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Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Anti-Cheating Hardware In Development At Intel
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Technology Review has posted an article examining Intel's efforts to create a gaming system designed from the ground up to prevent cheating. Using a combination of hardware, firmware, and software the Fair Online Gaming System would check at the hardware level to determine if keyboard and controller inputs matched with performance in games.

For example, the system would go after input-based cheats, in which a hacker feeds the game different information than he enters through the keyboard and mouse. A cheater playing a shooting game might use an input-based cheat known as an aimbot, for example, to point his guns automatically, leaving him free to fire rapidly, and with deadly accuracy. Schluessler says that the Fair Online Gaming system's chip set would catch an aimbot by receiving and comparing data streams from the player's keyboard and mouse with data streams from what the game processes. The system would recognize that the information wasn't the same and alert administrators to the cheat. In tests, Schluessler says, the system ran without slowing the play of a game.

In addition to input-based cheats, Schluessler says that the system would go after network-data cheats that extract hidden information from a game's network, such as the location of other players, and display it to the cheater. Intel's system would also target cheats that attempt to disable anti-cheating software. Schluessler says the goal isn't to replace anti-cheating software but to strengthen and augment it.

Some players have expressed concern that anti-cheat systems invade their privacy by sending information about their computers over the Internet. Tony Ray, president of Even Balance, which makes the anti-cheating software PunkBuster, says that this is a necessary evil for any anti-cheat system. "Privacy and security are at odds in many aspects of life these days," he says. Players who want to be sure they're playing in a fair environment, he adds, must choose to trust that their privacy will be respected. Schluessler says that those who don't like the Intel system would always be free to turn it off and play on an unregulated server.
There are no plans yet to make the system available to consumers, but Schluessler said that is the ultimate goal of the project.

Check out the rest of the article at the link below.

Technology Review: Catching Cheaters With Their Own Computers

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