1440950308 Protecting Games - Hacking - Books - Books - GameDev.net
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About this time last year I reviewed a book on securing MMORPG games. It was a good book, but it was fairly fiddly, showing lots of low-level techniques to do things like preventing people from hooking into the Windows sockets layer and/or making the information useless if someone does. While such information is certainly useful, it wasn't really a broad overview of protecting your game from hacks.

Of course, that wasn't the book's focus. Protecting Games, however, is focused on that very thing. It's a much higher level guide to protection in games. And this protection goes across two fronts -- protecting your software from unauthorized duplication/distribution and protecting your online content from cheats. The book's information is almost entirely conceptual and, unlike that MMORPG book, is not dense with code. There are plenty of diagrams with circles and arrows showing how traffic or keys or tokens are passed around securely, but the implementation is left up to you. While this isn't a "plug in this code and you'll be secure" tutorial, the information is there that you'll need. And it's mostly language agnostic. If you're writing something in C++ for Windows or you're writing something in PHP on the server-side, you'll find some useful stuff in Protecting Games.

One of the things the authors make pretty clear from the onset is that "plug in this code and you'll be secure" solutions are the easiest to circumvent or remove. So this book won't immediately solve your problems if you just discovered a week before ship-time that you haven't given any thought to security. But if you're in that situation, nothing's going to solve your problem anyway.

The book is pretty heavy on case-studies, which is handy if you want to see what techniques are in use as well as what implementations have been cracked and how it was done. This isn't a "how to crack games" guide by any means, but it does cover what has been done in the past to crack allegedly secure systems.

If you're willing to do a little legwork in implementing protection techniques, Protecting Games is a good guide for what's out there, what works, and what doesn't. Good luck!

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