[MUD-Dev] Re: Player coding and security

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Wed May 21 08:31:25 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Tue, 20 May 1997, Shawn Halpenny wrote:

:Jeff Kesselman wrote:
:> The big issue I have with player coding noone seems to have mentioedn yet--
:> security.  In a commercial game (sorry, but thats my world) where players
:> are ALREADY trying to cheat through nay means possible, player server
:> coding is ONLY possible with an EXTREMELY tight security model that knows
:> what is and isnt reasasonable  for player code to effect.  Otherwise you
:> end up having to carefully examine EVERY peice of user code for potential
:> loopholes, trap doors. etc.

That, or levels of permission - that, and basing things on a set of rules
that is hard to tweak around, and throws up flags if tweaked.
:> Frankly thats more work IMO then just coding the building blocks your world
:> builders need on an as needed basis.
:> JK
:There were a few posts a couple weeks back, most substantively from
:Chris Lawrence (I think), where inheritance was explored as a security
:model.  I've no definite security model in mind yet, but I'll certainly
:need one.  How many of us are looking to have some form of
:user-programming anyway?  And to what degree are things
:user-programmable, for that matter?

I've got user programming, in the sense that anyone can write programs,
but an admin has to commit them to the game at large. Things can be user
programmed quite easilly, but because of the rather secure OO model used
(all variables are private, without exception, all functions are public,
unless specified, all hardcoded objects have been constructed with impulse
response access, as opposed to state change access... so you can create an
object that has a ItemTypeHeatRay:directHeat(Radiation(Infrared, 100))
call, and send that heat toward something, but it will do you little good
if you don't have a source to tap for that heat. (directHeat cannot
actually create a viable object type that will have any noticable effect
on anything real unless it creates real infrared radiation, and that
requires a genuine energy conversion call, which takes a sourse of energy
as an argument... so unless you have the battery, you are tough out of
luck... your heat ray fizzles.) Now, with an admin's level of access, you
might be able to create a new type of working damage to append to the
Physical object heirarchy. Say, for example, Lart damage. This could then
be generated, by whatever rules, and used in any program.

   __    _   __  _   _   ,  ,  , ,  
  /_  / / ) /_  /_) / ) /| /| / /\            First Light of a Nova Dawn
 /   / / \ /_  /_) / \ /-|/ |/ /_/            Final Night of a World Gone
Nathan F. Yospe - University of Hawaii Dept of Physics - yospe at hawaii.edu

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