Gaming has taken the internet world by storm. It has become the premier form of digital entertainment. Online gaming pushes the limits of software technology. It allows real time interaction of several users. It is one of the biggest businesses generating tons of revenue every year. The volume and cost of hacked games is rising over the years. There are several unaddressed vulnerabilities in these games. Companies have to strengthen the security for these games before releasing them into the market. They should make sure that the design and architecture should have no loopholes and continuously test it for security issues.

Security issues in these games can tremendously impact the business. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities using several techniques.

  • Reverse engineering : This is a method where hackers use readily available tools or softwares and reverse engineer the unprotected binary code. They can steal the keys and circumvent security in all the layers and obtain overall control of the software.

  • Application Tampering : Hackers modify the application by injecting malware or viruses. This is generally done at run time. It alters the execution of the code. Hackers can modify and execute the code they desire and attain valuable information and tamper the application according to their needs.

  • Cheats : The introduction of every game is generally followed by a new website with cheat codes for the game. In a single or multi user game, cheating is a minor issue. Consider the same scenario involving a large number of players, it would have an adverse effect.

  • Vandalism : It is a threat to the value of a character. An iconic character can be modified in inappropriate ways. It can defame a character.

Poor security can result in brand compromise and a loss of several customers. By hacking people can also by-pass in app purchases. All of this directly results in a huge decline in revenue. Most of the gaming applications have poor binary protection making them vulnerable to piracy. A problem in the design can tremendously impact the users and the company. Developers generally grow or add more features to the game over time. This involves several modifications in software and release of new updates. They should make security one of the prime features before releasing these updates. Most of the games have in app purchases. Customers enter their credit card information or bank account details. A loophole in this can result in compromise of vital customer information.

Companies should employ run time protection for the games. This prevents reverse engineering and application tampering. White box encryption solutions are available. This method can protect and mask the static and dynamic keys. A strong DRM system has to be established. The companies should make sure that the game is secure across all platforms. Security is not a trivial problem. Companies should understand the need and importance of security and make sure that they employ the best techniques and solutions.

We, at Appknox, believe security is the first and the most important component of any application. We offer peace of mind to brand owners and the developers who create and maintain apps by doing regular security audits of their work, and alert them about new vulnerabilities as they arise.