Portal exploits are unpunished and unaddressed

InerasIneras ✭✭

What do you do when there is no way to report a bad actor who understands the ins and outs of the system? What is there to do when there are no criteria to report an offense? Bear with me and see for yourself if my interpretation of offense is justified.

Under the Terms of Service, 3 Use of the Services, 3.1 Cheating, cheating is defined as—but not limited to—using third party tools, using more than one account, sharing an account, and trading accounts, and spoofing. There is a heavy emphasis on accounts in case that isn't clear. However, there's no mention of manipulating OPR or Wayfarer. Wayfarer has a report form, but even that is unable to vet coordinated tampering.

I have been trying to find ways to stop an agent from exploiting the PoI network. The exploit works like this: portals are created in an area and moved to one person’s home. Simple enough, right? What’s not so simple is how it’s impossible to set things straight.

I worked hard to restore or remove these portals. I visited these sites multiple times to take photos and photo spheres. All of my appeals were approved by NianticKN. But because there are no safety measures to prevent further abusing, those portals are now back in the rogue agent’s home and office.

I’ve spoken with three community leaders and they’ve all but given up. I thought it’d be worth discussing this issue here with a broader audience in the hopes of finding a better way to address cheating under the radar.

Players use chatting apps to notify their communities about nominations and edits. The system can be gamed by setting a bonus location. Here’s an example of how they shut down edits. In less than 10 minutes of my submitting an edit request, it was rejected.

Sun, Mar 1, 1:51 PM PORTAL EDIT SUGGESTION RECEIVED: 해. 구름. 땅. 

Sun, Mar 1, 2:00 PM PORTAL EDIT REVIEW COMPLETE: 해. 구름. 땅.

Once they learned that I was appealing their rejections, my edit suggestions were collectively ignored. I now have to wait for three weeks or longer, while their own edits are approved within hours. Of the five illegitimate house portals I relocated, three have been moved back to this person’s apartment.

Below is a short list of portals that the bad actor relocated even after NianticKN moved them to their correct locations.

1.      Title of the portal: 귀여운 뿔 사슴

https://community.ingress.com/en/discussion/9673/location-edit-appeal-%EA%B7%80%EC%97%AC%EC%9A%B4-%EB%BF%94-%EC%82%AC%EC%8A%B4


2.      Title of the portal: 비밀의 문과 꽃

https://community.ingress.com/en/discussion/9918/invalid-portal-report-appeal-%EB%B9%84%EB%B0%80%EC%9D%98-%EB%AC%B8%EA%B3%BC-%EA%BD%83


3.      Title of the portal: 거북이 놀이터

https://community.ingress.com/en/discussion/10004/location-edit-appeal-%EA%B1%B0%EB%B6%81%EC%9D%B4-%EB%86%80%EC%9D%B4%ED%84%B0


I wonder if this bad actor gained insight of all the flaws and exploits as he was earning his onyx medal. Maybe he was disenchanted and decided to take advantage of what he knew.

Speaking of gaming the system, agents who have been caught using multiple accounts are avoiding punishment by using one account per portal. What this means is there is no way to report them using the format provided by support.

This is discouraging. The inaction of the developers sends the wrong message and harms the game in the long run. The three-strike policy sounds good in theory, but it puts the burden on reporters like me. I spent days of my free time trying to correct what I deemed a problem. I love Ingress and feel saddened that much of its potential is damaged by bad behavior of a rotten few.

What should be done about cheating that cannot be adequately dealt with?


TL;DR: A bad actor is exploiting portal edits. Players feel Niantic is ignoring their reports and condoning cheating.

Comments

  • DMiliarakisDMiliarakis ✭✭✭
    edited March 30

    IMHO as the games grew, Niantic grew soft as well. Nowadays people can access  ̶o̶p̶r̶ wayfarer with plenty of accounts coming from their pogo communities and use them to exploit edit locations, as they will.

    You can keep reporting those portal until either you grow bored of reporting them or the other party grows bored of spending countless hours doing multiple  ̶o̶p̶r̶ wayfarer to move them again.

    I read at another thread, that portal scanning uploads also some location information into to the data base, so maybe after awhile, it will be harder for locations to be abused, since portals will have more accurate data regarding there real world locations.

  • Apoyo tu comentario pero a NIA no le interesa donde quede el portal desde antes que aprueben los de Pogo, y tampoco hace nada contra los multicuentas, dos celulares una persona, no hace nada contra los fly o que usan falseador de gps, en mi zona hay agente fly que tiene un ejercito de mini drones, y sigue echando abajo portales pivote y nada que cae a pesar de hacer denuncia, tiene cuentas con perfiles abierto con 300 portales visitados en una sema y 0km recorrido, hasta cuando

  • InerasIneras ✭✭

    I have uploaded scans of the portals and requested more location edits. Until there is a safety measure to prevent infinite editing, I expect the cheater to get his way in the end.


    Given the sheer number of requests that goes through Wayfarer, how feasible is it for the developers to investigate actions that appear to be normal? What about the actions that aren't reported by the Wayfarer Abuse form?

  • To Ineras. The player in your profile is a fair player. You think he used the cheating to move the portal, but he is grateful that you have corrected it to the right place. It is obviously correct that you modify the portal to the right place. However, you do not have the right to blame a specific person for being illegal. You have no evidence to say that he has moved the portal.

  • HAROOIIHAROOII ✭✭

    Don't doubt the other person just by guessing

    Assault without evidence is subject to criminal charges.

    Only fulfill the permitted parts in the game

  • InerasIneras ✭✭
    edited April 16

    As of this week, three of the portals I listed above have returned to their correct locations for the second time. Meanwhile, the bad actor has moved yet another portal into his office. I went there to relocate this https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=37.240337,127.108973&z=18&pll=37.241221,127.109688 to where it belongs, 135 meters away in the adjacent apartment complex.

    https://community.wayfarer.nianticlabs.com/discussion/1565/location-edit-appeal-%EC%97%84%EB%A7%88%EC%99%80-%EC%95%84%EA%B8%B0-%EC%BD%94%EC%95%8C%EB%9D%BC-intentional-abuse

    Access to this facility is restricted to employees only. I have talked with the security personnel and one facility administrator. The latter explained that no one else has ever entered the facility to use the portal. I have received an anonymous tip that the portal inside the facility, https://intel.ingress.com/intel?ll=37.240337,127.108973&z=18&pll=37.24156,127.110108, was upgraded to level eight numerous times by local RES agents, who would have had to trespass. There is no record of them entering.

    I have brought up this matter months ago, but not one person responded. I can only presume it is ruffling feathers now, because I have seriously disrupted their flow of level-eight items. A back end log of hacks will reveal the list of agents who have either trespassed or shared their accounts.

    Post edited by Ineras on
  • HAROOIIHAROOII ✭✭

    The portal is said to be such a problem. Ineras You know that the frequently used portals you know are wrong. Why are you using only the portals used by the res team?

    Please correct the portal you use first and say that there may be a wrong portal everywhere.

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