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I agree. Why waste valuable FBI resources on this?


The point of enforcing speed laws is to keep people alive by reducing traffic accidents. The point of enforcing hacks of games?


Oh, and making sure the IRS gets all it has coming to it -- thank goodness for that. We wouldn't want to let these people not pay taxes.


Thank goodness we don't have to worry about violent crime, fraud, the mafia, terrorism, kidnapping...



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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh to follow up on Cheaters caught with. Read this article, Very intersting indeed!



Online Games & the Law

US law struggles to keep up with new capabilities in collaborative computing environments


OCTOBER 11, 2007 | I suppose any article on the law should include a disclaimer at the top. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the Internet. Take everything you read here with a largish block of salt.


Computer security has always had a law enforcement aspect, but the law consistently lags behind the technical cutting edge. Recent advancements in software design and the advent of geographically distributed applications puts the law even further behind than usual. The time has come to rethink computer security law in light of advances in software architecture.


A Brief History of U.S. Computer Law

Federal computer law in the United States began in earnest with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (CFAA), which was a rewrite of a failed 1984 statute. CFAA covers six types of computer crime, all of which involve unauthorized access to someone else's computer. The law has a clear focus on access over a network.


Another law introduced in 1986, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), criminalized unauthorized network sniffing and other interception of data. Once again, note the emphasis on the network. Marck Rasch's excellent introduction to computer security law covering these statutes in greater detail is worth a quick read.


As computer crime evolved to include malicious exploits such as viruses and worms, early statutes began to show their age. A 1992 amendment extended the law to cover the authors of malicious code and denial-of-service attacks. Still, current computer law focuses much more attention on network security than on anything else.


In late 1998, the U.S. Congress enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The law criminalizes both the production and distribution of technology meant to circumvent copyright protection mechanisms. In other words, it restricts certain activities surrounding digital rights management (DRM) and other security technologies that are meant to enforce copyright laws. It also heightens penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. The European Union has a very similar law.


The DMCA is not without controversy. Many people believe that it goes too far to uphold the rights of copyright holders, even to the point of stifling competition. Ironically, the raison d'etre for the DMCA (bolstering DRM with the law) may be itself eroding.


Princeton professor Ed Felten argues that "as the inability of DRM technology to stop peer-to-peer infringement becomes increasingly obvious to everybody, the rationale for DRM is shifting." Eventually debate over DRM will shift away from copyright enforcement, he says. Felten made this argument at the Usenix Security conference in 2006, and later blogged about the ideas.


Another way that computer security law is evolving is through case law that sets precedents. Precedent-setting involves extending existing bodies of law, such as wirefraud law, to apply to computer security.


Exploiting Online Games Is Legal?

At the eCrime Researcher's Summit this month, academics and law enforcement gathered in Pittsburgh to discuss spam, phishing, and massively distributed applications. I gave a keynote based on my work in online game security.


One interesting aspect of online games is the legal limbo they inhabit when it comes to security. Put simply, the state of computer law regarding cheating in online games is murky at best. Nobody is sure what is legal and, more importantly, what is not.


The problem is that it's possible to convert hacking skills into money by conjuring up virtual items in a game, either by exploiting a bug or by creating and using a bot. These exploits can then be sold in a burgeoning online market.


Malicious hackers have flocked to the online game domain because there is money to be made. Due to the sheer size of the middle market, the U.S. Secret Service acknowledges that online games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft have been used to launder money.


In addition, it is possible to cheat by manipulating the parts of a massively distributed online game that exist on your own PC. That is, the game client program on a gamer's PC interacts with the central game servers over the Internet, and cheating can be accomplished without any network security shenanigans by focusing attacks on the client software.


By attaching a debugger to the game program on the PC, or by manipulating the game program by poking memory values directly on the PC, a gamer can cheat... on his or her own PC. Greg Hoglund and I describe these and other techniques commonly used to hack games in our new book, Exploiting Online Games.


Think about the old game hacking chestnut that involved editing a high score file on your PC to make your Tetris score seemingly untouchable. There's nothing illegal about that! The question is where to draw the legal line when it comes to manipulating things on your own PC. If parts of a massively distributed online game reside on a PC, can you change them? What's at stake is virtual property ? and lots of money. The whole notion of virtual property rights in online games is a tricky one. Games such as Ultima Online, Second Life, and World of Warcraft have their own virtual economies that involve licensing and developing virtual property. Middle market companies like IGE can convert virtual wealth into hard currency.


Property rights in Second Life have already led to interesting legal entanglements. Marc Bragg, a Pennsylvania lawyer, discovered and exploited a bug in Second Life program allowing him to bid on virtual real estate that wasn't yet open for auction. By URL parameter tampering, Bragg became a virtual real estate baron. Linden Labs, the game company behind Second Life, took a dim view of this approach and canceled his account.


In a pending lawsuit, Bragg argues that Linden Labs unfairly confiscated $8,000 worth of his virtual land holdings by shutting down his account. But Linden Labs and some Second Life players counter that Bragg was hacking their systems. (Bragg made money by renting his virtual land to other Second Life players.) Who is right? To me, the law is not very clear.


When Linden Labs first started, they used to say that users owned property in Second Life. Now they say that users own licenses to the property, legally similar to software licenses in the real world. That's a subtle but important change in perspective ? and it doesn't make the legal situation any clearer.


That brings us to the infamous End User License Agreement (EULA). The DMCA and the EULA are the two main legal weapons in the game companies' anti-cheating arsenal. However, EULAs have a spotty track record when it comes to the law. In many cases, EULA terms "agreed to" by software users have not held up in court.


Some people believe the idea of EULAs has not been appropriately tested in court, thus the EULAs can't be valid. This is a misunderstanding of contract law. The only way EULAs have been challenged successfully in the past is by objecting to the contract terms. In some cases, only certain terms are found objectionable. As a result, EULAs sometimes hold up in court ? and sometimes don?t.


Ultimately, the state of the law and its application to online game security is unclear. Because of the amount of money involved in online games, this legal limbo is a bad situation.


The Law Must Evolve

If you believe, as I do, that online games are a harbinger of computer security attacks that may evolve along with SOA, software as a service, and Web 2.0 architectures, you can see the legal problem that we're creating for ourselves. (See Online Games to Cause Software Security Issues.)


The kinds of legal tangles we see today in online games are the same kinds of legal tangles we're likely to encounter in other domains. If a system includes critical functionality that runs on machines that belong to others (including potential attackers), it is not at all obvious how the law is to be applied or when. The law is once again in catch up mode when it comes to computer security.


? Gary McGraw is CTO of Cigital Inc. Special to Dark Reading


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I posted this in another thread but see you are making references to the same topic in both, so I'm posting my thoughts on this too;



The American authorities might waste your tax payers monies, hunting and closing down hack sites but at the end of the day they (hack sites) are two a penny, one down one up. I can not believe that the FBI waste resources on game crackers when people are being murdered, rapped and abused everyday in the USA, such a shame this world is where priorities are so well balanced.




Top it all off GameCopyWorld is the biggest supplier of hacks cracks and cheats based in 15 countries inc. ones the FBI have no authority in. Something is backwards when priority one is game hacking.

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Well as it said above, its just not game hacks, its The law set forth buy congress and I do beleve the UK has set simular laws also as it mentioned. YA where does it end and to what extent. The murders you mentioned are handled buy the different divisons and different states of wicth it occured in, of law enforcment. The U.S. is BIG and the goverment here is big and each devision on the local,state,federal handles each part of it, and they have to justify their exsistance buy doing their job, or suffer department shutdowns and losses of funds. So wacth out. When the FBI brought general noriaga in for cokecane trafficing from a different country and prosscuted him in american courts and hes doing time in american jail, kind of makes you think don't it.

Edited by Athlon64~SPARTA~
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Well lets take it to the next level


Pirate music and the music industry




Pirate Movies and the movie industry


The point is there are things alot bigger that game crackers and I rank all the stuff I mentioned and then probably Movies and then music as bigger fish than PC Games. In the UK there after the DVD pirates and so on, game crackers don't even rate in software theft, game copiers do but to hack an exe, it's so down the list, check out the news groups, torrents and copy sites, there are hundreds.


The point I was making is the F.B.I. are so over resourced they go after monkeys if they were selling illegal imported bananas.

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Ya its a conversal subjuct for sure. Probley is low on the list for now, but its becoming more noticible to them. I think whats drawing attention to it is the bad hackers are grouping into it for money gains.Ya here in the U.S. we have cops on top of cops City cops, then county cops. then state cops, then federal cops= the 3 letter folks FBI,CIA,DEA,ATF,SS,FDA,NSA,DOHS,HRS,TSA and so on. I missed some to,To many cops. I heard somwhere that there is 1 cop for every 20 people in the U.S. The satistics are as of two years ago. 50% of Males at the time they reach leagle age in the u.s. will have eather been arested, or be in jail, or have done time in jail, or in the legle system. Scary for sure.

Edited by Athlon64~SPARTA~
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I suppose as an analagy, the cybercriminals are currently spawn camping, and the cops can't get out of their spawn!


Until all the law enforcement agencies world wide, get on comms and come up with a tactical solution, we'll have to live with it as best we can!

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HA HA Ya big brother is getting bigger all the time. What is scary is that they can wacth you from a satelight tell how much money you have in your pocket. Tell how many people in your house, from the heat signiture tell if your growing happy weed, read the plate on your car. auto listen in on your cell phone calls, and monitor what your wacthing on tv, And what your doing on the internet. And when a black van pulls up neer buy your house shine invisible infered laser beam on one of you windows and monitor all the talking inside the house. Scary!

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