Online Gaming represents a huge economic sector these days, even bigger than the movies industry. They enjoy a spectacular and continuous growth. They rely on a number of different business models but, in many games (not to say most of them), there are financial incentives for players to cheat to improve their performances, to attack others to win parties, to rely on external third parties to acquire new privileges/skills, to buy/sell virtual elements of the games against real monetary values, to misuse the games to commit money laundering, etc… Over the last years, a great creativity has taken place among fraudsters to provide techniques, tools, services to cheat and commit fraud. The goal of this project is twofold. First, we will carry out a review of the state of the art in terms of scientific contributions to the field. Second, we will experiment with real attacks, in a confined environment, on real platforms, assess their severity and find ways to mitigate them. Any new attack found in the course of this work will be reported to companies following a responsible disclosure process. You do not need to be an experienced gamer to apply for this project but if you are, it could help. Most importantly, a desire to understand how networks function, an appetite for looking at packets and strange protocols is a must. Python programming is going to be required. Particular attention will be devoted to ethical consideration before experimenting with any of the identified cheating techniques. Any student misusing the knowledge gained during this project, for his own profit or others, will suffer severe consequences
Program - Computer Science
Division - Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
Faculty Lab Link - https://cemse.kaust.edu.sa/org/serber
Center Affiliation - Resilient Computing and Cybersecurity Center
Field of Study - Networking security
Desired Project Deliverables
As part of the SeRBER team, the intern will produce a review of the state of the art,. He/She will build a confined networking environment amenable to run repeatable experiments with various games and various game platforms and launch different kinds of attacks against them, while measuring various characteristics of the attack. Mitigation techniques will also be experimented with.