(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)
(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)

Computer hackers have attacked video game systems causing game interruption and general frustration in the gaming world.

Online gaming grows in popularity every year. While online gaming has its rewards, it also has its risks. Gaming systems have the risk of being easily hacked.

Gamers should watch out for free online games that may contain a virus that no gamer wants to deal with. This is an important concern that gamers need to keep in mind. There are quite a few anti-hacking programs that can be downloaded, such as: Webroot SecureAnywhere, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, F-secure and Avast.

These hackers have taken it upon themselves to break into gaming systems and access someone else’s gaming information. Gamers can download an automatic updating feature that can detect a gap in the system.

Another option gamers have is to purchase games that come with built-in anti-cheat programs.  These anti-cheat programs such as PunkBuster ensure that gamers’ opponents will not be able to hack and have an unfair advantage while gaming. This will limit the opportunity for further potential hacks.

“I don’t think it’s possible [to stop video game hackers]. As long as there are systems and people creating the systems, there will be loopholes in the systems,” said Justin Marley, freshman at Weber State. “To better prevent it, there could be better security for the systems though.”

Marley thinks cheats, which are hacks, take away from the purpose of the game. If a gamer purchases a game, the purpose is to beat the game by yourself, said Marley.

“I think the whole thing with the cheat codes is games build on themselves so when you use a cheat on a lower level and you get to a higher level, the gamer won’t be able to use that cheat to move up,” said Katie LeFrancois, a history teaching major.

A paper written by researchers at Stanford University discusses a generic attack tool called Kartograph.

Kartograph gives gamers the ability to view the entire map while playing a strategy game. This is a semi-automatic tool that can discover a game’s internal memory layout. This tool extracts the opponent’s information and gives it to the cheating player. This form of hacking cannot be detected from a remote observer.

“They always have to update patches. What that does is prevent people from hacking into the system. They should do that more often, maybe bi-weekly,” said Joshua Menor, junior. “Well, glitch-wise it messes up gameplay and you want to have fun with the game.” Menor said that gamers do not want to play with hackers and want to earn their rank in the game fairly.

For not just gamers but also regular computer users, it’s crucial to clean up personal computers regularly in order to prevent viruses as well as to install any anti-virus software.

There are also some fairly obvious ways to avoid getting hacked:

Gamers should avoid putting their personal information into any gaming site. Most legitimate gaming sites do not need any personal information unless purchasing something directly from their site such as in-game items and merchandise. Always go through the actual game’s website for any in-game items.

Emails containing deals for in-game gold, points and items can appear to be legitimate, but could possibly be a scam to get personal information or access to a game account.

Most game developers will never ask for your password and their terms of service will repeatedly disclose this. Gamers should never give out passwords and should change them often.


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