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I have created a couple of games in Flash/AS3 and am playing with programming a flash-based multiplayer (possibly mmo?) game where the application will communicate with a server over a socket connection.

Obviously I need some form of authentication (username and password) but what other security precautions do I need to explore to prevent cheating?

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Related: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/453/… –  Tetrad Mar 24 '11 at 0:41

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

a big one for flash dev is to never compile any secret into the source, because a decompiler can pull it out pretty easily. so any authentication that you need to do should be session based, and not hard coded into the game.

other than that it's pretty much the same as web site security, use a session, only send a passphrase over https, etc.

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There was a blog regarding encrypting a swf - Protect Your Flash Files By Using Encryption - that I'll be implementing. It won't stop someone who is seriously committed, but it will stop the average kiddy from working out what does what. But I agree - I won't be keeping anything really interesting in the source. –  Richard Parnaby-King Mar 25 '11 at 8:50

Your main priority should be assuming the client talking to your server isn't your flash code, but a program written specifically to try and break the server. Fuzzing is a common technique to try and find this sort of issue.

There's also the possibility of a client that instead of trying to break the server it will try to let a real player cheat or automate gameplay completely. This is significantly more complicated to detect and prevent.

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Verify all user input on the server and make sure that it is legal. There are a lot of similar questions if you just search on here for cheating.

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I didn't think to search for cheating, was more concerned with security, but it does make sense if that is what I am trying to prevent. –  Richard Parnaby-King Mar 24 '11 at 8:47

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