I don’t have solid proof of this, but I’m hoping maybe some people smarter than me here might help to figure it out by running a packet sniffer or whatever other means people use to figure these things out. I tried and I’m not sure what I’m looking at.
And to be clear, I confronted the GameSessions rep before making this post with some questions about odd behavior and gave them a chance to explain what might be going on. I’ve seen this rep promptly respond to questions in the GameSessions threads posted here, yet it took them 5 days to get back to me with an answer that completely ignored all my specific questions and basically just said “Sorry, we’ll write a blog post with more info in a few days”. You can see that conversation here…
links.ifttt.com/wf/click?upn=47Ma65zk15Dxq4ShPEq4x1aIFTJm75Gth74OuoZJaSYw76tre9n312Vcmoa0pewsXB1WVD1lFHXHokLtsj-2F00iX17hkKEgJZM1nk5K5qWJFhcF2Wfv57EUt6wl1d8YehG3VSc0UXCZsk5zDLnDNPRQ-3D-3D_MGtKK9xrE…
There are some other comments regarding this in that full thread, and a couple of other fishy answers that I’ll get into below.
The first game I installed from them was The Guild 2 when they posted the free giveaway. I noticed from that point that my PC was running rather strangely. Things were running extremely slowly even though no obvious high usage of anything was showing in task manager. I ignored it for a while because I’m lazy and it was somewhat intermittent and things were still running even if they were slow to load(both apps/games, and everything about using Chrome). I finally decided to put some thought and time into what the issue could be and connected the timing back to both Gamesessions and couple of very well known mods used for Dark Souls I had installed which have been around for years and never been a problem for anyone. I started by uninstalling and deleting everything related to GameSessions and immediately noticed most things were back to normal(I still have some other weird issues I think could be connected if it left something behind, but it could be unrelated?).
I left it alone at that point because I assumed it was just badly coded software. Then they gave away Zombie Army Trilogy. I’m stupid, I was excited about the free game, and I thought I’d try it again so I did(same problems, same result after uninstalling). But I also have a good friend who is a full stack web developer who I game with when we have time. He said the whole thing felt mildly suspicious from the beginning, but I talked him into starting the install. He noticed the installer was using 80-90% of his CPU, said a couple other techy things I didn’t understand, and said he didn’t wanna mess with it. This got me looking into it more.
The first thing I did was post a question asking if anyone else noticed unusually high resource usage with GameSessions. A week later, another user messaged me that they had asked similar questions and apparently gotten a partial answer from the rep that the GameSessions client has a “Game Sharing” toggle in the settings which allows the app to use your bandwidth to share the game with other people. Huh?? I said I’m not techy, but I do know a few bits and pieces and this doesn’t make much sense(I could definitely be wrong though). Did they write their own torrent client? If so, don’t torrent clients work purely between users in the torrent stream and not with a direct server download also in the mix as this seems to?
I’ve found the whole service seemed a little strange from the start, though I didn’t have a particular reason why. I’ve since noticed that 2 of the free games they’ve given away have a large multiplayer aspect(Dirt 3, Zombie Army Trilogy, probably others as any game that uses Steamworks for multiplayer wouldn’t work otherwise), yet the multiplayer doesn’t work in the Gamesessions version because it relies on Steam for networking. It seems fishy to me that devs/publishers with these games would want them on a platform where the multiplayer just doesn’t work. It seems even fishier that a GameSessions rep lied when asked about this and said “the servers for this game have been down for a while, even on Steam” when they actually weren’t. Comment here in another sub, /r/freegamefindings…
links.ifttt.com/wf/click?upn=47Ma65zk15Dxq4ShPEq4x7Eje6faev6GW6RTh4304Dqy3AmeEi61caxu6L4qkBVu8n-2Ba7V2b5SirG31-2BxHcK2f3UzHPPy-2B1Zg6dAXUAhS6BOiDfwukUtVn1Bo7CsTqdyuVu94YLOuc7egeEtG-2FO-2FEA-3D-3D_M…
The lie is also stated in the main GameDeals post…
links.ifttt.com/wf/click?upn=47Ma65zk15Dxq4ShPEq4x1aIFTJm75Gth74OuoZJaSYw76tre9n312Vcmoa0pewsXB1WVD1lFHXHokLtsj-2F00iX17hkKEgJZM1nk5K5qWJFhcF2Wfv57EUt6wl1d8Yeh5veb0lYJdcX-2BuBYSEfa2Zw-3D-3D_MGtKK9x…
With the last game, Zombie Army Trilogy, I tried a couple things even though I’m not super techy to see if I could figure anything out. My friend had mentioned using a program called Fiddler as a packet sniffer to see if I could tell anything. I tried it, there were a lot of red flags on everything having to do with GameSessions, but I’ll be honest I have no idea what they actually meant. I also tried running an antivirus on the gamesessions installer individually through the right click menu for Avast. I don’t remember the order that everything happened in, but in the process of doing these things, my PC froze up completely(hard disk was running, but mouse and keyboard wouldn’t respond, manually restarted after letting it run for 10 minutes or so to see if it would unfreeze – this hasn’t happened for any other reason for a very long time). After restarting and trying something else(don’t remember which), I got a blue screen crash(also hasn’t happened in a very long time) and when I restarted again, my Windows LAN settings had been changed somehow and I couldn’t even access the internet(managed to figure this out by googling on my phone and tinkering).
There are several other comments in the GameSessions reps histories that seem quite fishy to me. One here, someone with a network error, and the recommendation from the rep was for them to turn their antivirus off??…
links.ifttt.com/wf/click?upn=47Ma65zk15Dxq4ShPEq4x7Eje6faev6GW6RTh4304DqdlNFZWztiYD3BkGZ1VrTBcheFD10E39WshzmSxFWlGqEYP9hvnFvqYA-2FlXd09ivTnegdQCJSdYea4IzlTK3A1_MGtKK9xrEPJ-2B-2FdxscPnrEKy3bLKdkMVKl…
I’m running out of time making this post, but there are several others where people had weird behavior, they suspected malware, etc, and got strange vague answers from the reps. I’m not going to tag them so they can come in here and start doing damage control before someone smarter than me can maybe help get some further proof about this, but their usernames are GS_SkywardWind and ed_at_gamesessions if anyone wants to search for themselves.
I’d greatly appreciate if someone here smarter than me can dig into this and maybe find some technical proof through a packet sniffer or whatever else that there’s something malicious here. I would ask my dev friend, but the guy is busy as hell with a full time job and a freelance business and two kids.
Submitted October 31, 2018 at 02:00PM by midwestcreative via reddit