how mmo games prevent hacks

138 viewsOtherTechnology

How for example a game like world of warcraft with millions of player keep track of player’s gold income to prevent any false way of gaining in game currencies?

In: Technology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

“Hacks” is very vague term, so there is no one simple answer.

Easiest way to prevent shady gold income is server authority. Your game actually doesn’t decide your gold value. It sends requests to the server and server is the one deciding if the operation is valid. If it finds anything suspicious, it simply denies the request and gold value doesn’t change.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Keeping track of everyone’s gold is quite trivial. You just have a big database on the server with all the players inventories. The problem is that there are ways to get gold which looks legitimate but is not. There is a number of different things they do to detect hacking. This all depends on what kind of game it is as well as proprietary techniques that changes over time. One common technique is to detect if any debuggers are attached to the process, this is often done during development, for example of a hack. But some hacks also attach to the process the same way as a debugger would in order to get access to the internal memory and code flow. But they also analyse player behaviour looking for things cheaters do more then regular players.

But what a lot of people are wrong about is how the game developers handles hackers. People think you get instantly banned the moment they detect any form of cheating. For some forms of simple cheating this might be the case. But this only gives the cheater the ability to try again using a slightly different technique that might not be as easy to detect. Instead they secretly flag the account and just monitor it. A few times a year they have a ban wave where they ban all the flagged accounts. The hackers have no way of knowing what gave them away as they might have done several suspicious things that could have gotten them flagged. Anyway if they develop new hacks it would take them months to know if these worked or not.

There are a lot of funning things game developers are doing to make the life for game hackers worse. For example if you buy hacked gold from a character in game then this is probably noticed by the developers since they flagged this account so they will flag your account too. They might give you the courtesy of banning you soon after and give you the reason for why they banned you so that you can cancel your credit card charge and go after the hacker. Or once they discover that someone is hacking they can investigate and find out all the different things they do to hack the game that would not have been discovered and add detectors to the game. Essentially using the hacker as a way to build better detectors. The best part is that if the hacker start selling this hack you can identify exactly who is using this hack and then ban them soon after they install it. Funny thing is that you do not have to ban the hacker or their close friends so there is no way for them to know why their hack does not work since it works fine for them.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Everything is stored on their servers. If someone gives another player something it goes from their inventory stored on the server directly to the other player’s inventory stored on the server. Like how gmail only gives you access to your own emails. The actual game program (called a “client”) can’t create gold or items or anything, only the server can and because the server isn’t running on the player’s computer it can’t be modded with cheats. All the client does is tell the server what the player is doing and then the server decides if gold should be created, if items should be given etc. The only cheats a player can do is things like automating repetitive inputs. This is called “server authoritative”, the server rules all the player’s states.

At least that’s how it **should** work. Sometimes MMOs have big issues where they do too much on the client (client authoritative) which allows people to cheat with item dupes, invincibility etc.