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McMillan0520

Alternative to gameguard?

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Hi, I am in the middle of a MMORPG project and I am coding a loader which mainly checks for updates and also has some simple antihack funcs. One of them is checking the hashes of all the game files. I have heard a lot of bad things about gameguard, it being a rootkit and all. Is there any alternative, that eg prevents other processes from modifying it in the RAM instead of hiding it etc. My project is commercial, so it doesn't have to be free. Regards

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Anything that tries to prevent access at that level will have to live in kernel space, and be similar to a "rootkit." You would have to install both a virtual memory driver (Scary, Deep, Poorly Documented (tm)), a VFS module (like virus scanners) and some other low-level details. All of this is really hard -- and you don't know what the traps are unless you've worked with the Windows kernel for many years already. My guess is that 90% or more of software that's out there at this level actually doesn't know what all the traps are, and thus will have blue-screening and data-corrupting bugs in it. (This probably includes top sellers like Norton or McAffee, btw.)

And, evenso, it's futile. If you try to hack the kernel, the hackers will just run under a hypervisor, and you're back to square one where you can't actually know you're getting hacked.

The absolutely best defense against hackers is to make the game design such that you can't benefit much from hacking. The second best defense is to provide a robust user rating system, where the question "will I enjoy playing against this other player" can be answered with precision. In the end, it doesn't matter if the user hacks or not -- it matters whether other users are having fun!

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