Protect cheat engine – How to protect the game app from cheat engine

There are a lot of hacker attacks on mobile games occurring every day. To protect game services from hacker attacks, mobile game providers detect and block hacking tools in various ways.

Protect cheat engine – How to protect the game app from cheat engine

Mobile games have emerged as 'leisure at home' for many people as they went through prolonged COVID-19. However, in proportion to the growth of the global mobile game market, the most problematic is the‘game hack'.

These kinds of game hacks use various techniques to attack games, and among them, memory tampering attacks are traditionally the most common hacking cases. In mobile, it is possible to play the game relatively quickly by tampering with in-game data (goods, strength, power, etc.) through memory tampering using well-known hacking tools or code fabrication in memory. Many hacking tools help with hacking. There are a lot of hacker attacks on mobile games occurring every day. To protect game services from hacker attacks, mobile game providers detect and block hacking tools in various ways.

Example of a memory tampering attack using a cheat engine 


However, recently, there have been memory tampering attacks that are difficult to detect by conventional methods. An example is a memory attack using a cheat engine in an emulator environment. If an app is run in an emulator (NOX, BlueStacks, ...) and fabricates the emulator's memory through a cheat engine running on a PC, hacking memory tampering can occur in a space where the security module cannot detect. That is why the cheat engine is becoming a significant problem in the game service industry.


Dangers of the cheat engine

Well-known mobile game hacking tools (GameGurdian,...)try to bypass various techniques to avoid security module detection. Still, the security module is installed in the mobile device within the range that can be detected, which means detection is possible.

Detect common hacking tools in a security module 


However, in the case of cheat engines, they run games on emulators such as NOX, BlueStacks, and LD players in a PC environment. The cheat engine on the same PC modulates the memory of the game on the emulator. In that case, the security module cannot detect attacks unless it is within scope. In other words, the Cheat Engine is a process that runs on the PC. It can fabricate the memory area of the app running in the emulator in the PC environment. This makes it easy to bypass anti-debugging or process, file detection, and memory manipulation, making it impossible for basic mobile security modules to detect. 


Data and memory tampering of cheat engine in an external emulator environment


Memory tampering is a type of hacking that has continued from the past till nowadays on the platforms such as PC or mobile. However, hackers will focus their attacks on areas where the protection function cannot be reached. Hacking cases that tamper the memory with cheat engines targeting specific games are constantly being reported, and related data are being shared on video platforms. This type of attack is expected to spread more rapidly upcoming days. 


Sharing hacking methods through cheat engines in online video platform 


A cheat engine itself is dangerous. But the biggest risk is that hacking techniques using cheat engines are actively shared through many social media or internet communities, which has a ripple effect.


The reality of game companies dealing with cheat engines

Then… is there no way to prevent these cheat engines? In the case of game data, it is challenging to detect tampering because it is a value that constantly fluctuates according to the play. In addition, “process monitoring,” one of the representative hacking tool detection techniques, and the method of detecting an external process accessing a specific hack or memory are meaningless for the cheat engine’s attempts for the reasons described above, so no developers are trying to stop them. That is why focusing on encryption of sensitive data or detection of fabrication.

Game developers sometimes use memory defense toolkits sold in-game engine assets (unity asset,…) for these functions. Still, these modules provide simple encryption and easy-to-know encryption patterns. This can result in hacking by easily bypassing it. 


Defense Strategy of Cheat Engine with LIAPP

Therefore, to defend from hacking through the cheat engine, variables must be classified according to importance, and use encrypted variables with high priority. Variable encryption is the most effective way to counter memory tampering and is also a proven method. However, in the case of such encryption logic, the effect may vary greatly depending on the developer’s capabilities. For game performance, encryption and decryption processes are reduced and optimized by decreasing as much as possible. Still, in this case, simple encryption, such as regular or bit operation, may be applied, preventing data from being effective.

LIAPP, a mobile app security service, is excellent for game memory security because rather than encrypting variables based on patterns, we create new variables each time it is run. So, it is impossible to infer the encryption. LIAPP also be readily applied because it is easy to insert variable encryption into the game logic. It can be applied only by changing the variable name; it is easy to use but boast strong security that no one can easily break through.

There is no one-size-fits-all defense technique. Therefore, bear in mind that it can be bypassed and apply various defense techniques to make hacking as difficult as possible. Don't hesitate to contact the LIAPP team if you want to protect your mobile game. We provide the most effective security service and customized consulting for each customer. 


LIAPP, we provide the best service possible. 


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