if R* was not actually using the reports, why was my reporting even relevant to these people? This question does make me wonder more if I'm being pranked. 

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