Around the World

About HackShield
One of industry-leading game security solutions, HackShield is serviced to worldwide clients around the globe.
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HackShield is now serviced in over 200 online games around the world. Around the World
Reference
Nexon (www.nexon.co.kr) has been one of Korea’s leading online game developers and publishers since its commercial launch of the world’s first graphic MMORPG, “The Kingdom of the Winds”, back in 1996. With creative games spanning various genres such as MapleStory, Mabinogi, KartRider, Counter-Strike Online and others, Nexon is becoming a case of success in gaining both recognition for game quality and mass popularity. Such success was made possible by Nexon’s core value, “customer satisfaction”. Nexon also is a leader in implementing various IT infrastructures which allows customers to enjoy online games in an even more safe and convenient environment. As part of these efforts, Nexon adopted AhnLab’s game security solution “HackShield for Online Game 2.0.”
Deep distress in game industry regarding security
The domestic game industry has been, and is still afflicted by acts of infringement and continuous security risks. Hacking tools targeting specific games and illegal programs presumably originate from China, and they are massively distributed. Being easy to use, these tools are becoming commonplace among normal users, causing serious problems. Hackers mainly target games in order to gain monetary profit by trading game items and game money.
Hacking in the past was mainly targeted at the web or systems, while recent attacks since last year mostly use malicious codes to steal certain game account information from actual game users. Regarding current game security circumstances, Nexon’s Sugwon He, Security Team Manager of the Technical Support Division comments, “Games are considered an area where the latest hacking technologies are applied, almost like a space for competition between different hacking methods. Illegal programs such as various automatic playing programs, item duplication, and hacking tools are undermining the fairness of games. Moreover, damage from malicious codes such as Trojan horses or Backdoors which target game accounts in users’ PCs is still on the rise.
Even amidst this situation, Nexon is making various efforts to maintain stability and fairness in game services. Accordingly, Nexon organized a security team last year to plan countermeasures against game-targeted hacking tools, and implemented various security infrastructures such as IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems), firewall, VPN (Virtual Private Network), anti-virus software, keyboard security, and OTP (One Time Password).
Collaboration of ‘Leading Game Provider’ Nexon and ‘Leading Security Solution Provider’ AhnLab
Last October, Nexon decided to adopt AhnLab’s game security solution “HackShield for Online Game 2.0” to its games to cope with game hacking more affirmatively. Once adopted, game security solutions cannot easily be changed because it takes a long time to apply new security solutions to all games provided. Therefore, solutions are selected based on strict standards and meticulous procedures.
He explains, “We adopted AhnLab HackShield for Online Game 2.0 because of the technical and service support. Products currently available in the market do not differ much in terms of functionality. The most important factor considered is prompt response against new hacking methods. Our decision was based on the conclusion that AhnLab has a support system that provides such services.”
The most advanced technologies of the security industry are usually applied to game security solutions. However, security solutions have its limits when defending against hacking attempts because the latest hacking technologies are applied to game hacking as well. The important factor then becomes minimizing the response time after hacking tools are discovered. The most efficient method to minimize damage involves precise analysis and quick pattern updates against the hacking tools.
He also mentions, “While solutions go through internal selection processes such as BMT, reviews of other game providers are also important in deciding to adopt a solution”. He added, “Game providers always share much information regarding security matters and AhnLab HackShield for Online Game 2.0 has recently shown good performance”.
HackShield for Online Game 2.0 is a security solution which prevents hacking or irregular game play in the game itself, providing users with a fair and normal gaming environment. Stronger hacking protection is made possible by functions including expanded server linkage, memory manipulation detection, and hardware auto-mouse. Moreover, Korea’s one and only hacking defense team provides support ranging from hacking prevention to fundamental defense, ultimately incapacitating hacking itself.
AhnLab’s Technical • Service Support is ‘Good’
After four months after Nexon adopted AhnLab HackShield for Online Game 2.0, the solution is applied to two-thirds of the games Nexon currently provides. What changes were noticed after adopting HackShield for Online Game 2.0?
He, Security Team Manager, says, “It is rather early to evaluate the effects of adopting HackShield for Online Game 2.0, as it is still in the application process. However, there are not much difficulties or conflicts during installation, and we are very satisfied with the service and technical support”.
Nexon has also been using AhnLab’s keyboard security solution “AOS Anti-keylogger” and online PC firewall “AOS firewall” since 2006. The keyboard security solution protects user inputted information on the website such as login ID & password, payment, and personal information changes. In addition, the online PC firewall blocks unauthorized access and data corruption risk by detecting intrusions from unauthorized networks. These two products are automatically activated once installed from the Nexon website. He explains, “Having used these products for 3 years, there were almost no errors or troubles, making it very convenient for the administrator. Moreover, customers acknowledge that the service is safe.
Nexon’s security efforts continue
Game service providers are still not free from hacking despite implementations of such security infrastructure. Hacking attempts targeting games are extremely commonplace, yet there is still a lack of legal protection.
Particularly in games, account hacking is one of the main attacks. These attacks mostly target account users rather than the game providers. Accounts are stolen when logging into the game from a PC that is infected with malicious codes such as viruses, worms and backdoor. When illegal programs are downloaded and unsafe websites are accessed, users become defenselessly vulnerable to game account / item hacking. In this case, the game provider cannot distinguish access from stolen accounts because the accounts are logged in normally to the system. Therefore, while security infrastructure and solutions are important, users’ acknowledgement for security needs to be emphasized as well. He says, “From a game provider’s perspective, it is most important to maintain a fair gaming environment while not affecting game speed. Security is important, but we cannot force all customers to use the security solutions we provide”. He also added that “Game users must realize the importance of security, and actively use security solutions provided by game providers”.
Nexon currently provides keyboard security solution and online PC firewall through its website. The company is also organizing an internal security center to strengthen security, and plans to expand the OTP system to all games. In addition, security cards and a designated PC system that limits users to access games only from a designated PC will be extended.