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Bots following me & my partner


FurryPawLife
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Not so recently, a bunch of empty accounts have been teleporting to the region that me or my partner is in, and then quickly leaving within a few seconds to a minute or two. It's apparent that they're bots because they are completely empty accounts with obscure names (yet recognizable after you've seen them about 15 times a day) and they have no avatar, nor do they move. We've had issues with bots in the past, but they had starter avatars and all we had to do was replace all our clothing. Now no matter what we do, these empty accounts find their way into any region to just teleport away moments later. Any idea what they might be doing and how to get rid of them? It'd be awfully creepy if they're just following to log our locations.

bot.PNG

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5 minutes ago, FurryPawLife said:

they have no avatar, nor do they move. We've had issues with bots in the past, but they had starter avatars and all we had to do was replace all our clothing.

What in heaven's name is an "empty account"?  And what does changing your clothing have to do with bots? You can't be in world without an avatar. All you're probably experiencing is land survey bots (like Tyche Shepherd's, which maintain the database at http://gridsurvey.com/index.php .  They typically visit a region well off the ground, check statistics to verify that the region is still there, and leave in seconds.

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3 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

What in heaven's name is an "empty account"?  And what does changing your clothing have to do with bots? You can't be in world without an avatar. All you're probably experiencing is land survey bots (like Tyche Shepherd's, which maintain the database at http://gridsurvey.com/index.php .  They typically visit a region well off the ground, check statistics to verify that the region is still there, and leave in seconds.

By empty account I mean there's absolutely nothing there. Nothing in the description, no profile picture, not a thing. They wear nothing and are just invisible, with their complexity only being 100. I'd say they're survey bots but the specific names go anywhere we go, no matter where, and they follow to very obscure and not connected locations, not to mention our parcel. They also haven't appeared anywhere for our friends, in the same places they go when we're there. We had to change our clothes because something we wore had suspicious scripts in it which the bots were linked to.

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1 hour ago, Rolig Loon said:

 All you're probably experiencing is land survey bots (like Tyche Shepherd's, which maintain the database at http://gridsurvey.com/index.php .  They typically visit a region well off the ground, check statistics to verify that the region is still there, and leave in seconds.

seeing the amount of mentions lately it does get a bit much.. of course it can be multiple people sending bots out, but 5 to 12 times a day, as some say, is disturbing and should be limited fár down.

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1 hour ago, FurryPawLife said:

We had to change our clothes because something we wore had suspicious scripts in it which the bots were linked to.

Possible but probably not. Unless it was something given to you specifically by someone.  Even if it were, why?  Something given to you by a 'friend'?  Something you bought?  Something you picked up free somewhere?

Almost all the people who post claiming to be followed are in fact, NOT being followed.

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Explain the same names, then! If it were people running about 50 different accounts within 20 minute intervals, then I'm sure I would know who it is by now. We never got closure on what clothing item it was, but as soon as we removed everything and unboxed new items and cleaned everything up, starter characters stopped coming to our home. Now the random accounts with repeated names such as "opetaritz" or "aciombridi" or "cononym" etc. are not easily removed, as blocking them or banning them doesn't work and they still enter the region. I'm no fool, I am aware that these random names pop up no matter where I or my partner go, and they are never seemingly online when we're offline. I just simply would like to know if I can get rid of them or whatever thing they're using to follow us with, because whatever they are doing, I don't want it happening anymore. 

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46 minutes ago, FurryPawLife said:

but as soon as we removed everything and unboxed new items and cleaned everything up, starter characters stopped coming to our home. 

If you did this and it stopped, great.  Since I'll assume you haven't put any of those items on again, if it WERE a scripted item, problem solved.  There isn't any other way for anyone to follow you.  Do check your region though as some rezzed items have this function.  They let someone know when you arrive and where you go on that region but can not track you when you leave.

Now, with that said, if it were some nefarious person, they know where you live and the places you hang out already.  

The one thing people can do is track your online status which is an SL function and not something you can hide.

 

 

Edited by Rowan Amore
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This exact issue has been brought up with myself multiple times over the last couple of weeks.

Random newbie bots with gibberish like names, typically under 65 days old, appearing around the same person with sufficient frequency, and in multiple different locations that they get paranoid and believe they are being followed.

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41 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

Every region in SL is surveyed by Tyche's bots once a week  You can't opt out and you shouldn't want to.  It's the only reliable statistics database in SL, absolutely invaluable and heavily used.    If you have never taken a look, please do.  http://gridsurvey.com/index.php

ok

Edited by Ayyker
typo
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I just encountered a one-day old bot in Boardroom sim. No visible body, no movement, a mid-level chatterbot would answer. The conversation:

[Moderator Edit: Chat Logs Removed]

Anyone recognize that bot?

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Some of these bots get locations from people's picks. That could mean the same bot appears in multiple places that you visit, because they're the sort of places that appear on the same picks lists. The proof of the pudding is going to a place you would never usually visit. You might still see bots, but they'll be different ones.

Be extra careful about picks that are just descriptions of stuff. People forget that there's a location attached and can inadvertently give the bots private home locations. Though the bots don't really care about you, it can obviously be annoying if they're popping up somewhere inconvenient.

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I stopped the bots by setting my land to must have payment info and making it group only since then they no longer showed up. It was that or moving my house and everything in it somewhere else as they kept porting into it and triggering the security system which was really annoying.

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You would be wiser to be paranoid of the servers your web traffic gets rooted through, the information you give businesses irl being sold on to others and the exploitation of your data by social networks.  A few more immediately identifiable bots roaming a virtual world looking for scraps are ultimately far less consequential.  

At any rate, for further information around bot speculation check Lou Netizen's work here

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@FurryPawLife

Hi there, sorry to be bumping this thread after a while. I did saw the exact avatar with the same name in your screenshot outside of my Linden home.

All I did after that was make a Note under their profile of the time, date and rough location on where they stood before poofing. So far I haven't seen the exact avatar the second time but I did notice other ones more than once while staying at home. Same behaviour of emerging nearby within or adjacent to the sim and then disappearing soon after less than a minute.

Looking at the gridsurvey link, it's a different bot that surveys my Linden home region and it was months back in January this year. So I'm guessing it might be the other bots, like the ones listed in Lou Netizen's link above.

Edited by Haruka Flores
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@KateBrill,

I haven't heard of this precise attack, but I can tell you what is going on.

If a "big blue window" covers your entire screen, it can be done in a couple of ways.

  • You accepted and attached an object. It is a HUD, attached to your screen, or an object attached to your avatar. It can be detached like any other worn item: right click and choose Detach.
  • It is a large prim object with a script that causes it to follow you. Follower objects can be defeated by simply teleporting to another region or logging out and logging in at another location. NOTE: If the object remains rezzed, it will resume following its target if that avatar returns to the region it is in.
  • It is a HUD similar to the ones on Learning Island and Social Island. These are created and attached IF the target has allowed the relevant Experience. Permissions for Experiences may be examined and disabled in the Me>Experiences menu.

Although I haven't heard of it being exploited, it's conceivably possible for a scammer to place a web page on a prim using the Shared Media capability. Then clicking on a button could install malware on your computer. The only way I can think of for someone to get access to "all your data" is to somehow get the victim to visit a web page and click on something they should not; there is NO way for a scripted object in world to do this.

I'm sure you are to be commended for developing a protection system, but it would be much better for victims to submit detailed Abuse Reports.

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I'd like to know how you know for certain if someone is someone's alt/bot/account.  Are you just guessing?  You also have a place to report stalkers.  And what's on these hidden pages you get access to if you purchase your product.  This sure sounds kind of questionable.

 

 

 

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On 9/30/2021 at 12:01 AM, Lindal Kidd said:

@KateBrill,

I haven't heard of this precise attack, but I can tell you what is going on.

If a "big blue window" covers your entire screen, it can be done in a couple of ways.

  • You accepted and attached an object. It is a HUD, attached to your screen, or an object attached to your avatar. It can be detached like any other worn item: right click and choose Detach.
  • It is a large prim object with a script that causes it to follow you. Follower objects can be defeated by simply teleporting to another region or logging out and logging in at another location. NOTE: If the object remains rezzed, it will resume following its target if that avatar returns to the region it is in.
  • It is a HUD similar to the ones on Learning Island and Social Island. These are created and attached IF the target has allowed the relevant Experience. Permissions for Experiences may be examined and disabled in the Me>Experiences menu.

Although I haven't heard of it being exploited, it's conceivably possible for a scammer to place a web page on a prim using the Shared Media capability. Then clicking on a button could install malware on your computer. The only way I can think of for someone to get access to "all your data" is to somehow get the victim to visit a web page and click on something they should not; there is NO way for a scripted object in world to do this.

I'm sure you are to be commended for developing a protection system, but it would be much better for victims to submit detailed Abuse Reports.

You don't know the Blue Window? Emerald means something to you? IP followers surely these tools still exist but under different names. The blue window that covers the whole screen is proof that it exists, it is not attached or anything on my avatar. This request is coming from a HUD that you must allow because there is no way to click NO. 

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54 minutes ago, KateBrill said:

You don't know the Blue Window? Emerald means something to you? IP followers surely these tools still exist but under different names. The blue window that covers the whole screen is proof that it exists, it is not attached or anything on my avatar. This request is coming from a HUD that you must allow because there is no way to click NO. 

I covered that. A normal HUD is attached to a screen attachment point. It can be detached by right clicking it and choosing Detach. A HUD you cannot detach may be added by an Experience, but you can manage that sort by disabling the relevant Experience.

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Hello Lindeal Kidd 

This does not work with these pop-up windows it covers the whole screen it is not a hud to you but a request from another avatar to you 

it should come again  i will make a screenshot of it.

Kind regards 

Edited by KateBrill
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35 minutes ago, KateBrill said:

Hello Sam1 Bellisserian Thank you for your reply. 

It is neither against the Tos if I or others want to protect themselves against it, many people are simply afraid to report it. The anonymously refers to an anonymous email when someone is incorrectly listed. Please read the whole thing and not just parts of it.

Kind regards 

Listing people that you think are stalkers without proof is indeed a violation of the TOS. The correct way to deal with issues like this is to file an Abuse Report.  Being fearful of reporting incidents is not an excuse not to report it through appropriate channels.

Edited by Sam1 Bellisserian
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Hello Sam1 Bellisserian, 

To better understand, no one is forced to use the contents of the Black List, of course you can change it or just use the ORB labelled "Yours" in this Orb you are completely on your own, 

and I don't think so, a lot of people think so, over a period of 4 years we know who does and who doesn't, the Orb is based on NC lists you are not forced to use these lists. Furthermore, my avatar name is not my RL name so if someone is listed with the name "Donald Trump" and he keeps visiting your place when you ban him and he ends up at the neighbour's place, then it can be assumed that he is following you. Don't worry, I do this very conscientiously. 

Kind regards

Ps. Unfortunately, I have already reached my number of posts for this day but please feel free to contact me inworld. Thank you

 

Edited by KateBrill
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