[MUD-Dev] SSH Encryption on data stream

squid jhvh at squid.org
Fri Oct 10 13:06:12 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

"Craig H Fry" <craigfry at iname.com> wrote:

> So many games are plagued by packet sniffers I often wondered why
> more companies didn't do a per-session SSH encryption on the data
> stream.  Has anyone tried or is it just assumed the over head for
> packet encryption/decryption would cause a bottleneck?  I'm
> seriously considering using SSH for data encryption for my data
> streams and was curious if it is worth looking into.

Don't forget about memory sniffing as well.  I believe the EQ radar
programs are now picking up game information out of memory, after it
has been decrypted.  I also vaguely recall a program for DaoC that
read and write game memory to do things such add a flag to the front
of a creature's name if it was aggressive, as well as adding in
commands that worked in-game to log exp earned, and report it over
chat channels or tells.

I think the famous line is "the client is in the hands of the
enemy." :-) Your time might be better spent adding in-game methods
for people to acquire the tools they are likely to go outside your
game to get.  Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest's Legacy of
Ykesha expansion added an in-game viewer for (user community drawn)
map files that also shows a "you are here" + or arrow, depending on
your direction sense skill.  In Funcom's Anarchy Online players
raise character skills and spend game money to add in map files, or
upgrade the radar to do things such as indicate monsters or other

My MUD staff likes to play a FPS called "Global Operations" which is
a mix of counterstrike and team fortress.  The communications? class
can use a life signs detector tool (instead of a weapon) which
reveals the locations of adjacent enemies on the map for all members
of his team.  There is also a "information officer" role, which is
not directly involved in combat, but can see an overhead satellite
view of the game map including any enemies that are outdoors, and
has access to any security cameras that his team members on the
ground hack.

Planetside also has in game radar with empire-shared knowledge about
enemy troops and vehicles.

Ultimately, rather than spending time to hide info from the players
I think you might get more value from your time by providing them
with an "easier" in-game way of getting the same information.

- Josh Hughes, Squid @ Desolation MUD
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