Threatened with doxxing


  • SockDev

    Hi folks,
    A friend of mine is a major-ish figure in a particular MMO game and sent me a message late last night saying that she thinks someone is trying to dox her. Apparently 'they don't like her very much'.

    She asked me for help - and since I've never had this happen to me, nor have I had to ever worry about it to any degree, I don't know how to approach this problem. Can anyone shed any light on what she can do about it please?

    FWIW: employment is a non-issue, doxxing won't get her fired. In fact I'm not even sure what the possible fallout could be, assuming they can even find anything.



  • Find the person in question's details, go to their house, beat them to a pulp.


  • SockDev

    I like it but I don't think the person concerned would be up for that.

    She's more 'what if it happened' than 'omg it's happening' at the moment.



  • More seriously, if there's any proof of threats etc, law enforcement.


  • SockDev

    Well, yeah, that was what I said. But realistically we're talking teenagers talking trash.


  • SockDev

    @Arantor said:

    But realistically we're talking teenagers talking trash.

    I'm not all up on the laws on that side of the pond, but depending on exactly what threats are being slung about they might well add up to felony charges or worse over here.

    @tufty said:

    More seriously, if there's any proof of threats etc, law enforcement.
    This, even if there's no proof, if she believes that the threat is sincere she should contact the cybercrimes department of her local law enforcement agency.

    @Arantor said:

    She's more 'what if it happened' than 'omg it's happening' at the moment.
    If it happens? well that depends on exactly how it happens.

    There are quite a few companies out there that can help you clean up most of the actual damage if something happens, as for the embarassment factor? the internet is a fickle place. most will forget it quickly and move on.


  • SockDev

    We're talking teenagers in an MMO who got booted out of a clan thing, as I understand it. And they were none too happy about it, so talking trash.

    I think - I don't know for sure. I'll see if I can get more details.



  • Private everything, google yourself, clean up whatever you can find (how 'bout the "right to be forgotten" in the EU?) Beyond keeping a very low profile and being wary of strangers online there is only so much you can do if there's already stuff out there on you. A lot of it may just be hot air ("it's soooo cool to dox people!!!1"), so take it with a pinch of salt as well.



  • @Arantor said:

    And they were none too happy about it, so talking trash

    Oh yeah. Probably just bullshit but laying low for a few weeks can't hurt.



  • Sounds more like cyber-bullying to me, but I may be missing some context here. Still, over here (.nl) cyber-bullying seems to be recognized as a real problem.



  • @Arantor said:

    In fact I'm not even sure what the possible fallout could be, assuming they can even find anything.

    IIRC from my /b/ days, it mostly comes down to massive amount of death threats sent via actual mail, plus some stupid pranks like ordering pizza.


  • SockDev

    That occurred to me but that wasn't what I meant; I genuinely don't think the intelligence level or resources of the people in question amounts to anything that interesting or scary.



  • Never underestimate trolls. The interwebz is so interconnected that I'm sure it would be just a matter of time it will end up somewhere on 4chan or some .onion website. Especially if she's really such a big deal in that game as the OP says.

    It's not just what might happen - it's exactly what happened to others in the past. I think I remember at least one doxing victim who went suicidal.


  • SockDev

    Hence my use of 'major-ish'. I don't play the game in question and have no way of examining her standing in the game, let alone anything else - I'm just going on her descriptions of her standing in the game, and of the people she thinks she's dealing with. From what I know of the game, her description seems reasonable.



  • @Arantor said:

    Hence my use of 'major-ish'.

    That's very imprecise term. "Major-ish" My Little Pony fanfic writer has about 1,000 reads per chapter. "Major-ish" youtuber has about 100,000 views per video.


  • SockDev

    I know, that's what bothers me, I don't know her precise standing in the game, and have therefore no way to evaluate whether this is in any way meaningful.



  • The best thing is to hope your friend is narcissistic attention...... "gatherer" and she's really much, much less popular than she thinks.


  • BINNED

    @Arantor said:

    From what I know of the game, her description seems reasonable.

    I'm assuming you're avoiding naming it for a reason, but in any case there really is a big difference in communities I noticed while I dabbled (and less than dabbled) in MMOs. If you don't have a good feel for the general community already, it might be a good idea to research that a bit in order to better gauge how much of a threat there is.


  • SockDev

    I am, if she is as important as she thinks she is, and I name it, it seems feasible that you might work out who I'm talking about - and I'd rather avoid her getting more attention even if it would be from ethical people who wouldn't abuse it.

    The problem on my end is that I don't really have the time to study the game, its meta, its community to understand if this really is a genuine threat or just unwelcome thinking.



  • It only takes one kid to SWAT someone. Does that happen over there?

    The most likely result will be an address, a name and maybe even pictures posted. That's the sort of thing I've seen. An invasion of privacy and a despicable act, to be sure, but probably no actual violence or identity theft or anything like that.

    Probably confined to whatever community these guys hang out in. Facebook / twitter seem to be good at taking that stuff down when it's public.

    I suspect it's mostly psychological harm that's done with the anxiety and in this case the anticipation, which isn't to say that's good. Hope it works out for her.


  • SockDev

    The SWAT thing doesn't happen here nearly so much.

    I could see the name and possibly address posted, pictures are less of a concern since she doesn't have any pictures online (not even on Facebook) and doesn't have a Twitter account. Identity theft is also, interestingly, not a huge concern in practical terms but for raisins I don't particularly want to go into.

    The psych issues are the real concern for me because she already has some psych issues and if anything does happen it will legitimately make them worse.



  • @Arantor said:

    pictures are less of a concern since she doesn't have any pictures online

    I was more thinking of pictures of her house, but yeah, that, too.

    @Arantor said:

    The psych issues are the real concern for me because she already has some psych issues and if anything does happen it will legitimately make them worse.

    I mean...there's not a lot you can do. Assuming she's already reported them for abusive behavior. If it continues or spreads to other places, then contact the police, I guess.

    It might help her state of mind to make sure her house is secure, outside lights work, etc.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Arantor said:

    The SWAT thing doesn't happen here nearly so much.

    If it's not wildly unlikely, a preemptive call to the local police might not be a bad idea. I've heard of a couple people in the US doing that.



  • Law enforcement. Even if they can't act before an incident occurs, you get all the information on file now so they can immediately act if this turns out to be more than a few kids talking trash.

    You don't want them to do something like [URL=http://krebsonsecurity.com/?p=32573]have heroin shipped to your home and tell law enforcement you're a dealer[/URL].



  • @FrostCat said:

    If it's not wildly unlikely, a preemptive call to the local police might not be a bad idea. I've heard of a couple people in the US doing that.

    Another difference between Poland and USA: there is at least one person that thinks that it matters to the police that someone might be in danger.



  • Dammit, I was going to suggest that as a solution 🙂


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Gaska said:

    Another difference between Poland and USA: there is at least one person that thinks that it matters to the police that someone might be in danger.

    I meant that pre-emptively warning them of a possible SWATting attempt might cause the cops, when receiving such an attempt, to try to verify it instead of just mobilizing the SWAT team.

    I mean, they'd probably do that anyway, but they'd probably call the person first to try to verify. "If you could come outside with your hands up, everyone involved would appreciate it, as we won't have to break your door down and stuff." As I said, this actually happened, I think last year.

    It was probably someone involved in the Speedway Bomber stuff but I can't remember who. I want to say it was Patrick Frey, but I think in his case, he happened to look outside the window of his house as the cops were getting out of their van and called 911 himself.



  • @Arantor said:

    A friend of mine is a major-ish figure in a particular MMO game

    [redacted - don't fucking guess...he said he didn't want to say what it was - bz]

    @tufty said:

    More seriously, if there's any proof of threats etc, law enforcement.

    From what I can tell, doxxing is only illegal if it is tied to other illegal actions. It almost always is, which is why people think doxxing is illegal.

    But from what I can tell, it's only illegal for someone in a sensitive position (witness protection, government employee).

    @rc4 said:

    Private everything, google yourself, clean up whatever you can find

    That's pretty irrelevant.

    I mean, it makes it slightly harder.

    @Arantor said:

    intelligence level or resources of the people

    If I'm suspicious of a trait of a person that should alter how I interact with them (like their preferred pronoun), I'll find that information for myself online before asking.

    Most of the time, the person has joined some kind of private forum with their name and location.

    I don't see this as any different from a background check.

    @boomzilla said:

    SWAT someone

    That can get a person killed.

    And if that happens, we should not blame the SWAT, it should be homicide charge against the person who called it in.

    @Gaska said:

    thinks that it matters to the police that someone might be in danger.

    Well, that's hard to pin down.

    Systematically, many police forces are required by their admin to protect others.

    Systemically, you may have a point.

    But there's just as many police officers that do risk their lives to protect others.

    @FrostCat said:

    house as the cops were getting out of their van and called 911 himself.

    I'd call even if it was just one cop demanding I come out.

    How can you tell it's not the Joker in costume. (But seriously, how can you tell).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @xaade said:

    I'd call even if it was just one cop demanding I come out.

    In this case, they hadn't done that yet. IIRC he just happened to see them getting disembarking from their vehicles.



  • @Gaska said:

    Another difference between Poland and USA: there is at least one person that thinks that it matters to the police that someone might be in danger.

    The problem we have in the US is that a lot of local police departments will gladly knock down a door in full riot gear, sometimes guns-drawn, based on a single anonymous phone call.

    This is because most of the areas here have legit low crime rates, and cops love to pretend to be Rambo.



  • @xaade said:

    [redacdet]?

    I'd guess [redacted]. Them people be crazy.

    [no guessing, he said he wanted to not reveal it - bz]



  • That's the problem with [redacted]. It's designed around making it a second life.

    I can't play those games. If you tell me there's a game where things can hurt me when I'm not able to play, it's just not all that important for me to play it.

    It's one thing to miss out on your kid's life because of work.



  • @xaade said:

    I mean, it makes it slightly harder.

    That's what I said later in the same post.

    @rc4 said:

    there is only so much you can do if there's already stuff out there on you



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The problem we have in the US is that a lot of local police departments will gladly knock down a door in full riot gear, sometimes guns-drawn, based on a single anonymous phone call.

    Better than mass-closing cases due to unability to identify suspect, even if everyone knows who's done what.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    cops love to pretend to be Rambo.

    It's been a while, but ISTR Rambo was on the receiving end of police brutality. And yes, that is David Caruso



  • I bet Rambo cried, and a PSA played over the scene?


  • SockDev

    OK so I did some more digging, I think it's safe to reveal that we're talking about Habbo since it doesn't look like she's as prominent as I was lead to believe.



  • @Arantor said:

    Habbo

    That's still going?!
    I thought it got shut down for being a paedo paradise.


  • SockDev

    It's still going.



  • @Arantor said:

    OK so I did some more digging, I think it's safe to reveal that we're talking about Habbo since it doesn't look like she's as prominent as I was lead to believe.

    Gah...fuck...just saw this. Sorry @blakeyrat and @xaade...I redacted your guesses out because in a post about someone possibly being doxxed you were starting down the trail of doxxing her (according to the OP's concern).


  • SockDev

    The sentiment is appreciated from my end though I don't honestly think anyone here would do such a thing.

    And if the guesses were accurate, I'd have flagged anyway.



  • @Arantor said:

    The sentiment is appreciated from my end though I don't honestly think anyone here would do such a thing.

    No, I think it was honest speculation...just inappropriate.

    @Arantor said:

    And if the guesses were accurate, I'd have flagged anyway.

    No doubt. Nevertheless...


  • BINNED

    I disagree. You're right that EVE players get really obsessive about the game, but as a community they are some of the nicest people I met in online gaming context.

    There are assholes, yes, but they keep their assholishness in-game. There's ragequitting all around, but doxxing bullshit is not something I'd fear in that community. Hell, there's a player elected council where people participate with their real names publicly.

    That's pretty much why I even came at this from that angle, because I know how good that community is in general, and what kind of vitriol you can expect in other games.

    Note: didn't play EVE in years, if it all went to shit lately I apologize for any inaccuracies



  • @boomzilla said:

    possibly being doxxed you were starting down the trail of doxxing her

    Makes sense. You did the right thing.


    But.... that's why I'm on the fence on doxxing. Not from an ethical standpoint, mind you.

    It's just.... weird to me.

    You're on the internet, you have a megaphone, and you're upset that someone linked your forum ID with your facebook account where you get minute by minute details of your cat.

    I mean, I would understand if you were like Anonymous, the organization. Because they're purposefully make themselves clean.

    But, I guess, I guess, I'm just confused about why people get so upset about it.

    Again, not because it can cause harm to them....

    Shit... how do I say this.

    You're upset that people are shooting at you, while you're trying to commit suicide, is how I see it.



  • I have no problem with you redacting my guess, I shouldn't have posted it in the first place.

    My biggest problem with doxxing has been this very fucking forum removing the location data from one image, while storing a second version of the same image with the location data in place. Which is awesome, because even if you check that there's no personally identifiable data in the image, if you don't know about the magical mystical second image you still get doxxed.

    Also the people who post to the front page being asshole apes.



  • My issue is there used to be (back a decade ago or so) that unspoken netiquette that if someone is posting using a handle and not their real name, you don't put their real name in the same context. You just don't do it.

    Anyway, as people started flooding the webs, that etiquette went away somehow and old timers like me who always posted using one or more handles are now sitting here scratching our heads wondering what the fuck went wrong. Then sites like Facebook and Google+ actually forced people to use their real names or be deleted, and anyway it's useless now.

    (Especially bad on Google+-- at least Facebook always had that policy. Google+ would take people with existing handles on Gmail or YouTube and force their users to associate a real name with those handles. Or they'd delete years of data you'd accumulated. Those pieces of shit.)

    But the point is: if I wanted all y'all motherfuckers to know who I am, I'D POST WHO I AM.



  • Oh no, I get it.

    I absolutely understand the need for anonymity, but like you said Facebook screwed that pooch.

    But, I don't blame Facebook per say, because people are making an active choice to reveal their entire lives on an account attached to their name.

    I do it too, but I do it with the understanding that anyone can find and use that information against me.



  • Right but then the problem is if you don't use Facebook, you're almost a social pariah in this day and age.

    I think one of the reasons Twitter has been so successful is that it's one of the few social networks that gets that people have multiple identities they don't want to mix. Even simple stuff like "hey I want to be stay in contact with my old College Republicans buddies, but I don't want my new PETA buddies to hang out with them" has become impossible in the modern landscape.

    Meanwhile, people bitching about "loss of privacy" miss the point entirely. They're concerned with 100 bytes of text in a cookie telling some cold mechanical machine somewhere that they visit both dodgejobs.com and fordjobs.com. Ooo scary. Meanwhile, people have lost the ability entirely to control who they consider friends online. You get ONE face to put forward, THAT'S IT. That's how Facebook works, and everybody's on Facebook, and fuck you if you feel any differently.

    Is it any wonder that people (especially younger people who literally have never known any other sort of social paradigm) spend all their time "making the perfect Facebook profile"? "Hey Bob, I know we were buddies back in college, but I've moved to an urban area and none of my new friends would respect me if they saw your posts about deer hunting, so boop! deleted from my friends list."

    Anyway.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @xaade said:

    I do it too, but I do it with the understanding that anyone can find and use that information against me.

    You also put your real name out there on here fairly regularly through twitter links. #justsayin



  • @xaade said:

    But, I guess, I guess, I'm just confused about why people get so upset about it.

    Agreed. Doxing is a dick move. It's breaking the netiquette. But it's not illegal.

    Basically, it's "we can no longer be friends", not "call the police" kind of situation.

    @blakeyrat said:

    But the point is: if I wanted all y'all motherfuckers to know who I am, I'D POST WHO I AM.

    Everybody here already knows who you are.


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