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Sims 2 Hacks Propagate Unexpectedly

New reports from technology site SecurityFocus are highlighting an interesting dilemma in the world of The Sims 2: user-created hacks applied to the game environme...
New reports from technology site SecurityFocus are highlighting an interesting dilemma in the world of The Sims 2: user-created hacks applied to the game environment, something common since the first game, have begun to spread through the community of Sims 2 players like Internet virii. In particular, players have found objects acting abnormally and certain expected mechanics of the game behaving strangely -- or not working at all. A magic espresso machine that fills all a Sim's Needs meters to the brim will appear out of nowhere, for instance, or social workers will stop intervening in poor parenting situations. The cause of the confusion lies in the way the game inherits objects included in ready-to-use houses that players can upload and download from EA's Lot Exchange site. If a player who's created or installed the hack in his or her own game contributes a house to the Exchange, anyone who downloads that house is unwittingly installing every hack its creator was using. Then any houses they upload to the lot will be similarly "infected," allowing the modifications to pass from player to player unknown. EA hasn't come out with a concrete solution yet, but the original hackers have already invented their own measure of protection against unwanted hacks. A program that works like an anti-virus scanner is now available for the game, which examines the install directory for the game and identifies all hacks operating on the game, for the user to then leave in or remove at will. So far the hacks are more nuisances for those who want to play the game as it was meant, according to SecurityFocus, but the potential for malicious hacks may be there as well, especially if the modified code continues to spread along current vectors.

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