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March 26-29, 2019
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August 3-8, 2019
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Black Hat Europe
December 2-5, 2019
London UK
11/22/2019
01:00 PM
Alex Wawro, Special to Dark Reading
Alex Wawro, Special to Dark Reading
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Black Hat Europe Q&A: Unveiling the Underground World of Anti-Cheats

Security consultant Joel Noguera describes how he got involved in testing anti-cheat software security, and what to expect from his upcoming Black Hat Europe talk.

Anti-cheat software safeguards countless online game players every year, but it’s not bulletproof. At Black Hat Europe in London next month attendees will learn firsthand where the chinks are in the armor of modern anti-cheat solutions

In Unveiling the Underground World of Anti-Cheats, security consultant Joel Noguera will share what he’s learned from testing (and bypassing) the security measures built into popular anti-cheat tools like XignCode3, EasyAntiCheat and BattleEye. He recently spoke with Dark Reading about how he got involved with the anti-cheat software scene and what attendees can expect to get out of his Black Hat talk.

Alex: Tell us a bit about yourself and your path into security work.

Joel: I'm currently working as a security consultant at Immunity Inc. My day job consists mainly of pentesting engagements; however, I'm always looking into the reversing world, and every time I have an opportunity, I open my favorite reversing tool to get my hands dirty.

Alex: What is your favorite reversing tool, anyway?

Joel: I love trying new tools, but there are a few that I always use. I have been using IDA (Interactive Disassembler) a lot the last years and now I'm trying to adapt to Ghidra. I'm migrating some of my projects to this last one, so I can fully understand it and try its potential.

Alex: What inspired you to pitch this talk for Black Hat Europe?

Joel: I've never attended Black Hat before, and I always wanted to be part of it! Luckily this time, I will do it as speaker. I believe Black Hat gathers a lot of interesting people that you don't see at other conferences, and I would love to be a part of that experience.

Alex: What do you hope Black Hat Europe attendees will get out of attending your talk?

Joel: The cheating community doesn’t tend to talk much about this topic. The public information that can be found on the Internet may be very limited, and the entry level for this niche is really high (because) there are so many techniques and tricks related to Windows internals topics that you must learn. This talk will allow security professionals to understand how this community is built, and learn about the technical aspects of game hacking. I will be talking from basic bypasses to complex kernel exploits used to successfully bypass anti-cheat protections, and all the drawback that you need to overcome.

Alex: What is the strangest or most interesting cheating technique or trick you've ever heard of?

Joel: Actually, that's one of the interesting aspects of my talk! If I talk about them then I would be spoiling! But as you can imagine, there are plenty of different techniques. From simple tricks that allow cheaters to manipulate the game or a process without using the expected ways that Windows provides, to complex methods that modify how the Windows kernel behaves normally in order to confuse the anti-cheat software.

Learn more about Joel’s Briefing (as well as lots of other cutting-edge content) in the Briefings schedule for Black Hat Europe, which returns to The Excel in London December 2-5, 2019. 

For more information on what’s happening at the event and how to register, check out the Black Hat website.

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