Intel has been researching new anti-cheating technology for online games that may have more practical applications, as well.
The company showed the research project at the [email protected] Day at its base on Santa Clara, California. A collaborative effort between Intel and the gaming industry would see the technology built into future gaming systems, which would then be able to detect of commonplace cheats such as aimbots and wallhacks. Once detected, servers could be set to auto-kick the cheater or inform the other players of the transgression.
Software-based anti-cheating methods do exist, most notably Punkbuster, but its use is haphazard, and the system can be fooled. Intel's proposal would detect "unnatural patterns" in the data sent to game servers by cheat programs at the hardware level, presumably making it much more difficult to defeat.
While the ongoing battle against cheaters is a noble one, Intel's ongoing research in the field is likely driven by more pragmatic concerns: steady growth in consumer-level purchasing, online banking and other financial transactions means an ongoing demand for increasingly sophisticated security measures, and the technology that detects cheaters in online games could also be put to use in more conventional and mundane roles such as click-fraud detection.