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New Technique Developed to Identify Cheating in Online Games

Presentation at NDSS 2010 builds on record response to Call for Papers

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA and GENEVA, SWITZERLAND–2 February 2010–In a paper scheduled to be presented at the upcoming 17th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS 2010), Darrell Bethea, Robert Cochran, and Michael Reiter of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill describe a technique they have developed to identify cheating in the rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry of online gaming which includes titles such as World of Warcraft. The full paper will be published in the NDSS Proceedings.

Cheating through the use of non-sanctioned client software compromises the gaming experience for players and undermines the revenue of game developers and operators. The approach outlined in the paper to be presented at NDSS 2010 could help ensure the integrity of the online gaming experience by providing an automated, alternative approach to current, manually programmed methods of identifying game cheats. The described approach is server-based and does not increase the required bandwidth, often a critical expense for game operators.

“The technique my colleagues and I have developed helps short-circuit the constant cat-and-mouse game currently underway between game operators and cheaters,” said Michael Reiter, Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “Because of the way the technique works, and the opportunities it provides for game operators to validate clients’ actions, we believe it opens the door for considering new approaches to designing online games.”

In addition to an outstanding program of technical presentations, the NDSS 2010 program will include a keynote presentation by former White House counterterrorism and cybersecurity czar Richard A. Clarke, an internationally-recognized expert on security, including homeland security, national security, cybersecurity and counterterrorism. The full NDSS program spans the spectrum of current security concerns, including:

    Security of Web-based applications and services
    Anti-malware techniques: detection, analysis, and prevention
    Intrusion prevention, detection, and response
    Combating cyber-crime: anti-phishing, anti-spam, and anti-fraud techniques
    Privacy and anonymity technologies
    Security for electronic commerce
    Intellectual property protection
    Security for collaborative applications: teleconferencing and video-conferencing

“The NDSS 2010 program continues the conference’s tradition of providing an unsurpassed breadth of network and system security topics, and of presenting new research into areas such as spam and malware,” said NDSS Program Chair Wenke Lee, a Professor in the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “New to this year’s conference are emphases in online identity and privacy of Web use and traffic, and a focus on ways in which safer Web programming can provide stronger foundations for security and privacy.”

The NDSS 2010 program also for the first time includes a session on the ethical issues raised in networking and security research. The panel discussion will take place on 1 March during the first full day of the conference program.

NDSS brings together innovative and forward-thinking members of the Internet community – including leading-edge security researchers and implementers, globally-recognized security technology experts, and experienced professionals from both the private and public sectors – who design, develop, exploit, and deploy the new and emerging technologies that define network and distributed system security. NDSS 2010 is sponsored by the Internet Society, and will be held in San Diego, California, from 28 February to 3 March. For more information, see: http://isoc.org/ndss10

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