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Preventing hacking

I've been thinking about the mechanism of the War2hack program and the fact that it requires the ability to switch the task back to the Windows 95 desktop. Thus, there would be a fairly simple way to prevent hacking. I have written the following mail to support@kali.net:

The host can set a new flag "disable hacks" (like "no unreg'd users" etc.). I hope you have the possibility to add new flags without breaking the compatibility; otherwise, you had to issue Kali 1.2. And I'm sure everyone would download it to prevent cheating. Now, the way it goes: the program should disable ANY task switching in Win 95 or Win 3.1 after the game has been launched. This means disabling the Win 95 key, Alt+Tab, Ctrl+Esc, Alt+Esc and all other combinations. This should be automatically carried out in all player's computers so the host can make sure no one is cheating.

This sounds simple and will be effective in the case of War2hack. Of course this does not prevent people from hacking saved games and resource files etc., but at least it will save games like Warcraft where you don't save a game. Other games like Diablo and Ultima Online must include more restrictive mechanisms to prevent saved games from being changed. There it is up to the software producers to care about that. In fact, Diablo has a very effective set of checksums that prevent altering the saved games with a hex editor. The protection is even too strong, for a saved game cannot be transferred to another computer to continue playing there. This is annoying if you buy a new computer and want to continue there...

Anyway I truly hope that the Kali programmers will realize my idea - it would be the end of War2hack in the current form. And it does not require additional work for the players like installing detectors or stuff like that. (Shaft has claimed to release a detect program, but it is not available yet, and only he knows whether it will be free.) Of course no one knows how the next hack will work, but I hope that at least Warcraft will be save from hacking then. I'm afraid that Starcraft will be the next victim, though. This makes me sick. I will probably buy the game when it is issued in November or December (forget about this summer, the guys redesigned the whole game which means it will still take a while), and a few weeks later, the game will already be hacked. Creating more restrictive laws might help, but will also prevent players from writing useful tools such as Wardraft. Keep in mind that Wardraft and War2xEd are also hacks, but they affect resource or map files and can easily be detected by previewing the map. These programs serve as helpful tools without which some interesting PUDs could not have been created. So you should not condemn hacking in general - utilities developed from amateurs have very often made a game more popular and enjoyable.

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