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Cyber Security Awareness

3 Gaming Exploits That Look A Lot Like Hacking

By September 9, 2016No Comments

cyber-sept2016-2Something that some long-time gamers don’t even know: The original Street Fighter II combo system happened by accident. It was an exploit that experienced players could use to strike their opponent two or more times before their opponent had time to recover. It wasn’t a hack, it was just an “exploit.” The next time you think an opponent has hacked an online game in order to gain an unfair advantage against you, check this list and make sure they’re not just really, really good at bending the game to their will:

Overwatch Players Giving Each Other The Boot

Overwatch is a class-based multiplayer shooter, like Team Fortress 2. One of the character classes, Ana, the sniper, has the ability to actually kick players right out of the game. Here’s how: With multiple snipers targeting the same player with tranquilizer rounds, a team can keep another player asleep and inactive for so long that the game registers them as idle and boots them out of the game. The bug has since been patched, but you can imagine the number of players who thought they’d been hit with a DDOS attack when they got ganged up on like this.

World Of Warcraft: The Reckoning

Way back when World of Warcraft was still relatively new, a player using the Paladin class could get some incredible mileage out of the “Reckoning” ability. This would allow you to save up bonus attacks every time you were struck with a critical hit, and then unleash them all at once. A Paladin player unleashed a barrage of all 2,000 bonus attacks he’d been saving, crushing the 40-man raid boss Lord Kazzak in seconds and effectively shutting the game down for the day.

Left 4 Dead Car-Blocking

When the original Left 4 Dead was released, it was riddled with the kind of bugs and glitches that could only really be discovered by turning the game loose on the world and letting players discover them. A popular exploit in Versus mode allowed the person playing as the musclebound Tank zombie to knock cars around, blocking vital paths for the people playing as the human survivors. Nowhere was this more of a game-ender than the sewers in the No Mercy campaign, where the only exit is a tiny manhole that, if blocked with a car, creates a complete and total dead-end, allowing the respawning zombie players to feast on the humans who are unable to proceed. The glitch didn’t take long to patch, but it caused plenty of people to pull the disc out of the Xbox and snap it in two before it got fixed.

Long story short: Not every cheat is a hack. Exploits exist in everything from video games to phone apps, and that’s why we have the beta release process, because you can’t always find them without the help of user feedback.