Jump to content


Untraceble gaming


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Chessy

Chessy

    Newbie

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:35 AM

Hi all,

I tried finding an answer to this for a while, hitting a brick wall often.

Is there a way to play a game, any game, let's say WoW, or LoL, whatever, without leaving traces. What I mean is, once the game is run on the mac, and it exited, there would be no way to find if it ran at all.

Help appreciated )

#2 Matt Diamond

Matt Diamond

    Master Blaster

  • IMG Writers
  • 2452 posts
  • Location:Holland, PA; US
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:20 PM

The best way to leave no trace on one Mac is to simply play it on another Mac.

In the same vein, if you booted to an external disk to play the game and removed that disk when you were done, there would probably be no trace of it on the original system. (Assuming the owner didn't install a firmware password to prevent booting to another drive.)

If you are able to partition the drive, you could do the same thing by booting to the partition. I believe there are ways to hide partitions when they aren't in use, but Disk Utility would see that they exist.

Less effectively, you can create a separate user account on the Mac. This wouldn't leave no trace, people would know there's another account, but they wouldn't know what it was used for. If they are clever they could look at any logs and such on the drive itself and see activity. In theory you could make all those files inaccessible to the normal login account, but you'd have to know all the places that data gets cached or logged. You could find them with trial and error, seeing what files on the disk have changed while you are playing.

For that matter, I suppose if you used Time Machine or a disk cloner, you could revert the whole drive to what it was before the game was played. (This might undo software patches and locally-saved games though.)

Of course, games tend to leave other types of traces. Credit card charges, emails from friends, text messages arranging times to meet up online, lights under the door when someone is supposed to be asleep. If someone is deliberately trying to catch you they could log keystrokes, log network traffic, examine the firewall or block certain ports, or simply disable internet access for parts of the day. Network admins can sniff and throttle packets. Just the fact that the game exists on the machine at all reveals something.

In short, with effort and admin privileges someone could hide most traces, but how well they succeed depends both on their effort and the skills & effort of the people they are trying to evade. Conversely, it's almost impossible to 100% lock down someone's access to prevent abuse, but you can make it difficult. For every trick there's a counter-trick. The goal of both sides is to make it expensive enough or unlikely enough for the other side to succeed. So how far you go with this depends on your assessment of the "opponent", and what time/effort/cost you are willing to pay.

p.s. A case study: I locked down my home network quite well and installed parental controls on everything. Then my son simply went to his friend's house to see mature games. He knew that I knew, and vice versa. But his access to the games was limited, he got to experience what the cool kids were playing, and when it came down to it I could tell he didn't feel the need to play them much himself, so I wasn't bothered.
Matt Diamond - www.mindthecube.com
Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.

#3 Thain Esh Kelch

Thain Esh Kelch

    Admin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3780 posts
  • Steam ID:thaineshkelch
  • Location:Denmark

Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:06 AM

It really depends on the game in question. But no, unless you run the game on another Mac, there's always a way to find out you've played it.
"They're everywhere!" -And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

iMac 2011, quad 3,4Ghz i7, 1TB Samsung EVO 840, 8GB RAM, 2GB Radeon 6970m. + 2016 Macbook m3 + iPad 2 64GB + iPhone 4S 64GB + Girlfriend + Daughter

#4 Frigidman™

Frigidman™

    Eye Sea Yew

  • Admin
  • 4265 posts
  • Steam ID:frigidman
  • Location:East mahn, East!
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:57 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 25 August 2013 - 03:06 AM, said:

It really depends on the game in question. But no, unless you run the game on another Mac, there's always a way to find out you've played it.

From hidden files, preference files, support files, console logs, and even logs you don't find in console... games love to leave crap behind.

I wish games were cleaner about themselves just in the general sense that 'over time' your mac becomes cluttered with debris.

-Fm [1oM7]
"I'm not incorruptible, I am so corrupt nothing you can offer me is tempting." - Alfred Bester


#5 Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake

    Official Mascot of the 1988 Winter Olympics

  • IMG Writers
  • 3298 posts
  • Steam Name:SneakySnake
  • Steam ID:sneaky_snake
  • Location:Waterloo, Canada

Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:41 PM

One simple way could be to run it under a different user, and have it installed to the user's documents folder or something, so it's not in applications.

If you have permissions set so that no one else can view your account data, then I would think you would be safe (assuming the other users don't have administrator access.
2015 13" rMBP: i5 5257U @ 2.7 GHz || Intel Iris 6100 || 8 GB LPDDR3 1866 || 256 GB SSD || macOS Sierra
Gaming Build: R5 1600 @ 3.9 GHz || Asus GTX 1070 8 GB || 16 GB DDR4 3000 || 960 Evo NVMe, 1 TB FireCuda || Win10 Pro
Other: Dell OptiPlex 3040 as VMware host || QNAP TS-228 NAS || iPhone 6S 64GB

#6 Frost

Frost

    Secretary of Offense

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6075 posts
  • Steam ID:CaptFrost
  • Location:Republic of Texas
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:34 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 25 August 2013 - 03:41 PM, said:

One simple way could be to run it under a different user, and have it installed to the user's documents folder or something, so it's not in applications.

If you have permissions set so that no one else can view your account data, then I would think you would be safe (assuming the other users don't have administrator access.
This would be an excellent way. Make a temporary user, game under that, then log back into your regular account and delete that user.

Granted you'd lose saves if the game makes use of that, but... if you can find the preferences you can keep and hide those somewhere.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#7 Hansi

Hansi

    Master Blaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1785 posts
  • Steam ID:hansroberth
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 26 August 2013 - 04:34 AM

View PostFrost, on 25 August 2013 - 11:34 PM, said:

This would be an excellent way. Make a temporary user, game under that, then log back into your regular account and delete that user.

Granted you'd lose saves if the game makes use of that, but... if you can find the preferences you can keep and hide those somewhere.

Would be easier to just enable guest user which does this automatically.

#8 Thain Esh Kelch

Thain Esh Kelch

    Admin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3780 posts
  • Steam ID:thaineshkelch
  • Location:Denmark

Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:33 AM

View PostFrost, on 25 August 2013 - 11:34 PM, said:

This would be an excellent way. Make a temporary user, game under that, then log back into your regular account and delete that user.

Granted you'd lose saves if the game makes use of that, but... if you can find the preferences you can keep and hide those somewhere.
You would also have to erase the 'Latest items' menu in the Apple menu, which would then be a dead give away.
"They're everywhere!" -And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

iMac 2011, quad 3,4Ghz i7, 1TB Samsung EVO 840, 8GB RAM, 2GB Radeon 6970m. + 2016 Macbook m3 + iPad 2 64GB + iPhone 4S 64GB + Girlfriend + Daughter

#9 Matt Diamond

Matt Diamond

    Master Blaster

  • IMG Writers
  • 2452 posts
  • Location:Holland, PA; US
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:51 PM

Addendum to my first post: while its true that booting to another drive wouldn't leave any traces of the game being played, it would leave a trace that the machine was rebooted. Mountain Lion likes to bring back everything that the user had running before, but the fact of the reboot would be seen in the console logs. Ditto the partition idea.

Like I said, a lot depends on the relative skill sets of the parties involved, and how actively they are trying to prevent a game from being played.

Yet another idea is to use a virtual machine, or a remote desktop connection to another machine. Again, there'd be traces of the first app being run, but (depending on the virtual machine's mode) it wouldn't leave a clue as to what was actually run. A suspicious observer would notice that something they didn't recognize was run, unless those programs are used normally for other reasons, but they wouldn't see traces  of "World of Warcraft" anywhere.
Matt Diamond - www.mindthecube.com
Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.

#10 Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake

    Official Mascot of the 1988 Winter Olympics

  • IMG Writers
  • 3298 posts
  • Steam Name:SneakySnake
  • Steam ID:sneaky_snake
  • Location:Waterloo, Canada

Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:38 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 26 August 2013 - 07:33 AM, said:

You would also have to erase the 'Latest items' menu in the Apple menu, which would then be a dead give away.

The point is that the account will no longer be logged in later, so nothing will appear in "Latest items"
2015 13" rMBP: i5 5257U @ 2.7 GHz || Intel Iris 6100 || 8 GB LPDDR3 1866 || 256 GB SSD || macOS Sierra
Gaming Build: R5 1600 @ 3.9 GHz || Asus GTX 1070 8 GB || 16 GB DDR4 3000 || 960 Evo NVMe, 1 TB FireCuda || Win10 Pro
Other: Dell OptiPlex 3040 as VMware host || QNAP TS-228 NAS || iPhone 6S 64GB

#11 Thain Esh Kelch

Thain Esh Kelch

    Admin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3780 posts
  • Steam ID:thaineshkelch
  • Location:Denmark

Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:48 AM

Ah yes, of course! I think I misread your post or something.
"They're everywhere!" -And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

iMac 2011, quad 3,4Ghz i7, 1TB Samsung EVO 840, 8GB RAM, 2GB Radeon 6970m. + 2016 Macbook m3 + iPad 2 64GB + iPhone 4S 64GB + Girlfriend + Daughter

#12 the Battle Cat

the Battle Cat

    Carnage Served Raw

  • Admin
  • 17376 posts
  • Location:Citadel City, Lh'owon
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:29 AM

Just use the Battle Cat Method.  Simply sneak up behind someone with a suitable computer and bludgeon them.  While they lay on the floor spewing drool, load your game onto their computer and play.  Reapply bludgeon as necessary.  Your computer remains absolutely free of any trace of your game right down to the subatomic level.
Gary Simmons
the Battle Cat

#13 Atticus

Atticus

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 942 posts
  • Location:Sternum's Ribcage

Posted 27 August 2013 - 01:47 PM

From the "You Know School is Starting Again When.... Dept."

Dear Newbie:

Rather than go through all those technical gymnastics, it might be easier to just do your homework and chores like your parents asked you to do. Result: no more revoked privileges, no more having to sneak WoW sessions in between algebra and your "On Shooting an Elephant" book report!

Kids. Sigh.
"I'm standing in the middle of life with my pants behind me."

#14 Matt Diamond

Matt Diamond

    Master Blaster

  • IMG Writers
  • 2452 posts
  • Location:Holland, PA; US
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:33 PM

Or, this is a parent hoping for some tips on how to check up on their kids.

Parents. Sigh.
Matt Diamond - www.mindthecube.com
Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.

#15 Frigidman™

Frigidman™

    Eye Sea Yew

  • Admin
  • 4265 posts
  • Steam ID:frigidman
  • Location:East mahn, East!
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:06 PM

Either way, its kind of funny... its a game, just play and let play and be happy all around.

-Fm [1oM7]
"I'm not incorruptible, I am so corrupt nothing you can offer me is tempting." - Alfred Bester


#16 Matt Diamond

Matt Diamond

    Master Blaster

  • IMG Writers
  • 2452 posts
  • Location:Holland, PA; US
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 28 August 2013 - 09:16 AM

It's not for me to judge. Parents have the right to regulate the time and manner of their kids' game playing, or withhold game rights as a punishment or until necessities are taken care of. There was no suggestion that the game wasn't to be installed in the first place, for instance. So I chose to assume some level of reasonableness.

Also, I know some parents who allow their young kids to play WoW. Given the wide range of social elements they may encounter online, the parents would be remiss if they didn't monitor their play.
Matt Diamond - www.mindthecube.com
Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.

#17 Atticus

Atticus

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 942 posts
  • Location:Sternum's Ribcage

Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:56 PM

That post has all the hallmarks of a kid trying to figure out how to play a game without his parents knowing. Now whether that means playing a game they know he already has but has been giving limits he or she is trying to circumvent, OR a game that they don't want him/her playing at all but has somehow snuck onto his/her HD, dunno.

Drips with guilt, in any event. :)

DO YOUR HOMEWORK YOU ROTTEN KIDS. AND GET OFF MY LAWN. AND TAKE THIS @#$#$!% BALL WITH YOU.
"I'm standing in the middle of life with my pants behind me."

#18 Tibur

Tibur

    Heroic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 357 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:00 PM

View PostAtticus, on 28 August 2013 - 02:56 PM, said:

DO YOUR HOMEWORK YOU ROTTEN KIDS. AND GET OFF MY LAWN. AND TAKE THIS @#$#$!% BALL WITH YOU.
Pro tip - whack the ball into the sewer with your cane when you say that.

#19 Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake

    Official Mascot of the 1988 Winter Olympics

  • IMG Writers
  • 3298 posts
  • Steam Name:SneakySnake
  • Steam ID:sneaky_snake
  • Location:Waterloo, Canada

Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:28 PM

I would used to sneak down to the computer at like 2 AM and play Deus Ex (Original) and Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear on our OS 9 Mac. Good times. Never got caught.

Deus Ex was may to mature for me though. I didn't scar myself or anything, but just had no idea what was going on. I ended up fighting the initial terrorist's on the liberty island like 100x and then thought the game was stupid since there was nothing to do after killing 5 terrorists. I couldn't understand why anyone liked it.
2015 13" rMBP: i5 5257U @ 2.7 GHz || Intel Iris 6100 || 8 GB LPDDR3 1866 || 256 GB SSD || macOS Sierra
Gaming Build: R5 1600 @ 3.9 GHz || Asus GTX 1070 8 GB || 16 GB DDR4 3000 || 960 Evo NVMe, 1 TB FireCuda || Win10 Pro
Other: Dell OptiPlex 3040 as VMware host || QNAP TS-228 NAS || iPhone 6S 64GB

#20 Diablofett

Diablofett

    Heroic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 303 posts
  • Location:Hyrule

Posted 30 August 2013 - 03:57 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 28 August 2013 - 05:28 PM, said:

I would used to sneak down to the computer at like 2 AM and play Deus Ex (Original) and Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear on our OS 9 Mac. Good times. Never got caught.

Deus Ex was may to mature for me though. I didn't scar myself or anything, but just had no idea what was going on. I ended up fighting the initial terrorist's on the liberty island like 100x and then thought the game was stupid since there was nothing to do after killing 5 terrorists. I couldn't understand why anyone liked it.

I remember my late 1990's-early 2000's having secret 2:00am gaming sessions on weekdays as well.