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MiniZap

Hacking computer games

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Has anyone ever created an interface or anything for a game so that if someone tried to hack a file itd pretend like it was working for them to hack it and end up just leading them into a runaround. Like if they tried to hack a file itd open up a program that looked just like the file and it would be kind of a game teasing them because it wouldnt be doing nuthing =-P. Does anyone even understand this? It''d be kind of cool to do soemthing like that..i think =-P

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Just remember most people that can understand enough to hack a computer game, would also be able to tell the difference if it was a run-around or what they were after.

"There is humor in everything depending on which prespective you look from."

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Sadly this is not really possible. Most people who make these hacks or whatever use hex editors or debuggers and operate on either (a) the program files on disk, or (b) the program data in memory. In both cases, the stuff being altered is just a string of data and can''t really ''know'' it''s being changed, certainly not in the first case and not without considerable computational effort in the 2nd case.

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Personally the idea I like best is infecting their machine with a virus. Particularly a trojan horse that would notify you that they are hacking and allow you to inspect/modify their system. A nice dream, but unethical and illegal as well as risking infecting the wrong machines.

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You could leave honeypots in the data file or ram
Doubly store the data and make one one easier to identify than the other.

Won''t stop them, but might slow down the apprentice
Better odds at detecting hacking attempts too...

Magmai Kai Holmlor
- The disgruntled & disillusioned

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Better yet:

''crackers'' usually use the game to get a distict value to search for in memory, say they acquire 546357 gold. They will search memory for that value.

a simple workaround is to have the program store that value in memory, but only as a dummy value, and have it encrypted somewhere else.

the non-encrypted value would be write-only, the game would never ask what it''s value is, but it would update it continuously.

the encrypted version is the one that changes.

of course, a true cracker would have a debugger analyze when the value changes and look at the assembly, thus breaking the formula...

sigh.

===============================================
It''s either ether or the other,
I press my window to the glass,
the glass turns to gas...
I''m going upstairs now, to turn my mind off...
to turn my mind off...

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In one of the recent Game Developer magazines was an article by the makers of Spyro and how they did exactly that. The crackers would make a few changes, play the game, it looked like it worked, but later on in the game some gems would be missing, thus preventing the person playing the cracked version of the game from getting any further. This was only one of the methods they used. They also did multiple CRC checks over huge chunks of code with the CRC results embedded in the code. A very interesting read.

It took the crackers a full two months to get a fully working cracked version out. The crackers thanked the developers for making it such a challenge. Since the vast majority of a games sales are within the first couple of months, their tactics worked.

Steve 'Sly' Williams   Code Monkey  Krome Studios

Edited by - Sly on June 6, 2001 11:59:48 PM

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