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Security in Computer Games: from Pong to Online Poker

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jeff Yan, Professor Brian RandellORCiD



Security can mean different things in a different application context. For decades, gaming has been a major computer application with its own distinct characteristics, and in fact, online gaming is now one of the most popular applications on the Internet. However, there are few systematic treatments of security concerns in gaming. In this paper, we briefly trace the history of computer games. Then, we examine the role that security has played in different games, from early mainframebased games through arcade, PC and console games to the latest online games. Online cheating is widely considered a new security concern in computer games. However, it is not as well understood by security experts as one might expect. In this paper, we systematically investigate cheating in online games. We identify common forms of cheating as they have occurred or might occur in online games, and then we define a taxonomy of online game cheating with respect to the underlying cause (namely what is exploited?), consequence (what type of security failure can be achieved?) and the cheating principal (who can cheat?). One of our findings is that the four traditional aspects of security – confidentiality, integrity, availability and authenticity – are insufficient to explain cheating and its consequences in online games, and fairness can be a vital additional aspect.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yan J, Randell B

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2005

Pages: 11

Print publication date: 01/02/2005

Source Publication Date: February 2005

Report Number: 889

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne