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Geocheck.org was hacked

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Guess I'm having trouble getting too worried about this.

A - I don't have any private personal info on that site.

B - Anyone desperate enough to seek out the stolen data and use it would have found some other way to "cheat" the puzzles. If not this way, then some other...

C - I'm hearing the vast majority of the solutions stolen were for German caches. Read into that what you may...

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I looked on the forums here and nobody seems to have posted this information

 

Just noticed this (read the new preamble to the site):

 

http://geocheck.org/

 

I read about it on a geocaching puzzle FB group (which has a no-spoilers policy).

 

I've been working on the Masters of Mystery puzzles. There are 24 different Master of Mystery puzzle, each with 20 puzzles which must be solved (there are a bunch of duplicates though). They all use geocheck.org for coordinate verification.

 

I hope that they catch whoever did this and prosecute them them to the fullest extent of the law.

 

 

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C - I'm hearing the vast majority of the solutions stolen were for German caches. Read into that what you may...

 

That's not quite true, EVERY solution on the site was stolen, but the vast majority of the ones that have been released SO FAR are German.

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Wow, Julian Assange must be really bored.

 

Is that that Tucson guy? :ph34r:

 

Not necessarily a Geocaching puzzle person. The website I run gets many o' hack attempts daily, usually from Chinese IP addresses. Today isn't over, so 12 yesterday, for example.

 

2015-01-30 07:46:19,112 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 122.225.109.213

2015-01-30 08:24:41,239 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 109.169.75.64

2015-01-30 09:00:26,810 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.4.9.8

2015-01-30 09:16:37,006 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 194.63.141.107

2015-01-30 13:17:41,499 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.210.82.112

2015-01-30 13:25:09,218 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 221.228.202.194

2015-01-30 15:24:53,886 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 195.88.127.146

2015-01-30 17:03:29,716 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 80.179.219.105

2015-01-30 18:09:00,346 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 115.239.228.34

2015-01-30 18:36:29,254 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.51.226

2015-01-30 18:39:40,783 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 222.186.58.205

2015-01-30 18:54:08,860 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.50.251

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C - I'm hearing the vast majority of the solutions stolen were for German caches. Read into that what you may...

Hmmm...I'm still thinking (what a mystery!):

[ ] "Germans are VERY elite hackers"?

[ ] "German cachers are VERY creative in finding alternative ways for solving Mysteries"?

[ ] "German Cache Owners often use geochecker.org"?

[ ] Something else: ________

 

The only real and severe problem IMHO is the hack of the database. That's a criminal act. I hope law enforcement is involved.

 

But a cacher getting the final coordinates of a riddle another way than intended is more or less no problem. This is totally acceptable. It may be considered lame, yes, but still acceptable. A real creative workaround even may give good stories and be more cool than the actual solution. We all know, there are tons of bad riddles, even unsolvable ones. That list may be the result of such crap, someone just took it to a new extend.

 

BTW, the coordinate listing doesn't force couch-potato logs. For that you don't even need final coordinates. At least, cachers with coordinates from that list most probably will go to the final location and hopefully have part of the fun (or aren't the containers always in excellent/interesting locations???). They sure miss the riddle part, but that never was fun for anyone. The number of actual finds on site may get a bit higher on some caches, but that still is limited to the local community - no one (OK, almost no one) will travel through the whole country just to log all the listed caches.

 

As long as noone believes in find counts, D/T-ratings and silly challenges based on them plus expects fame for those, not much harm is done. You (generally you) ignore find counts, D/T-ratings of others and silly challenge caches anyway, don't you? ;)

 

Thus said, the only real problem (beside the criminal attack on a database server) I see in caches that are vulnerable to those who don't have information, they would have gotten by solving the riddle. But I think that's the exception. And - again - the number of searchers won't be much higher, since it still is limited to the local community or the random passer-through.

 

However, I don't like this attitude of passing final coordinates. But it doesn't spoil MY fun to the game, including the fun solving good riddles. If the list leads to more fun riddles, people actually like to solve instead to read from a list and/or to less lame caches just pimped by adding a riddle, this spoiling case even would have a certain benefit. :)

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Wow, Julian Assange must be really bored.

 

Is that that Tucson guy? :ph34r:

 

Not necessarily a Geocaching puzzle person. The website I run gets many o' hack attempts daily, usually from Chinese IP addresses. Today isn't over, so 12 yesterday, for example.

 

2015-01-30 07:46:19,112 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 122.225.109.213

2015-01-30 08:24:41,239 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 109.169.75.64

2015-01-30 09:00:26,810 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.4.9.8

2015-01-30 09:16:37,006 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 194.63.141.107

2015-01-30 13:17:41,499 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.210.82.112

2015-01-30 13:25:09,218 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 221.228.202.194

2015-01-30 15:24:53,886 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 195.88.127.146

2015-01-30 17:03:29,716 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 80.179.219.105

2015-01-30 18:09:00,346 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 115.239.228.34

2015-01-30 18:36:29,254 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.51.226

2015-01-30 18:39:40,783 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 222.186.58.205

2015-01-30 18:54:08,860 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.50.251

 

What the heck are they trying to do? :huh:

 

Gotta create a fake back door and make them believe that they got in. Then monitor them, or give them fake info, or redirect them to a malicious virus. :D

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I looked on the forums here and nobody seems to have posted this information

 

Because the German geocaching community hardly uses this forum and neither does the creator of geocheck.org.

There are tons of posts e.g. in the geoclub.de forum and on German caching blogs and for sure also in social media which I do not follow.

 

Geocheckers like geocheck.org might have the advantage that they offer more features but they are more vulnerable than checkers who only store hashed coordinates.

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The only real and severe problem IMHO is the hack of the database.

 

I do not agree at all - it's of course the only issue that fits when the topic is about the hack of geocheck.org.

 

The fact that the file shared in the public apart from the stolen data from geocheck.org and many finals of mystery caches from other sourses also contained the final coordinates of many multi caches as well as the full answers to more than 500 Earthcaches is a real problem in my eyes. I was shocked when I read about the number of affected Earthcaches. In case of Earthcaches people not even can claim that they wish to search for containers and do not deal with what multi caches and mystery caches might be about as there are no containers for Earthcaches. Earthcaches exist for the sole purpose to make the visitors learn something.

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In Germany, there's an immense number of mysteries. Total it's about 20-25% of all caches, and there are subregions, especially around big cities, totally dominated by mysteries. For example, the whole part of the forest has almost only mystery finals. Often those mysteries require hours of research, or almost mind-reading techniques. So it may be frustrating, if you've found most of other things, have problems find 5 traditionals on one day, and in the same time there are about 2000 mysteries nearby, none of which you have a slightest idea how to solve :D

 

Of course it's cheating, but the cheaters that are for statistics only are simply logging everything. Polish collegues has identified a guy from Czech Republic, that being anywhere, has logged everything in 30 km radius, including Earthcaches without sending the answers :D Those who share solutions at least are interested in the outdoor part.

 

This is a good question, isn't that situation a problem itself? If someone wants to solve crosswords, there are crossword sites etc. But if to find a geocache (yes, a physical container outside) you must sit a few hours before computer, solving puzzle, crossword, sudoku, or identifying 30 cat races, how much does it have to do with the geocaching? Aren't those all mysteries a hidden ALRs? Initially, the idea of the geocaching was to find something OUTSIDE, so why to condition finding the outdoor cache from finding 20 answers about someone's favourite book or football player?

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The fact that the file shared in the public apart from the stolen data from geocheck.org and many finals of mystery caches from other sourses also contained the final coordinates of many multi caches as well as the full answers to more than 500 Earthcaches is a real problem in my eyes. I was shocked when I read about the number of affected Earthcaches. In case of Earthcaches people not even can claim that they wish to search for containers and do not deal with what multi caches and mystery caches might be about as there are no containers for Earthcaches. Earthcaches exist for the sole purpose to make the visitors learn something.

Well, yes, but where is the problem with that? The fake-logging or non-riddling cacher just betrays himself and looses a probable interesting experience. But it doesn't affect the game of others in any way (Ok, maybe the owner's ego, a bit).

 

 

Remember: I don't want to excuse the existence of that list and clearly stated I see the criminal act of hacking as the real problem.

 

EDIT: typo

Edited by Ben0w

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Earthcaches exist for the sole purpose to make the visitors learn something.

 

I wouldn't agree. Learning something is problematic if you only have to make a photo of information table and find out some information, or count something, and go further.

 

For me, the Earthcaches are to be experienced and something special. The most important is to watch them, to explore them etc. If someone simply goes to the Earthcache and stays there only long enough to get the answers, it's more a pity then someone who enjoyed the place, but hasn't found himself the solutions.

 

OK some Earthcaches are disapponting, but most of them are of the type 'thank you for showing that fantastic place'.

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But if to find a geocache (yes, a physical container outside) you must sit a few hours before computer, solving puzzle, crossword, sudoku, or identifying 30 cat races, how much does it have to do with the geocaching?

 

As much as e.g. tree climbing has. I'm bored by Sudokus, but at least Sudokus are within the reach of everyone (there exist tools anyway) while tree climbing is not. Some forest areas in my home area are full of tree climbing caches.

 

The main reason why such lists for cheating exist is defintely not the number of puzzle caches and the time needed to solve the puzzles.

 

If people like to spend time outdoors there would be no motivation to share the final coordinates of multi caches and skipping the walk/hike. I own several combined mystery/multi caches and those who cheat just visit the final and skip all the stages and the outdoor part which cannot be transfered into a found it log.

 

The real reason why such lists have become so popular is that many cachers want to log as many as caches as possible per time unit spent for geocaching. For similar reasons the number of found it logs if there is no cache to find has increased exponentially. They regard several hours spent into a single cache as a waste of time and even more than it ends with a did not find.

 

Cezanne

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The real reason why such lists have become so popular is that many cachers want to log as many as caches as possible per time unit spent for geocaching. For similar reasons the number of found it logs if there is no cache to find has increased exponentially. They regard several hours spent into a single cache as a waste of time and even more than it ends with a did not find.

Again: where's the problem with that (please stay in context of this spoiler list)? Some boost their egos with higher find counts but won't experience the hike or the riddles. For some hikes and some riddles that isn't a big loss anyway. But the experience of those, that actually solve the mystery/multi, isn't affected at all (excluding rare exceptions, where a cache may be destroyed due to lacking information to open it provided in previous stages of the process)!

 

Even the number of cachers now knowing the final location from a spoiler list and actually going on-site probably won't increase much, because they still have to get to the location first. Which is a base concept of the game anyway. And hopefully they find a location that's worth visiting, if not, the cache was crap in the first place (and the riddle may have been a bogus attempt to pimp up the cache).

 

Still, no harm done by the list...or? Find counts don't impress me, I just believe my own statistics and at an event it's the story that counts, not the numbers.

 

I actually see another benefit: having an easy checking source available for planting a new cache in a mystery infested area.

 

(still finding usage of a spoiler list lame and the database hacing a criminal act)

 

EDIT: typo again. sigh.

Edited by Ben0w

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Wow, Julian Assange must be really bored.

 

Is that that Tucson guy? :ph34r:

 

Not necessarily a Geocaching puzzle person. The website I run gets many o' hack attempts daily, usually from Chinese IP addresses. Today isn't over, so 12 yesterday, for example.

 

2015-01-30 07:46:19,112 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 122.225.109.213

2015-01-30 08:24:41,239 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 109.169.75.64

2015-01-30 09:00:26,810 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.4.9.8

2015-01-30 09:16:37,006 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 194.63.141.107

2015-01-30 13:17:41,499 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.210.82.112

2015-01-30 13:25:09,218 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 221.228.202.194

2015-01-30 15:24:53,886 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 195.88.127.146

2015-01-30 17:03:29,716 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 80.179.219.105

2015-01-30 18:09:00,346 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 115.239.228.34

2015-01-30 18:36:29,254 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.51.226

2015-01-30 18:39:40,783 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 222.186.58.205

2015-01-30 18:54:08,860 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.50.251

 

What the heck are they trying to do? :huh:

 

Gotta create a fake back door and make them believe that they got in. Then monitor them, or give them fake info, or redirect them to a malicious virus. :D

 

I have no freaking clue. The first 4 are from China, The UK, France, and Russia. Didn't feel like checking the rest. Usually they're mostly from China.

 

Here's some info about Geocheck.org: Linky. 45% of visitors from Norway, 32% from Germany. Looks like it's written in php by the owner himself (as opposed to a wordpress site or something). Ultimately, I'd say not strong enough of a password. Now did Geocachers do it, or no? Hackers aren't totally stupid, you know. They could see that it's a site strongly geared towards Geocaching.com, and spread their hacked data in the right places.

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Again: where's the problem with that (please stay in context of this spoiler list)?

 

All what I wrote was with respect to this list (and of course also others of the same kind).

I wanted to stress the fact that since solutions and coordinates for all sorts of caches are shared, the real issue behind is not the number of puzzle caches in an area.

 

By the way: this list we talk about here was the first one I have heard about that included the solutions to a considerable number of Earthcaches. Until now I have been so naive to believe that the cheating business has not reached Earthcaches on this large scale beyond invidual exchanges of solutions among friends. The fact that so many cachers think that there is no problem with the attitudes which lead to such lists worries me more than the existence of the lists.

 

Still, no harm done by the list...or? Find counts don't impress me, I just believe my own statistics and at an event it's the story that counts, not the numbers.

 

I do not care at all about find counts, but I care about the way caches I have an interest into are visited (this includes my own caches). I do not hide my caches for those who want to increase their find count. All what my caches are about happens before the find of the container. It's completely pointless for my caches to visit only the final and skip the stages and the intended route to the final.

 

The big majority of cachers who started out with me have already given up. My sole motivation for not yet having archived my caches is the fact that I managed to keep the number of cheaters very low for my caches which has big effects on the log quality. I own a cache that was affected and I reacted by changing it. If it ever will end up on such a list again, I will archive it. It takes too much time and effort to make changes, but at the same time it ruins all my personal enjoyment in my caches to receive logs of cachers who write mass logs and have not even visited the special location I'm showing to them.

 

In my area more than 50% of the owners of non traditionals would react once they learn about their caches ending up on such lists - either with archival or with changes of the caches (which punishes also those who have previously visited the caches in a honest way as they do not know any longer which places are taken even though having visited all caches in the area).

 

(still finding usage of a spoiler list lame

 

I think that creating such lists and making them available to a large public is more than lame.

It deliberately takes the risk into account that many caches get archived and the fun of many cachers is ruined in this way.

 

Moreover, this specific list contributes once again to reinforcing the bad image that German geocachers already have when it comes to cheating. Those who actively take part in such actions are a minority, but the majority is going to suffer.

 

Still another harm that is caused: In the future, many owners of puzzle caches will refrain from offering geocheckers and other tools that potentially make the life of honest cachers easier (like the multi checker app).

Edited by cezanne

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As much as e.g. tree climbing has. I'm bored by Sudokus, but at least Sudokus are within the reach of everyone (there exist tools anyway) while tree climbing is not. Some forest areas in my home area are full of tree climbing caches.

 

 

I wouldn't agree. Every non-mentally handicapped adult can learn to solve sudokus, but every non-physically handicapped adult can learn to use climbing equipment. Only that climbing trees has much more to do with the outdoor than solving sudokus. And most mysteries are not about sudokus, but hours of google research or almost mind-reading capabilities of finding clues hidden behind cultural-specific more-or-less common knowledge...

 

I think in many(most) cases it simply went far beyond what was geocaching supposed to be... Cachers sitting the whole day in car and driving from one micro to another, cachers sitting all the day before computer solving mysteries... and not cachers simply being outside. Even most events are indoor.

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All what I wrote was with respect to this list (and of course also others of the same kind).

I wanted to stress the fact that since solutions and coordinates for all sorts of caches are shared, the real issue behind is not the number of puzzle caches in an area.

OK, I get this and agree. The real intention behind this list surely is to provide spoilers for those, that want to have just easy access to caches and not the hazzle of solving rddles or finding answers. I just mentioned a possible use "in good intention", which is purely fictive.

 

By the way: this list we talk about here was the first one I have heard about that included the solutions to a considerable number of Earthcaches. Until now I have been so naive to believe that the cheating business has not reached Earthcaches on this large scale beyond invidual exchanges of solutions among friends. The fact that so many cachers think that there is no problem with the attitudes which lead to such lists worries me more than the existence of the lists.

Maybe your point of view was too honorable. Getting his faith in human mankind adjusted may hurt, yes. ;)

 

I do not hide my caches for those who want to increase their find count. All what my caches are about happens before the find of the container. It's completely pointless for my caches to visit only the final and skip the stages and the intended route to the final.

Why? Don't they show a nice location? At least the spoiler user makes the travel to the final...

 

The big majority of cachers who started out with me have already given up. My sole motivation for not yet having archived my caches is the fact that I managed to keep the number of cheaters very low for my caches which has big effects on the log quality. I own a cache that was affected and I reacted by changing it. If it ever will end up on such a list again, I will archive it. It takes too much time and effort to make changes, but at the same time it ruins all my personal enjoyment in my caches to receive logs of cachers who write mass logs and have not even visited the special location I'm showing to them.
That's your own decision, feel free to do what you want. But with archiving you will punish those who want to enjoy your caches in full. Why do you take spoiler cachers so personal?

 

I think that creating such lists and making them available to a large public is more than lame.

It deliberately takes the risk into account that many caches get archived and the fun of many cachers is ruined in this way.

Yes, the risk is there. But the archiving is the decision of the cache owners, and I doubt the motivation for this. It just takes caches away from the community. So what? Some of the community may using the spoiler list. Well, they still have fun in visiting the final location or boosting up their find counts or whatever game they play. Others will enjoy the whole cache, the listing, the riddle, the different multi stages AND the final location. If those are what you want to make your caches for, why punishing them?

 

Again: if you want to, you're free to do it. But it doesn't sound that you have much fun in this game anyway. Maybe your problem - or generally speaken, any archiving owner's problem - is deeper or more complex than just a new and really huge spoiler list.

 

Moreover, this specific list contributes once again to reinforcing the bad image that German geocachers already have when it comes to cheating. Those who actively take part in such actions are a minority, but the majority is going to suffer.

I'm a German geocacher and I don't suffer. If some other country's geocacher has a bad impression of german geocachers, it still doesn't affect my personal game. BTW: I don't have any idea, why some think, only german geocachers cheat. We have a certain amount of US, french, czech and skandinavian based geocachers cheating here as well - for whatever reason. I even doubt it's really more than a joke or kind of nation specific fun bashing. Just don't take that too serious! Generally, it doesn't really impress me what some other people may think of me (especially, just because I'm from Germany). If they get closer to me, they'll surely find I'm a nice guy, not taking part in this spoiling and am willing to explain my thoughts to anyone who wants to hear/read. That's all I can do. Thank you for hearing/reading. :)

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You edited this one in, while I replied to your post. I would like this to be adressed as well:

Still another harm that is caused: In the future, many owners of puzzle caches will refrain from offering geocheckers and other tools that potentially make the life of honest cachers easier (like the multi checker app).

One could argue that having a Geochecker is a sign that the riddle is not to be solved clearly/precise, which may make it a not so good riddle. One even could argue, that there are a lot of bad riddles with no sufficient solution process or a weird solution just wriggled somewhere in the owner's mind.

 

Yes, I'm advocating a bit for better traditionals. I would prefer any good traditional cache over a bad riddle or a multi just for the cause of having a multi. Better said: I'm advocating for getting outside geocaching instead of wasting time solving weird thoughts of an owner (*). But I see that others like any kind of riddles and may have fun doing them. Thats totally OK - and it's in no way affected by others using spoiler lists, as long as the owner's ego still allows him to operate the cache.

 

BTW: I even don't know a multi checker app...?

 

(*) I'm not bad at solving them, but most are boring or so totally uninteresting. Often it seems, a riddle is just there to pimp up an otherwise bad cache.

 

Again, please note, I'm against compiling a spoiler list and hacking other's databases.

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I do not hide my caches for those who want to increase their find count. All what my caches are about happens before the find of the container. It's completely pointless for my caches to visit only the final and skip the stages and the intended route to the final.

Why? Don't they show a nice location? At least the spoiler user makes the travel to the final...

 

Typically the nice locations are shown on the way. In the case of my cache that provably ended up on a spoiler list, the hideout is intentionally off the special interesting location which is off limits for a cache in my opinion. So while the cache shows a special location unknown to many, the location of the final is quite profane (if it were possible I would have implemented that cache and some others as a virtual cache).

 

That's your own decision, feel free to do what you want. But with archiving you will punish those who want to enjoy your caches in full. Why do you take spoiler cachers so personal?

 

I do not take them personal at all. It is just that it ruins my personal enjoyment of being a cache owner too much.

I could live with 1 such log out of 100, but not with a much higher proportion.

 

I would wish that there existed two separate data bases. One for those who are out for the quick find, and one for the rest.

Even though those cachers who have an honest interest into the caches have been at gc.com first before the others came, I

would have no issue with moving to another site and using a different name for the activity if some people think that they do is called geocaching.

 

Archiving at gc.com does not necessarily mean removing the caches. They still could stay, but at a site where found it logs are worthless for those that typically use cheater lists.

 

I have invested a lot of time and energy into my caches and so have many other cache owners of complex caches. None of them has done this work to offer one more found it log to those cachers for whom it is about the "+1".

The users of cheaters list should be forced to be restricted to the caches hidden by those who have a similar approach to geocaching or do not mind. However these cachers would then have much fewer caches to find and that would be a problem to them.

 

 

 

Yes, the risk is there. But the archiving is the decision of the cache owners, and I doubt the motivation for this. It just takes caches away from the community. So what? Some of the community may using the spoiler list. Well, they still have fun in visiting the final location or boosting up their find counts or whatever game they play. Others will enjoy the whole cache, the listing, the riddle, the different multi stages AND the final location. If those are what you want to make your caches for, why punishing them?

 

Removing caches from gc.com and moving them somewhere else might be the ultimate solution if the current trend continues.

If those people think that "everyone can play on gc.com as they want", they should be left with the caches of those who share their opinion.

 

I'm a German geocacher and I don't suffer. If some other country's geocacher has a bad impression of german geocachers, it still doesn't affect my personal game.

 

I'm not German, but do not appreciate that whenever in this forum the issue cheating and dishonesty in geocaching comes up, a reference to Germany and German comes up. If you do not mind that, good for you.

 

Of course, it does not affect my visits to geocaches if most cachers from North America believe that German geocachers are upfront when it comes to cheating.

 

 

BTW: I don't have any idea, why some think, only german geocachers cheat.

 

Noone thinks that. However, many cachers in this forum believe that the proportion of cheating among German cachers is particularly high and there are of course many reasons for that (one being the many armchair logs for virtuals with "Greetings from Germany" - there are armchair logs from other countries too, but there are so many from Germany where the loggers do not even try to hide that they are cheating).

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I think in many(most) cases it simply went far beyond what was geocaching supposed to be... Cachers sitting the whole day in car and driving from one micro to another, cachers sitting all the day before computer solving mysteries... and not cachers simply being outside. Even most events are indoor.

Yes, I agree with your view. But I may advocate for a more relaxed view of geocaching: you (generally you) don't have to get any cache. If you don't like puzzles, don't do them. If you don't like to learn climbing, so don't do it. Indoor puzzling could be more fun during snow storms than beeing outside after a cache. Chasing micros may be fun for some enthusiasts, well, let them be.

 

I like puzzles, but will stop if it's too weird (oh, and I have solved some weird ones). If the result is a lame final, I even will be a bit disappointed from the cache as a whole though I have solved a possible nice riddle. And I have totally no problem with this T5 tree climbing cache just in view of my house and accept I most probably never will get it. Maybe I'll do get it someday. It's my game (and I have good connections to the people with motor saws regularly working in this part of the wood). :)

 

But all this is not directly related to the topic, which is the coordinate database hack and the resulting huge cheating list (I don't like both). However it could provide a more relaxed handling of the case by us "true" (?) cachers and cache owners.

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I've always been a bit critical of these third-party sites for checking coordinates. Over time, it has become *expected* that cache owners use them for puzzles. I've even seen people demand them for multi-caches and other caches meant to be done in the field. This hacking nonsense just underscores the cynicism I already felt toward the whole thing.

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I've always been a bit critical of these third-party sites for checking coordinates. Over time, it has become *expected* that cache owners use them for puzzles. I've even seen people demand them for multi-caches and other caches meant to be done in the field. This hacking nonsense just underscores the cynicism I already felt toward the whole thing.

 

Me too. What's going on here, with all the multi-quotes? Do we know this thing was hacked by German Geocachers, or just your average everyday hackers or what?

 

I still say weak password. Not necessarily "root", being a Linux system, they try other things such as "admin" or "test". Looks like I did use this service once, although I mostly used evince. I'll be on the lookout for any Greetings from Germany logs on that particular puzzle. :ph34r:

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Sometime controlling puzzle CO is one of the reason why some cachers look another way to find the coordinates. :ph34r:

 

I know a case that happen to me. A puzzle CO didnt want to give me any hints but he was giving hints to everybody else. It said so in many logs on the cache page.

 

Another case and different puzzle CO, I asked for a hint and he gave me a bad hint on propose and I finally gave up after many emails between me and him. When I finally asked someone that solved it, I found out what the CO was doing to me! :ph34r: I found the cache and told the CO via email that hes a jerk, but he cant delete my log. :laughing:

 

This is a small example of behaviors that puzzle CO could lead cachers to find the coordinates in other means.

 

I am afraid that most puzzle CO aren't fair of picking who they want to help. From my point of view of a bunch puzzle CO, they are power tripper. :ph34r:

 

I dont support hacking in any websites. However, I think this would had be avoided if GS change the rules about spoilers on their forum.

Edited by SwineFlew

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I do not take them personal at all. It is just that it ruins my personal enjoyment of being a cache owner too much.

I could live with 1 such log out of 100, but not with a much higher proportion.

I totally respect your view (and I don't know your caches, maybe they're a special case). But I don't think the spoiler sheet will affect the listed caches much. It still takes a physical walk to the final to properly log it, even when the targeted coordinates derive from a spoiler list. So, most of all only local cachers may use this opportunity, and they could have shared the coordinates of difficult caches anyway on a local event. After then it will be limited to the newbies and the occasional drive-through cacher. It will limit itself. But at least they made the trip. The existence of a list with >20.000 cache coordinates does not result in a mass logging experience of x thousand geocachers claiming >20.000 finds.

 

Remember: armchair cachers don't need final coordinates from a spoiler list anyway. Logs not appearing in the real logbook could be deleted without hazzle.

 

I would wish that there existed two separate data bases. One for those who are out for the quick find, and one for the rest.

Even though those cachers who have an honest interest into the caches have been at gc.com first before the others came, I

would have no issue with moving to another site and using a different name for the activity if some people think that they do is called geocaching.

I may not bee an old boy, but I still don't see the real affection. Things change, that's a fact. People should have known that before, no need to stay clamped to the good ole days. Groundspeak has played it's part in getting the game evolved from the first cache (which was buried at a more or less dusty, uninteresting place and contained food, and it was only one - thanks from evolving from that). Evolution may have taken a bad turn sometimes, yes, but it still is geocaching: getting coordinates from a listing, going outside with a GPS device (even if it has an apple on it), find the cache container, sign the log, exchange trinkets (and trackables), pack it back and write an online log. Still works fine, most of the time!

 

Archiving at gc.com does not necessarily mean removing the caches. They still could stay, but at a site where found it logs are worthless for those that typically use cheater lists.

Yes, I agree. And I certainly would prefer it this way than totally get rid of good caches ("good" beeing a wide variation). I just don't see that happen, because those owners mostly like decent found numbers as well - and the alternative platforms don't have reached the critical mass to provide this, yet. Yes, that's a circle problem.

 

I have invested a lot of time and energy into my caches and so have many other cache owners of complex caches. None of them has done this work to offer one more found it log to those cachers for whom it is about the "+1".

I respect your opinion, though I don't fully understand it. Why are you even interested in those number cachers? Just ignore them and have fun with those appreceating your style! But if you really see the number cachers as a disturbing element in your cache owner life, then you have to act. They exist and will get more and more (just as "serious" cachers will get more and more, by the way!). You simply can't turn the wheel back. I still think you have a far too strict view on those things. But again, I respect your point of view.

 

Please note: personally I won't use spoiler lists, I don't like this new huge list and the database hack. I just doubt that it has a real influence. And I don't know if I really want to be a "serious" cacher. :)

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I've always been a bit critical of these third-party sites for checking coordinates. Over time, it has become *expected* that cache owners use them for puzzles. I've even seen people demand them for multi-caches and other caches meant to be done in the field. This hacking nonsense just underscores the cynicism I already felt toward the whole thing.

 

Me too. What's going on here, with all the multi-quotes? Do we know this thing was hacked by German Geocachers, or just your average everyday hackers or what?

 

I still say weak password. Not necessarily "root", being a Linux system, they try other things such as "admin" or "test". Looks like I did use this service once, although I mostly used evince. I'll be on the lookout for any Greetings from Germany logs on that particular puzzle. :ph34r:

 

You know, it doesn't even bother me when people share solutions for my caches or my husband's caches. I expect it.

 

What bothers me is that there has been so much pressure on cache owners to use these sites that are NOT part of Groundspeak, and now this happens.

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I've always been a bit critical of these third-party sites for checking coordinates. Over time, it has become *expected* that cache owners use them for puzzles. I've even seen people demand them for multi-caches and other caches meant to be done in the field. This hacking nonsense just underscores the cynicism I already felt toward the whole thing.

 

Me too. What's going on here, with all the multi-quotes? Do we know this thing was hacked by German Geocachers, or just your average everyday hackers or what?

 

I still say weak password. Not necessarily "root", being a Linux system, they try other things such as "admin" or "test". Looks like I did use this service once, although I mostly used evince. I'll be on the lookout for any Greetings from Germany logs on that particular puzzle. :ph34r:

 

You know, it doesn't even bother me when people share solutions for my caches or my husband's caches. I expect it.

 

What bothers me is that there has been so much pressure on cache owners to use these sites that are NOT part of Groundspeak, and now this happens.

 

You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

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Wow, Julian Assange must be really bored.

 

Is that that Tucson guy? :ph34r:

 

Not necessarily a Geocaching puzzle person. The website I run gets many o' hack attempts daily, usually from Chinese IP addresses. Today isn't over, so 12 yesterday, for example.

 

2015-01-30 07:46:19,112 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 122.225.109.213

2015-01-30 08:24:41,239 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 109.169.75.64

2015-01-30 09:00:26,810 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.4.9.8

2015-01-30 09:16:37,006 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 194.63.141.107

2015-01-30 13:17:41,499 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 62.210.82.112

2015-01-30 13:25:09,218 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 221.228.202.194

2015-01-30 15:24:53,886 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 195.88.127.146

2015-01-30 17:03:29,716 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 80.179.219.105

2015-01-30 18:09:00,346 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 115.239.228.34

2015-01-30 18:36:29,254 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.51.226

2015-01-30 18:39:40,783 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 222.186.58.205

2015-01-30 18:54:08,860 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [ssh] Ban 61.174.50.251

 

What the heck are they trying to do? :huh:

 

Gotta create a fake back door and make them believe that they got in. Then monitor them, or give them fake info, or redirect them to a malicious virus. :D

 

I have no freaking clue. The first 4 are from China, The UK, France, and Russia. Didn't feel like checking the rest. Usually they're mostly from China.

 

Here's some info about Geocheck.org: Linky. 45% of visitors from Norway, 32% from Germany. Looks like it's written in php by the owner himself (as opposed to a wordpress site or something). Ultimately, I'd say not strong enough of a password. Now did Geocachers do it, or no? Hackers aren't totally stupid, you know. They could see that it's a site strongly geared towards Geocaching.com, and spread their hacked data in the right places.

 

I've been getting a lot intrusion detections (attempts that were blocked) from Russian IPs lately.

 

Our IT support has really cracked down on web security lately so I've been forced to spend a lot of time lately making sure that sites I'm developing now and legacy sites I developed 10 years ago (but are still in production) don't have vulnerabilities. Our entire IT department had to attend some mandatory web security training awhile back and one of the things covered was hacker motivation. The attempts that fail2ban is catch don't tell what the motivation is for those that are trying to get into your system. This site provides a good description of Hacker motivation which ranges from white hackers (the good guys) to cyber terrorist. I suspect that whoever broke into the geocheck.org site fits into the category of "Hacktivist", which is defined as: "Some hacker activists are motivated by politics or religion, while others may wish to expose wrongdoing, or exact revenge, or simply harass their target for their own entertainment." The politics in this case may be those that feel that puzzle cache owners should not care how someone solves their puzzle. The conspiracy theorist might consider the possibility that the hacker falls into category of "Spy Hacker".

 

PHP has been known to have a few security vulnerabilities, and especially if it was a "roll your own" site rather than using something like Wordpress or Drupal. A likely vulnerability would be a SQL injection as it is often a means of extracting information from a database. A quick search of SQL injection will not only describe how it works but provide a lists of patterns one can try to determine if a site is vulnerable. What you're seeing with the fail2ban attempts is likely a bunch of people trying scripts (usually in an automated fashion) just to see if your site is vulnerable.

 

 

 

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What's going on here, with all the multi-quotes?

Just a hack on the forum by me (german). No worries. :D

 

Don't mind, it's midnight here and I will go to bed soon. Hopefully it stays a calm night shift and I may sleep through. Then you will not hear me quoting again for some time. :)

 

Do we know this thing was hacked by German Geocachers, or just your average everyday hackers or what?

  • There was a restricted german Facebook group before, collecting cache coordinates (mystery solutions and multi finals), releasing a huge list with those coordinates last week through password protected websites (just for the members of the Facebook group). Shortly later it was found, that the list contains a significant amount of cache coordinates only known to the geochecker.org database.
  • Geochecker.org is a site driven by some skandinavian guy, the server is hosted somewhere in USA (west coast), according to the internet directory/whois entry. They found out that they've been hacked.
  • Who and how he/she/they did this is not yet known (at least to me).
  • A german blogger did get the list and made the case public (see here, german: http://hilftdirweiter.de/bye-bye-raetselcaches-die-zerstoerung-durch-punktgeile-facebook-user/ ). He even provides a cleaned list (i.e. without the coordinates) for cache owners to check, if they are affected: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16_ARa6B9iM862-BpaRleSD4ERfp_voZQCMHToG3UXfs/edit?usp=sharing (Google+ shared list, download and set filters). The list contains mostly german caches but some others, too - if there are more listed on geochecker.org or if the hackers have downloaded more is not known to me.

Since then the Facebook group is beeing renamed/moved (?), the websites providing the spoiler list are closed, the geochecker.org owner posted an explanation on his homepage, the FB group organizer tried some explanations himself and is silent since then, Groundspeak is involved and already banned some user(s), german forums and blogs are full of discussions around the topic, some think they have detected bogus logs from spoiler list users already, some cache owners deactivate their listings, and I'm tired. Beside this, nothing really happens. :)

 

Good night!

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Thanks for that update.

 

Yes, Thank you. Hopefully this Norwegian guy has the contents of his /var/log/auth.log file. But we'll leave the whole investigation up to the people who do this full time for a living. Of course they won't be in for a couple days. :)

 

Oh, and of course thanks to NYPC for giving an overview of the SQL injection thing.

Edited by Mr.Yuck

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Next update: rumors in a german forum (given source: the geocheck.org-owner) state that the hacker attack origins from an eastern european country. So, no genius german engineering here. :)

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Next update: rumors in a german forum (given source: the geocheck.org-owner) state that the hacker attack origins from an eastern european country. So, no genius german engineering here. :)

 

Thanks for the update. I would suppose we'll never hear how they got in, why would he want to release that information? By the way (and this wasn't a malicious sock or anything) I am personally aware of a case where Geocaching.com HQ used IP forensics to identify the username of the owner of a sock puppet account. That should probably remain a secret too. :)

 

I'm still surprised I used this once. (I haven't created a puzzle cache in at least 5 years). Why did I change from evince? And I am NOT changing my Geocaching.com password. What are they going to do, post something to the forums under my account that will get me a temporary ban? I can do that myself, thank you. :ph34r:

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I have 2 puzzle caches that use geochecker. Should I be worried? Should I use another checker?

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You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

 

Oh, there's that silly word again. "Courtesy." Do as I say, or you're not courteous.

 

Placing a decent cache for people to find is courtesy enough, isn't it? The geochecker hand-holding isn't courtesy so much as a way to minimize emails.

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Sometime controlling puzzle CO is one of the reason why some cachers look another way to find the coordinates. :ph34r:

 

....

 

I dont support hacking in any websites. However, I think this would had be avoided if GS change the rules about spoilers on their forum.

 

So the responsibility, nay blame for this hack rests squarely with controlling CO's and Groundspeak? :blink:

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I thought the point of a puzzle cache is to figure out the final coordinates, if you figure them out you solved the puzzle.

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I thought the point of a puzzle cache is to figure out the final coordinates, if you figure them out you solved the puzzle.

 

I thought the point of a puzzle cache is to solve the puzzle in order to obtain the final coordinates. Obtaining the coordinates from someone else that has solved the puzzle isn't solving the puzzle.

 

 

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I thought the point of a puzzle cache is to figure out the final coordinates, if you figure them out you solved the puzzle.

 

I thought the point of a puzzle cache is to solve the puzzle in order to obtain the final coordinates. Obtaining the coordinates from someone else that has solved the puzzle isn't solving the puzzle.

 

And hacking a site to obtain the solutions from someone who has not solved the puzzles either is definitely not the point of puzzle caches. There needs to be a limit. Otherwise one could also argue that torturing the cache owner until he/she gives out the solution is a decent approach to a puzzle cache.

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I thought the point of a puzzle cache is to figure out the final coordinates, if you figure them out you solved the puzzle.

 

By any means?

 

Or is there a limit beyond which it's no longer considered appropriate, polite, fair play?

Edited by funkymunkyzone

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You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

 

Oh, there's that silly word again. "Courtesy." Do as I say, or you're not courteous.

 

Placing a decent cache for people to find is courtesy enough, isn't it? The geochecker hand-holding isn't courtesy so much as a way to minimize emails.

 

Maybe, like me, people don't WANT the potential hassle of emailing and waiting for a response that may or may not come. That's where the concept of "courtesy" comes into play...a clear and immediate response without the need to rely on a fallible and fickle human. And no, it's not about "instant gratification"...it's about just not wanting to have to deal with a the expectation of a response that may never come.

 

It's kind of like not posting your business' hours of operation anywhere and expecting everyone to call to find out when you're open.

But hey, if you always plan to answer the phone and don't mind folks calling at all hours...up to you.

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You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

 

Oh, there's that silly word again. "Courtesy." Do as I say, or you're not courteous.

 

Placing a decent cache for people to find is courtesy enough, isn't it? The geochecker hand-holding isn't courtesy so much as a way to minimize emails.

 

Maybe, like me, people don't WANT the potential hassle of emailing and waiting for a response that may or may not come. That's where the concept of "courtesy" comes into play...a clear and immediate response without the need to rely on a fallible and fickle human. And no, it's not about "instant gratification"...it's about just not wanting to have to deal with a the expectation of a response that may never come.

 

It's kind of like not posting your business' hours of operation anywhere and expecting everyone to call to find out when you're open.

But hey, if you always plan to answer the phone and don't mind folks calling at all hours...up to you.

 

Since when did it become encumbent incumbent on cache owners to respond to coordinate check requests at all?

 

I think I must have missed that memo.

Edited by Team Microdot

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You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

 

Oh, there's that silly word again. "Courtesy." Do as I say, or you're not courteous.

 

Placing a decent cache for people to find is courtesy enough, isn't it? The geochecker hand-holding isn't courtesy so much as a way to minimize emails.

 

Maybe, like me, people don't WANT the potential hassle of emailing and waiting for a response that may or may not come. That's where the concept of "courtesy" comes into play...a clear and immediate response without the need to rely on a fallible and fickle human. And no, it's not about "instant gratification"...it's about just not wanting to have to deal with a the expectation of a response that may never come.

 

It's kind of like not posting your business' hours of operation anywhere and expecting everyone to call to find out when you're open.

But hey, if you always plan to answer the phone and don't mind folks calling at all hours...up to you.

 

Since when did it become encumbent incumbent on cache owners to respond to coordinate check requests at all?

 

I think I must have missed that memo.

 

It's not, but in the absence of a checker, that's where folks fall back and narcissa pretty much said she's "happy to answer an email". Then there's the comment about folks wanting to "minimize emails". Heck yeah I want to minimize emails! Honestly, I'd love to do away with emails related to geocaching.com as much as possible.

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You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

 

Oh, there's that silly word again. "Courtesy." Do as I say, or you're not courteous.

 

Placing a decent cache for people to find is courtesy enough, isn't it? The geochecker hand-holding isn't courtesy so much as a way to minimize emails.

 

Maybe, like me, people don't WANT the potential hassle of emailing and waiting for a response that may or may not come. That's where the concept of "courtesy" comes into play...a clear and immediate response without the need to rely on a fallible and fickle human. And no, it's not about "instant gratification"...it's about just not wanting to have to deal with a the expectation of a response that may never come.

 

It's kind of like not posting your business' hours of operation anywhere and expecting everyone to call to find out when you're open.

But hey, if you always plan to answer the phone and don't mind folks calling at all hours...up to you.

 

Since when did it become encumbent incumbent on cache owners to respond to coordinate check requests at all?

 

I think I must have missed that memo.

 

It's not, but in the absence of a checker, that's where folks fall back and narcissa pretty much said she's "happy to answer an email". Then there's the comment about folks wanting to "minimize emails". Heck yeah I want to minimize emails! Honestly, I'd love to do away with emails related to geocaching.com as much as possible.

 

If sending the email / waiting for the response is too much hassle - don't bother. Problem solved.

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You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

 

Oh, there's that silly word again. "Courtesy." Do as I say, or you're not courteous.

 

Placing a decent cache for people to find is courtesy enough, isn't it? The geochecker hand-holding isn't courtesy so much as a way to minimize emails.

 

Maybe, like me, people don't WANT the potential hassle of emailing and waiting for a response that may or may not come. That's where the concept of "courtesy" comes into play...a clear and immediate response without the need to rely on a fallible and fickle human. And no, it's not about "instant gratification"...it's about just not wanting to have to deal with a the expectation of a response that may never come.

 

It's kind of like not posting your business' hours of operation anywhere and expecting everyone to call to find out when you're open.

But hey, if you always plan to answer the phone and don't mind folks calling at all hours...up to you.

 

Since when did it become encumbent incumbent on cache owners to respond to coordinate check requests at all?

 

I think I must have missed that memo.

 

It's not, but in the absence of a checker, that's where folks fall back and narcissa pretty much said she's "happy to answer an email". Then there's the comment about folks wanting to "minimize emails". Heck yeah I want to minimize emails! Honestly, I'd love to do away with emails related to geocaching.com as much as possible.

 

If sending the email / waiting for the response is too much hassle - don't bother. Problem solved.

 

If copy/pasting a link to a checker is too much hassle - don't complain when folks start asking for responses or a way of verifying.

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If copy/pasting a link to a checker is too much hassle - don't complain when folks start asking for responses or a way of verifying.

 

I wasn't aware anyone was complaining - but as stated above, CO's have complete freedom of choice as to whether or not to respond to those types of request at all :)

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If copy/pasting a link to a checker is too much hassle - don't complain when folks start asking for responses or a way of verifying.

 

I wasn't aware anyone was complaining - but as stated above, CO's have complete freedom of choice as to whether or not to respond to those types of request at all :)

 

Again...it's all narcissa talks about whenever the checker subject comes up...folks complaining to her about adding a checker. It's the whole reason I even brought it up.

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If copy/pasting a link to a checker is too much hassle - don't complain when folks start asking for responses or a way of verifying.

 

It's about much more than the hassle to add a link to something. There are security and other issues involved that play the much greater role in deciding against automatic checkers.

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You keep talking about all this pressure you feel. Why should you let that affect you? Use it or don't...but don't really expect us to feign sympathy because you choose not to provide a way of checking, a courtesy that many choose to use.

 

Oh, there's that silly word again. "Courtesy." Do as I say, or you're not courteous.

 

Placing a decent cache for people to find is courtesy enough, isn't it? The geochecker hand-holding isn't courtesy so much as a way to minimize emails.

 

Maybe, like me, people don't WANT the potential hassle of emailing and waiting for a response that may or may not come. That's where the concept of "courtesy" comes into play...a clear and immediate response without the need to rely on a fallible and fickle human. And no, it's not about "instant gratification"...it's about just not wanting to have to deal with a the expectation of a response that may never come.

 

It's kind of like not posting your business' hours of operation anywhere and expecting everyone to call to find out when you're open.

But hey, if you always plan to answer the phone and don't mind folks calling at all hours...up to you.

 

Your preferences aren't universal and your comparison is silly. I am not a store. I am not trying to drum up business. Some people like puzzles, some don't. I don't need to market my caches to those who will only be interested in a puzzle that is easy to solve.

 

Some cachers complain that checkers make puzzles too easy - they would say that finding out for yourself that your solution was wrong is part of the game. Others complain when owners refer them to the checker to play battleship.

 

Since I apparently have to show a lack of "courtesy" to at least some people, I might as well go with my own instincts and avoid using a third-party website that makes me uncomfortable.

 

If someone skips my cache because there's no checker on it, then at least I am spared the inanity their log would surely contain.

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