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Running Your Server Part 3: Dealing with X-Rayers

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NewLibertyMC's Avatar NewLibertyMC
Level 45 : Master Network
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Running Your Server Series:
1. The Basics
2. Choosing the Staff

So now you got your server up and running. You have your excellent staff helping new players out. But then you see the new guy you welcomed to your server just 10 minutes ago strutting around the spawn in Bling-Bling Armor (for the rest of you that's Diamond Armor). Now the chances are is that you are dealing with a X-Rayer.

Ore to Client Obfuscators, To Be or Not To Be?
Ore to Client Obfuscators simply don't work. I am pretty much opening myself to a sucker punch here, but it is true. It simply is not an effective way to deal with it. Why? Let me explain it to you what exactly these things do your server. When a player on the server starts mining, their client requests information to the server. The server in return gives the information back to client which shows the user whether there is a diamond vein or simply a deposit of gravel. X-Rayers take advantage of this by manipulating the client to showing what would usually be hidden and by enabling full brightness they can do a lot a damage to fair players.

Obfuscators act as "gate guardians" so that when the server gives information to the players, that information packet has to pass through the obfuscators. These manipulate the packet so that when the client (not the player) receives it, there are seemingly diamond ores everywhere. Therefore all the X-Rayers would see is mountains full of diamonds. When they actually mine it however, the plugin forces the server to update the client with an un-manipulated packet.

If you could not already tell, the whole process is extremely complex and while it is a good concept it does not work in reality. Yes it runs! What I am saying though is that if you have a large server (20+ players) the plugin simply cannot keep up and your worst night mare starts. CHUNK ERRORS. Not only this causes major lag issues for the server, but I had heard of servers crashing and others having to completely reset due to chunk corruption.

My suggestion. It's not worth it.

Ore Loggers
These are my favorite way to deal with X-Rayers. These ore loggers report suspicious ore mining activity to the OPs of the server and allow staff to easily see X-Raying. So how do these work? (I will not be revealing all secrets of this so that X-Rayers don't get too smart from reading this post.)

Ore loggers work in two ways to make it full-proof. First they log every ore that is mined by the players along with details such as mineral vein size and some other cool stuff <= Note the censoring XD All this can be accessed through FTP.

Second way they work is by bring up In-Game notifications to the Staff. It automatically detects fishy behavior by looking at some factors which I will have to censor again to prevent X-Rayers exploiting it. Just keep in mind that these notifications report SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.

The key to dealing with X-rayers with this combination of ore logs and snooping is a well coordinated, active and trustworthy staff. You want to be careful that players do not slip through the cracks, however you also do not want the same player jailed three times by three different staff members for the same logged discrepancy.

So how do New Liberty Staff deal with X-Rayers?
When Staff are Online
1. In-Game Notification from Ore Loggers alerts staff to suspicious activity.
2. Staff goes into invisible mode and teleports to the suspicious player.
3. Staff follows the player for around 3 minutes to gain evidence of X-Raying.
4. Staff jails convicted players.
5. If the degree of X-Raying is not serious, we try to "reform" the player by clearing all his inventory and giving them a last chance to uninstall X-Ray mod and play as usual. (We keep a list of these "reformed" players and we check them up around 3 days after they were jailed.

OR

If the degree of X-Raying is serious and the player is uncooperative by continuously lying "What is X-raying?" we ban 'em forever.

When Staff are Offline
1. Staff goes through Ore Logs through FTP.
2. Filter out only "Diamond Ores"
3. Checks timestamps of the Diamond Ores mined according to player.
4. Also Checks ore ratio that the players are mining. (If the player is mines 20 diamonds and 0 iron, that would be definitely a case of X-Raying)
5. Use "/tppos " to check whether the diamonds were mined in an X-ray tunnel
6. Jails the player to deal with them later when the staff comes online.

So hope this helps to all you survival + PVP + Hardcore servers that are suffering infestations of X- Rayers. I was hoping to be a blog post just about hacking, but I got too carried away in dealing with X-Rayers :P

As always feel free to ask me any questions / criticize me.

Next Running Your Server Part 4: Strategies for Installing Plugins

Run on Beastnode
Need help with your server? Check out New Liberty Tech Support Today!
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1
01/19/2013 4:07 am
Level 35 : Artisan Mage
Shredbummer
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Why are x ratters bad
1
09/27/2012 6:58 am
Level 13 : Journeyman Skinner
vastscatman
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if i use the mine down my house? no one finds it >:)
1
09/10/2012 5:12 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
bloodycrap101
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where i download?
1
09/05/2012 8:41 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
ali91000
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stop sayng bad words
1
09/01/2012 10:36 pm
Level 21 : Expert Princess
wannamymilk
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HAS X RAY

l

l

V
1
08/14/2012 6:45 pm
Level 26 : Expert Dragonborn
DreadxDragon
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HAS X RAY

|

|

V
1
09/01/2012 10:36 pm
Level 21 : Expert Princess
wannamymilk
wannamymilk's Avatar
lol u did it wrong ur pointing at ur self
1
09/01/2012 10:36 pm
Level 21 : Expert Princess
wannamymilk
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oh crap. now its pointing at me
1
09/27/2012 6:57 am
Level 13 : Journeyman Skinner
vastscatman
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now it points me too
1
09/05/2013 7:23 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
cam121333
cam121333's Avatar
and me :D
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