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Protecting Games ****-

Protecting Games By Steven Davis
Published January 1970
List Price: $

Security measures are a critical piece of the game development process because they not only affect the player's ability to safely access and enjoy a game but a publisher's ability to profit from it. Protecting Games: A Security Handbook for Game Developers and Publishers provides IT and game security professionals with the solutions and tools they need to solve numerous game security problems, and an understanding of security principles that can be applied to game projects to prevent security issues. The book covers longstanding issues such as piracy and cheating and also new concerns like gambling, privacy, and protecting children. Security issues are addressed at the technical, business, operational, and design levels, with both technical and non-technical countermeasures and solutions discussed. And case studies are presented as realworld examples of the types of security concerns games and game developers face. You can easily jump to the key topics that are of interest to you, or work your way through the book. Protecting Games: A Security Handbook for Game Developers and Publishers makes understanding and resolving game security issues less intimidating, and provides practical security solutions that can be applied right away.

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Jul 09 2009 10:27 AM
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!