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Old 08-22-2007, 11:32 PM   #1
Lasher
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Online gaming's oldest cheat? - Equip Duping

Probably not the oldest cheat, but up there. Reading PlayNoEvil today I saw an article about cheating in Guild Wars, this part really caught my attention:

Quote:
Disconnect Duping. Ah, a classic is back. In this case, the article posited a reconnect duping problem for certain high value items to easily feed the gold farming market. Duping is typically a database race condition in online games. Items are moved in inventories in a sloppy manner that allows an exploiter to fake out the system to create copies. Basically, it is bad database or transaction design.
It's funny how several generations of gaming later one of the oldest bugs in some of the oldest MUD code resurfaces even in games with 6/7 figure budgets.

Full blog post is here:

Insider Threats to MMOs - Rumors around Arena.net's Guild Wars - PlayNoEvil Game Security News & Analysis

Strongly recommend this blog to anyone interested in game security btw (thanks Matt).
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:54 PM   #2
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Re: Online gaming's oldest cheat? - Equip Duping

Wow. That's kinda sad really.

They aren't using a transactional database?

That's pretty shocking.
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:32 AM   #3
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Re: Online gaming's oldest cheat? - Equip Duping

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Originally Posted by Lasher View Post
It's funny how several generations of gaming later one of the oldest bugs in some of the oldest MUD code resurfaces even in games with 6/7 figure budgets.
Guild Wars is 8 figure budget, in fact!

Quote:
Strongly recommend this blog to anyone interested in game security btw (thanks Matt).
Just a point: I'm slightly dubious as to the truthfulness of the author of the article Steve (from Playnoevil) quotes (as is Steve). It could be true, or it could be just a smear-job by a disgruntled ex-employee or, more likely, ex-player.

(Incidentally Threshold: I don't have enough expertise about databases to really get into a discussion about it but there's always a balance to be struck between speed, cost, and robustness. I'm a little surprised they don't have atomic db transactions myself given that I know our text MUDs do (and presumably so do many others) but they also have performance demands that no text MUD has ever had to even think about dealing with. The Arena.net people that I've met in the past all seem like pretty smart people so I'm sure there is at least some rationale behind their decision.)

--matt
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