Aimbot, aimhack, cheats, or what have you is what we’re talking about today. We’ve probably all been victims of cheating at least once during the many hours we have spent playing games in front of the screen. And we all know that cheating usually spoils the fun for everyone. That might be why Intel has embarked on anti-cheat crusade, so to speak, with its research on a new anti-cheating system that would make cheating much more difficult for cheating cheaters. Known as the Fair Online Gaming System, it is unlike contemporary software-based anti-cheating technologies in that it would be built into a user’s computer and would combine software, hardware, and firmware.
“Anti-cheating software can only catch cheats once they become known: like antivirus software, it works by scanning for things that look like known cheats, and the list of cheats requires constant updating.
“For example, the system would go after input-based cheats, in which a hacker feeds the game different information than he enters through the keyboard and mouse. A cheater playing a shooting game might use an input-based cheat known as an aimbot, for example, to point his guns automatically, leaving him free to fire rapidly, and with deadly accuracy… The Fair Online Gaming system's chip set would catch an aimbot by receiving and comparing data streams from the player's keyboard and mouse with data streams from what the game processes. The system would recognize that the information wasn't the same and alert administrators to the cheat. In tests… the system ran without slowing the play of a game.”
Researchers state that the Fair Online Gaming System would work without needing updates, since it monitors hardware activity. The system would also keep an eye on network-data cheats that harvest hidden info from a game’s network, such as an opponent’s location in strategy games. Moreover, the system is also said to target cheats that try to disable anti-cheating software.
Since it is incorporated into hardware, the new anti-cheating solution from Intel will make it more expensive for cheaters to go about their business (they will have to modify their hardware in some way rather than just writing software code). However, the system can be described as a double-edged sword, as some privacy activists have expressed concerns about the system sending information about the computer across the Internet. Fortunately, if you don't like the system you have the option of turning it off, but you won't be able to join servers that make it a requirement to have it on (works kind of like Punkbuster in a way).