Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

Score List Attack Tools

The following tools are all that a score list hacker needs to figure out how your game works. We'll look at each of these tools and discuss their associated roles. As a game programmer, you should be familiar with these tools and understand the impact they have on your game's security.

Sniffer

A sniffer is a program that allows its user to view all the data passed in and out over the network connection. Many sniffers are available for download; we used Ethereal because we feel it's the best—and it's free. Ethereal also includes a nice feature that ties related data together to re-create complete sessions, from email to chat, and even web pages. As a result, the hacker using Ethereal will have a complete picture of how your game communicates with the server. Since the hacker can see anything passing over the network, nothing unencrypted is safe from probing eyes.

Proxy Program

Proxy servers are a valuable asset to Internet users. Many businesses use them to monitor and manage employees' Internet connections, and privacy-aware surfers use them to maintain some form of anonymity online. Regardless of who uses them, proxy programs are all basically the same: They allow the administrator of the program to control the flow of information between the user's browser and the Internet.

In the case of score list hacking, many proxy programs can give an attacker full control over the data passing between the game's web site and the attacker's browser. We used WebProxy to capture and manipulate HTTP GET and POST variables and Charles to perform other, more advanced traffic-manipulation tricks that we'll discuss later.

Java Decompiler

Java is a wonderful programming language because it's platform-independent. Since the code actually executes in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), the same Java program can run on either Windows or Linux. The catch is that the Java program has to be packaged in such a way that it can be understood by all possible clients. As a result, it's easy to decompile a Java package into readable code. In other words, all those secrets that the programmer thought were buried away at compile time are as easy to read as a Perl file.

For our testing, we used DJ Java Decompiler. This is a nice GUI-based program that includes numerous features. Another popular choice is JAD, but we found DJ to be more comprehensive.

Flash/Shockwave Decompiler

In recent years, Flash games have made a strong entrance onto the online gaming scene. The reason is that Flash includes an easy-to-program ActionScript language that can be blended with very sharp vector images to create visually attractive and responsive games. However, like Java files, Flash uses a virtual machine to process the compiled files. Again, this means that an attacker has full access to the ActionScript code that most programmers assume is hidden away inside the SWF file.

We found several SWF decompilers available for purchase. Our favorite at this point is SoThink's SWF Compiler, which includes support for both code and hex view. In addition, this program allows the user to export all the individual movies.

Flash Extractor/Compressor and Protection Remover

Flash files can be compressed and obfuscated, making it harder for an attacker to decompile and manipulate a Flash file. The problem with such protection is that there are programs that can strip away the "locks" with the click of a button. The only advantage of such protections then is helping to compress the game into a smaller package.

We found several extractors/protection removers, but the one that we used the most was flasm, a command-line tool that decompressed and re-compressed the latest Flash files. Older Flash games will require their own protection-striping programs.

Hex Editor

Many online games can be bypassed by altering the Flash file and then tricking the browser into loading the altered file instead of the original. To change the files, we had to use a hex editor and manipulate hex characters as required. This technique allows an attacker to get inside the program and essentially rewrite the code to meet his or her own goals.

Our favorite Windows-based hex editor is UltraEdit32, which is much more than just a hex editor. You might have your own preferred tool, but if not, UltraEdit32 has a free 30-day trial and we recommend you give it a try.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020