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How to protect yourself from the Origin spyware and play the game


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Showing 1-25 of 34 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Nov 2011 00:29:31 GMT
sujah3 says:
As you are probably aware by now, the game comes with spyware that is sneakily embedded in the required Origin software. If you were not aware of this before installing the game, all your data now belongs to EA. While you are playing the game, the Origin software will scan all your connected HDD sending any interesting info to EA.

This is one way to protect your data from this Origin spyware. It will take some time and probably cost some ££ to setup. But the end result is you will be able to play the game and know your data is safe.

First task is to encrypt all your existing hard disk drives using whole disk encryption software like Bestcrypt, Truecrypt or PGP (this is standard good practice anyway to protect your data). Then temporarily unplug your encrypted drives. Add in another spare drive and install Win7 on it. Install the game on this drive. Reconnect your other drives and move the new game drive onto a spare sata or esata port. To boot from this game drive, press the F8 key as soon as the machine powers on. Select the drive from the boot menu that appears. It will then boot.

You now have a sandboxed bootable game drive. This game drive will not be able to read any of your other drives as they will remain encrypted. When you are not playing a game, you can just power the machine on normally and it will boot from your first boot drive, after you have entered the passphrase for the whole disk encryption.

If you have not used whole disk encryption software before it is easy to protect all of the drives in your system. You only need to enter the passphrase once at boot time, then windows will load normally. It does not matter if you have one drive or six drives. They can all be protected and mounted by the same passphrase at the same time. While using the machine you will never know it was encrypted. When you power off your machine, you know your data is always safe.

If you know of other ways to protect your data from Origin and still play the game, please share.

Posted on 1 Nov 2011 01:02:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Nov 2011 01:05:32 GMT
Seafireliv says:
That sounds like a lot of effort. I do however use an encryption software for my mobile phone that works nicely and was wondering about a PC version after hearing about Origin.
Shouldn`t just encrypting all your files work without needing to separate drives? Wouldn`t that stop Origin?

However, I`m not sure that it`s worth all that trouble for just a game. I got into Bad Company and looked forward to BF3, but I`m not so controlled by any game that I feel I should do all this.
However, I`ll look into this incase I reorder BF3. Thankyou for the help.

Any more advice from others to avoid spyware while playing with Origin? Has anyone tried Adaware or Spybot as I have these? Do they prevent Origin Nosiness and still allow the game to play?

Posted on 1 Nov 2011 12:28:36 GMT
JCD says:
Yeah i was thinking about doing this, its a mission but possibly worth it since the only game i want is BF3!

Posted on 1 Nov 2011 20:32:37 GMT
J Gburrek says:
There is an even easier way to protect yourself from the Origin spyware. Don't install it. This solution is way less hassle and time consuming than the OP's one. And on top of it you're 30+ quid in to spend on more deserving products and services rather than paying EA for the privilege of a daily data cavity search.

Posted on 1 Nov 2011 20:47:41 GMT
sujah3 says:
If you do not want to encrypt your drives, there is another way to do hide them.

You still need to take a spare drive and install Win7 on it, to use as a dedicated bootable game drive. You boot from this drive in the same way using the F8 key at power up.

Then to hide the other drives in your system from this game drive, go into Disk Management (located in Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management) and change the status of the other drives to offline. You do this by right mouse button clicking on the drive letter of the drive and selecting offline.

The offline status will only effect the drives as seen from this bootable game drive. If you boot normally, to your first boot drive, the drives will still be accessible as they were before.

Posted on 2 Nov 2011 00:14:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Nov 2011 00:23:01 GMT
Super Drake says:
Another method - http://www.totalbantercommunity.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=632

I'm aware about Origin and its EULA. But is there actual proof/solid evidence that it's actually reading and accessing the info (i.e. the german person's tax declarations) and sending them??? As I know like steam's VAC system scans the game folder for cheating but of course compared with Origin not as bad as the entire HDD.

As I doubt EA would be that stupid to be honest so I was wondering maybe the severity of this is over reacted. As I want to install and play the game but of course this is the thing thats preventing me from doing so T_T I probably try that sandbox idea.

Posted on 2 Nov 2011 00:48:05 GMT
Lynn Cree says:
Or you could download a cracked "Battlefield 3.exe" from the pirate bay (free!) and replace it with your existing one. Uninstall Origin. Play battlefield 3. ??????. Profit. No EA spyware.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2011 13:15:02 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Nov 2011 13:15:18 GMT
M. G. Bell says:
Someone had a more thorough look at what Origin does:
http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/7492824.page

Posted on 2 Nov 2011 13:37:45 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Nov 2011 13:40:47 GMT
Seafireliv says:
Yea, read it. It`s very strange and to my mind- dodgy.

I cancelled my order on Friday, but they still sent it to me. It arrived today. It sits here on my desk-unopened. I`ve been looking at it all day. Thing is I got all hyped up for it before this. I can`t open it to read the full terms. Looks like it`s a constant internet connection for SP which I did not realise- very different to Bad Company 2 which allowed offline play.

Funny... they expect me to fork out £40 to be spied on? Wouldn`t they make loads of cash if they just did it like with Bad Company? Why the push for more? Why can`t these people think more about the PAYING Player`s freedom and less about how much more they can make on top of their Billion?

Well, looks like I`ll be returning thisto Amazon very soon. I don`t need the hassle, I value my privacy. I`ll never let myself get hyped up for a game again, cos that`s their trick. make you want your opium, then just before they give you, they extract the blood price they want at the last minute, expecting you to be too excited to resist. It`s obviously worked with many.

Posted on 2 Nov 2011 14:06:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Nov 2011 14:07:11 GMT
Seafireliv says:
I`ve also been looking at this guy`s solution to using sand boxie that stops Origin from faffing about your pC- basically isolates it. If this works then it may be worth keeping the game... If EA don`t update Origin to bypass that, but it would send a message to EA about how we hate it`s intrusive ways when it constantly receives no info at all.

Hmmm.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2011 17:06:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Nov 2011 20:16:15 GMT
Super Drake says:
@ Lynn Cree - Yes I heard about that

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/113988-Crackers-Cut-Origin-From-Battlefield-3

Created by hackers that release pirated versions of games on the net is a crack for the people who BOUGHT the game so you won't need Origin; pirated copies won't work apparently. I can see the complete irony here.

This is a response from EA by the way of course denying; note the fact how many days late they are to responding - slowpoke.jpg <_<

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-11-01-ea-denies-origin-spying-on-battlefield-3-users

@ M. G. Bell- Thanks for the extra info.

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 04:20:24 GMT
murkyswan101 says:
I just run it using Sandboxie!

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 06:39:52 GMT
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/11 ... ea-denial/

I suggest you install this Razor patch, and remove Origin from your computer guys:

http://pastebin.com/ycF4YqcT

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2011 09:51:38 GMT
murkyswan101 says:
But can you still play multiplayer after you install it?

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 10:09:49 GMT
Yes, but doing anything which stops origin. Ea can stop your account so i've heard. So the game you just bought will be worthless.

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 10:43:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Nov 2011 11:36:25 GMT
murkyswan101 says:
I understand why some people would want to take this measure but for me, the removel of Origin ain't worth the sacrifice of multiplayer and EA stopping your account, along with all the other benefits. Especially with the (Limited Edition) which i have. I've heard that if you run the game using Sandboxie it blocks Origin's spyware. I've been using it ever since i heard about Origin's tactics but whether it works or not i honestly don't know for sure but i'd rather play the game this way than using nothing at all. It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place i guess!

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 14:02:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Nov 2011 14:04:41 GMT
Seafireliv says:
EA could even close your account just for using Sandboxie if they want to be right gits. They have it all covered in their contract. It all benefits them, not us. We can`t even technically take them to court (doesn`t mean we can`t try of course). Time will tell, I guess.

It pleases me that there are `Robin Hood` programmers out there who help the `little` person who cannot use the Law like the giant rich Billionaire companies can .
At least this way we have some choice of NOT having EA rummage through our details without our say so.

If the Law won`t help us we must help protect ourselves against greedy companies.

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 18:04:42 GMT
S. Powell says:
If you're so paranoid, run it in a VPC and sandbox it in that! If your good, you could near run a brutal virus in that environment, and not worry about it!

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 21:58:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Nov 2011 21:58:55 GMT
Seafireliv says:
Yawn. Call it what you will, but by EA`s contract, they have it fully in their right to close any account they deem goes against their Origin. I`m not talking up for EA just pointing out that EA have themselves totally covered. that`s why they spend so much on lawyers.

You`ll be smirking on the other side of your face if EA does indeed start closing down accounts because it sees `razor` or `Sandboxie` (or anything else) interfering with Origin.

Posted on 4 Nov 2011 20:28:06 GMT
Guys you sound like a bunch of histerical hyenas on acid talking about how Origin is scanning your drives and infringing your privacy! What utter tosh.

Why the hell would EA be interested in the contents of your hard drives? Do you really think they are going to look at all your documents? Why would they? They would be shut down by the EU quicker than you could fry an egg on acid whilst drooling in a paranoid fashion. Seriously get over yourselves and play one of the best multiplayer games out for PC this year.

Forget the single player, BF games are all about the multiplayer.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2011 04:32:26 GMT
J. Norman says:
I have to say, M. G. Bell's link makes for very interesting reading. Essentially, all this Origin hysteria has been a storm in a teacup, and Origin itself appears to access very little (and certainly nothing critical). It makes me wonder what some people have stored on their computers, that they can be this worried about 'invasion of privacy' from what amounts to an EA take on Steam. Seriously, some people these days believe that everything and everyone is out to get them, when in fact companies simply want to protect their software (and rightly so).

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2011 04:50:49 GMT
Exactly Mr Norman. Origin is simply looking for other EA games on your drives so it can add and manage them from the Origin programme.

People need to get a grip!

If this was some shareware programme then yes you should be worried but a major company like EA games is not going to be doing anything dodgy with your data. At most it will be like a heuristic scan like google do so they can send you adverts.

Posted on 6 Nov 2011 10:10:16 GMT
cJ says:
Mr. Simon J. Phillips I love the comment I wish people would shut the hell up and get on with it instead of moaning about it. I have had no problems with origin or BF3 obviously the updates are fixing the few minor problems that is normal. :)

GLHF live it play it BF3! ahhhh the building fell on me :(

Posted on 6 Nov 2011 18:34:32 GMT
K. Thomson says:
Just in case you guys are wondering they have actually fixed the issue in the t's and c's. I think it was just a badly worded contract http://www.joystiq.com/2011/08/26/ea-revises-origin-eula-data-collection-is-still-in-collection/

Posted on 7 Nov 2011 09:32:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Nov 2011 09:36:37 GMT
Seafireliv says:
This looks like good news. It looks like a real change to previous. Well done to the people who protest. We help stop potential miscarriages of Human Rights with their info and set a line that most companies will think twice about before crossing. It shows that the people are alert and not all idiots.

No thanks to those who would stop us from doing that. Change CAN happen if enough of us stand strong. Funnily enough it`s those who suck up to EA`s draconian policy that we help too. You should be thanking us.

And for those who say Amazon take 3rd party info, too, they do, but they also allow you to OPT OUT, WITHOUT losing their service, which Origin didn`t. Apparently now it seems Origin has cancelled sending info to 3rd parties.
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