Cheaters and Hackers

Is anything being done still about people who hack to lag people out of a match or people who use lag switches? It seems that there are a lot of people doing this.

Nothing can be done about it on 343i’s end, it is Xbox LIVE’s job to ban these people from Xbox LIVE.

Also, if you are running into it a lot, then you are not being lag switched, the connection in your game just sucks.

And unfortunately, there is very little that Xbox LIVE can do about infractions of this nature.

For technical reasons, it is profoundly difficult (if not virtually impossible) for automated systems to catch these people. The only way that they could catch someone is if they built a profile and manually tracked a specific gamertag. With the millions of users on Xbox LIVE, you can imagine why almost no host booters ever get caught.

> Is anything being done still about people who hack to lag people out of a match or people who use lag switches? It seems that there are a lot of people doing this.

Nah, it’s allowed. Remember the days of Bungie’s “banhammer”? Well, people figured out it was all BS. Sure a close eye is kept on it and some obvious people get banned but when the game is dying and there’s a new one on the horizon, the current and soon to be dead game is destroyed and left to cheaters to do what they will with it.

The only game lag switching was allowed in all the time was Griffball.

If match making was handled with dedicated servers instead of P2P networking, lag switches would be rendered useless. In a strictly client - server topology a lag switch user would only be hosing themselves.

Before it was officially made known H4 would be P2P there were several intense discussions about the networking H4 would use.

Ironically, lots of folks actually argued very hard to keep P2P even though a dedicated server configuration is far better for more people a vast majority of the time than the current setup.

I always figured The ones who were arguing in favor of P2P were lag switch users who didn’t want to lose the ability to cheat.

I guess all we can do is still just report people.

> If match making was handled with dedicated servers instead of P2P networking, lag switches would be rendered useless. In a strictly client - server topology a lag switch user would only be hosing themselves.
>
> Before it was officially made known H4 would be P2P there were several intense discussions about the networking H4 would use.
>
> Ironically, lots of folks actually argued very hard to keep P2P even though a dedicated server configuration is far better for more people a vast majority of the time than the current setup.
>
> I always figured The ones who were arguing in favor of P2P were lag switch users who didn’t want to lose the ability to cheat.

Sort of.

Lag switching would be useless, yes. But lag switching isn’t a big problem anymore. Hasn’t been since Halo 2. The big problem is UDP flooding, naïvely known as “host booting.”

“Host booting” is a slightly inaccurate term, as it can be done by somebody who isn’t host. In order to combat this, the dedicated servers would need to mask the static IPs of all incoming (and outgoing) connections of every client. This would most reasonably be accomplished by imposing client-side DHCP, which is incompatible with the current Xbox LIVE networking model. Even if this were somehow feasible, there are a handful of service addresses that Microsoft uses that intrinsically cannot be masked without re-writing the console’s networking software and issuing a dashboard update. Something I doubt they would do just to accommodate Halo 4.

In short, designing dedicated servers to prevent UDP flooding is highly improbable. I would love dedicated servers. They would solve a ton of problems, including variable latency, host advantage, and certain types of cheating. But most of the more advanced forms of network manipulation would remain.

Actually, dedicated servers would solve a lot of this too.

If we had dedicated servers we’d be in a client - server network configuration, where all the XBoxes in the party would be connected to the dedicated server and it would be game host instead of another XBox.

Needless to say, a network server is far more powerful than an XBox. You are not going to be able to packet flood a dedicated server in a client - server topology anywhere near as easy as another XBox you’re connected to via P2P.

Also, in that you would be networked to the server, and not the XBoxes directly via P2P, it would be far more difficult to figure out the IP addresses of the other folks because you’d all be tied in to the server, with it keeping you all synced.

I earned by Bachelor of Science in Information Technology five years ago, and I know there’s nothing about P2P networking that makes it better than dedicated servers other than cost. It’s dirt cheap. But in all other respects it is far worse than a client - server configuration in all respects.

While still technically possible, it is far more difficult to mess with people and cheat if you are playing on a dedicated server.

We got stuck with P2P for another Halo title because it’s cheap - that’s it. So the cheaters will still get to cheat. And I encounter it a lot.

> Actually, dedicated servers would solve a lot of this too.
>
> If we had dedicated servers we’d be in a client - server network configuration, where all the XBoxes in the party would be connected to the dedicated server and it would be game host instead of another XBox.
>
> Needless to say, a network server is far more powerful than an XBox. You are not going to be able to packet flood a dedicated server in a client - server topology anywhere near as easy as another XBox you’re connected to via P2P.
>
> Also, in that you would be networked to the server, and not the XBoxes directly via P2P, it would be far more difficult to figure out the IP addresses of the other folks because you’d all be tied in to the server, with it keeping you all synced.
>
> I earned by Bachelor of Science in Information Technology five years ago, and I know there’s nothing about P2P networking that makes it better than dedicated servers other than cost. It’s dirt cheap. But in all other respects it is far worse than a client - server configuration in all respects.
>
> While still technically possible, it is far more difficult to mess with people and cheat if you are playing on a dedicated server.
>
> We got stuck with P2P for another Halo title because it’s cheap - that’s it. So the cheaters will still get to cheat. And I encounter it a lot.

I guess you misunderstood. I would love dedicated servers. They’d nullify almost all forms of cheating. But you’re right, they’re too expensive, so we’re stuck with P2P. Anyway…

UDP flooders send their attacks directly from their source to their victim. Xbox LIVE is merely a tool to discover the remote IP addresses of their victims, and is otherwise completely unrelated to the attacks.

More info here. Notice how it nowhere mentions a host or centralized server. These attacks can be arbitrarily carried out; the only necessary information is the remote IP of their victim. That is (the only place) where Xbox LIVE comes in here.

While the server is acting as the “host” in this case, it must still relay the IPs of all connected clients to each other (for technical reasons, see my above post). This means that dedicated servers would have the same problem as P2P: attackers could use Xbox LIVE to gather victim’s IP addresses, and then use their own (unrelated) means to UDP flood them. Attackers need not attack the server. They can directly attack the client based on the data provided from the server.

Since you have studied Information Technology, I am surprised you haven’t considered obfuscating your local IP or installing device-specific firewalls. This would make you (almost) immune to the attacks you claim to frequently encounter.