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Feature: 'Book Excerpt: Exploiting Online Games'

Security is a growing concern among both players and providers of MMOs, and in this exclusive book extract from '
August 10, 2007
Security is a growing concern among both players and providers of MMOs, and in this exclusive book extract from 'Exploiting Online Games', authors Gary McGraw and Greg Hoglund look at data exposure and countermeasures for macro bots in online games. As discussed in the extract, there are many types of in-game data that can be exploited for various purposes, including aiming through what are known as aimbots, explained below: “Elsewhere in the book, we introduce the idea of aimbots. Recall that aimbots can provide a player with uncanny, superhuman aim. Aimbots work by detecting the 3D coordinates of your enemy and calculating at exactly what angle to point your weapon to hit him or her with the best possible shot. Automatically pointing your sniper rifle into your opponent’s left eye socket requires looking around in the data that store the 3D coordinates of objects being rendered in the game. What makes aimbots particularly interesting is that they don’t just look at data in the game program; instead, they take advantage of how data interact with the video card. The video card itself has a boatload of onboard RAM that stores data structures for rendering 3D objects. (Of course, gamers make a point of having the latest in graphics technology to play their games.) As it turns out, aimbots can take advantage of the 3D data stored in the video card to find the 3D coordinates of objects in the game world. How creative!” You can now read the complete feature, which includes more from 'Exploiting Online Games,' including code samples, tools, and techniques designed to manipulate online games (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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