Security and games: exploiting online games

July 18th, 2007

Exploiting Online GamesMassively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) like World of Warcraft and Second Life are large, complex, dynamic distributed software systems with hundreds of thousands of users scattered around the world. A new book, Exploiting Online Games explores a range of security issues associated with these games, including topics like the following.

  • Why online games are a harbinger of software security issues to come
  • How millions of gamers have created billion-dollar virtual economies
  • How game companies invade personal privacy
  • Why some gamers cheat
  • Techniques for breaking online game security
  • How to build a bot to play a game for you
  • Methods for total conversion and advanced mods

Tim Wilson of Dark Reading motivated it this way in his post about the book

“You’re playing an online game in which players are warriors who can only walk, jump, or run. Suddenly, another player appears out of nowhere, draws his sword, and hacks you to bits. Game over. But were you really beaten by a superior player? Or did a hacker or cheater simply rig the game?”

This book illustrates a theme that underlies the UMBC CS game track. Studying computer games is a good way to learn the basic principles of computer science and studying computer science is a good way to prepare yourself for a career in the interactive entertainment industry.