Processors

Intel is working on anti-cheat technology


It looks like Intel is working on an anti-cheat technology, although this is only a research project at the moment and hardly ready for prime time.

The concept is simple: A chipset records all input from the keyboard and mouse at the hardware level -- the game also does the same. If the two doesn't match, then something else is pumping input into the game, and you are probably 'cheating.'

The general idea here is that, if something tampers with input, it should be flagged. Obviously, the game will first have to support the chipset, as it will have to be the one querying the hardware in order to compare the various input streams.

You can read more about Intel's anti-cheat technology in The Inquirer.

Personally, I can immediately see some potential issues with this setup. One main problem would be with hardware or software that reads or writes to the keyboard or mouse queue. I wrote a hotkey plug-in for Winamp a few years ago (Winamp KeyControl), and I can just see how this anti-cheat implementation will scream murder at every other key press.

Additionally, I am pretty sure it will be hacked very quickly when released anyway.

Anything to say on the current state of cheating in online games? Join the discussion, or get back to your work!

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

13 comments
jc@dshs
jc@dshs

Why bother? If people want to cheat let them go ahead. Why spend thousands/millions/billions? trying to stop cheating only to have someone else come up with a work around five minutes later. If they want to cheat, fine, go ahead. B%^gger off and cheat all you like. Same with the olympics and the current Tour de Farce - let them. Who cares? Really? It's a only game. If you can only "win" by cheating, well go ahead. Just don't expect us to stand and applaud. And don't ask me for any funding for your sport/game/software, either. Go and get a real job, as they say.

nighthawk808
nighthawk808

It will work great! After all, controls such as CSS, AACS, and XCP prevented anyone from ever pirating a DVD or CD, and no one ever managed to circumvent them. Even better, this will be utterly infallible because it's in hardware. Remember how the hardware dongles of the 80's brought software piracy to a screeching halt? Besides, what could go wrong with a system that watches every input you make?

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

(opinion ) First, don't play games, they are a waste of time. Second, what about the violation of privacy this will introduce? That is, if the game can read everything I type, what if I am typing credit card information, political opinion, or some other information that I don't want the game program to have access to? Sorry, if you want to stop cheating, then make the game a server-side application with a very dumb client that doesn't have any information that could be used for cheating. No transparent walls, treasure locators, enemy radar, etc will work if the client doesn't know where this stuff is.

D-cat
D-cat

Possible Alternative Use?

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

If the bugs could worked out of it, great... ever since the days of MUDs, I've been frustrated by folks who cheat, become uber-characters and make it no fun when a newbie starts and is killed in under five minutes. From that point, it becomes a battle of the best cheaters.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

We're halfway there---The chipset is a memory chip!

paulmah
paulmah

Anything to say on the current state of cheating in online games?

snideley59
snideley59

I'm a gamer. Not just computer games, but card games, board games, etc. When I find myself with a player that cheats (aces up the sleeve, dealing from the bottom of the deck, using cheat codes) I simply don't play with them any more. Why don't these people realize that the joy is excelling at the game in accordance with the rules? Not worth my time nor Intel's money. Just a shame that in the virtual gaming world, you can't look the cheater in the eye and humble him/her into behaving.

shamanbobx
shamanbobx

What's that you say? Get a load of this article: http://www.custompc.co.uk/custompc/news/105322/computer-gaming-improves-surgery-skills.html Which briefly describes the correlation between regular game playing (chiefly FPS - First Person Shooters) and the marked increase in surgery skills requiring high dexterity and remote hand-to-eye coordination! Games aren't just for pimply faced teen aged geeks but a fond (and growing fonder) pastime for those of us who cut their teeth on the original ATARI PONG. I have also encouraged a good amount of new users with poor mousing skills to pick up a game or two and learn to play them (especially against another human player, or two, or three, or more!) with the end result being greatly improved user skills. Not to mention some individuals picking up other skills from the experience that nobody was thinking about, like: 1- A small network of on-line friends and the ability to use the utilities that were required to communicate with them. 2- A richer comprehension of the install, un-install, update, and overall concept of where, why and how, software does it's "thing". 3- An appreciation of the sound-triggered flash and doo-dads that say "BooYah!" to your teenager when you stomp him within a level playing field that many modern games create in their virtual realms. Not to mention the harmlessly directed stress relief of taking out a few bad guys that were definitely deserving of one's "special" attention. hehehee :>] Throw in the added game mode known as "Co-Op" and you have a great source for building team working skills that are so very, very, very much lacking in todays real world. But, then again there is that definite group of players (of all ages and genders) that seem to feel that they need to win more than to play and so feel compelled to run cheats. It all boils down to a matter of character. I've played in games with additional "user added" changes being run in the game. The difference between a "mod" and a "cheat" is whether or not everyone playing is aware and/or running the change. But then again the definition is the same with real life. Games a waste? No, no, no, noo... nooo! But I do agree that any implementation at the user's end is no good. Some hardware keeping track of one's keystrokes and such is a "key-logger" and open to all kinds of ulterior abuses on personal privacy. Besides, it just puts the anti-cheat in the hands of the cheaters to work on for however long and for however much effort it takes to crack it and cheat at will once again. It's got to be game-server or game-centric if at all! Otherwise a whole area of PC gaming, an area that has spawned a great many very talented creators and coders, not to mention their astounding game mods, would be lost to the computing world! I can't even begin to count the good times spent running and gunning with my buddies inside of a Ghost Recon or BF1942 Mod Map that was (other than download time and that the mods often come with and no guarantees towards runability other than the reputation of their creator) free to the users and blessed by the game manufacturer as long as it broke no copyright rules. I actually had the THREE original (very well worn!) game disks for Ghost Recon and FOUR home burnt CD's to hold the mods and add-on changes that me and my crew finally amassed over time. VIVA LA GAMING!!! If studies are correct the better driver, surgeon, machine operator, marksman, craftsperson, artist and inventor that exist are more likely one of those people who "waste" their time on such trivial pastimes. Oh yeah, with such an interesting and unique last name such as implied by your TR-I.D. I'm afraid you'd be known as "The Goochster" or "Da GoochMan"! And with a call sign like that, and some game time, you'd probably wield a mean armament and instill some fear and respect in the opponent/teammate or two there John. hehehehe Peace

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

chinese 'gold farmers' a bit of gold for special powers. That's the wimp's way out.

anton
anton

It won't be a key logger as you think. What Intel will be doing is simply flagging the keys. Meaning nothing has changed, except now there is a simple 1 or 0 that says it's hardware input or not. Every button you press can be logged if you have a form of spy-ware. So no matter if you had or didn't have Intel's anti-cheat chipset. The actual chipset will only do flagging. This doesn't break the privacy policy or any law. Gaming has been proven to be very useful. It is used in many forms of hand eye co-ordination treatments these days, and appear to be working better than previous methods. Not only this but development of the brain is yet another key feature. Simulations are used to train people, and these simulations are based upon games. Saving money and making training simpler and better.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

And people auctioning off 50th and higher level characters to the highest bidders... GOOD GRAVY!

shamanbobx
shamanbobx

Giving over ANY "monitoring capability" to the the will and wants of ANY corporate entity just leaves me and many who I know with a very bad feeling. Yes, there are a number of ways to impliment such "action-loggers" into the scheme of things. But, relinquishing even the smallest of aspects of such a personal right, like personal privacy, just opens a door that might never be able to be closed again. History shows that when it comes to any individual's rights to such things as privacy, those rights become moot in the hands of big-business and/or government. To crack open that particular door over something as simple as cheaters in multiplayer computer games seems rather foolish. "Give them an inch and they will take a mile." the saying goes. Today... a hardware based "action-logger" built into every computer regardless of whether or not it is used to play games or not! Tomorrow... who knows?

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