Computer Dice

Forum Archive : Computer Dice

MSN Zone: Security flaw

From:   happyjuggler0
Date:   21 June 2004
Subject:   The Zone is hacked...don't play there

Well I have consistently been among those who say that dice programs
or non-random dice is a paranoid illusion shared by those who are
missing a vital understanding of either probability or an
understanding of why excatly a site would choose to deliberately give
bad dice to YOU as opposed to your opponent.

However a few weeks ago a strong player(by gnu/Snowie analysis anyway)
who is also a programmer I know created a dice hack for the Zone
backgammon. He was trying to program for gnubg a way to have the Zone
match logs be automatically translated so that gnubg could read them
without an outside program. GamesGrid, TrueMoneyGames and FIBS all
have this but not the Zone. In the process he (_mdpetch) stumbled on a
way to pick his own rolls on the Zone. If he accidentally figured out
how to do it then it stands to reason that a hacker, twho basically
does little but hacking, that was trying to create a dice program has
already done so, probably several others. A link that illustrates this

The MSN Gaming Zone (a Microsoft company) has been aware of this for
some time but at first refused to believe it even after demos
(mindboggling to not believe your own eyes) and then has chosen to do
nothing about it even though the programmer in question also has the
fix for the security flaw. He has also discovered other similar
problems on the Zone's other game sites (cribbage was mentioned in the
link but I think others too). Since the Zone has some money sites this
is seriously disturbing since they seem to not care at all about
fixing this.

Feel free to repost this on any computer site or gaming site you may
be aware of. People need to know that Microsoft has major security
problems on one of their major sites and refuses to even do anything
about it.
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Computer Dice

Dice on backgammon servers  (Hank Youngerman, July 2001) 
Does Agushak Backgammon cheat?  (Mr Nabutovsky, June 2000) 
Does BG by George cheat?  (George Sutty, Nov 1995) 
Does Backgammon NJ cheat?  (Greg+, June 2010) 
Does Cybergammon cheat?  (Goto Informatique, Aug 1996) 
Does David's Backgammon cheat?  (Joseph B. Calderone, June 1998) 
Does GNU Backgammon cheat?  (Robert-Jan Veldhuizen, Nov 2002) 
Does Gammontool cheat?  (Jim Hurley, Sept 1991) 
Does Hyper-Gammon cheat?  (ZZyzx, June 1996) 
Does Jellyfish cheat?  (Fredrik Dahl, June 1997) 
Does MVP Backgammon cheat?  (Mark Betz, Oct 1996) 
Does MonteCarlo cheat?  (Matt Reklaitis, June 1998) 
Does Motif cheat?  (Rick Kiesau+, Mar 2004)  [Long message]
Does Motif cheat?  (Billie Patterson, Feb 2003) 
Does Motif cheat?  (Robert D. Johnson, Oct 1996) 
Does Snowie cheat?  (André Nicoulin, Sept 1998) 
Does TD-Gammon cheat?  (Gerry Tesauro, Feb 1997) 
Error rates with computer dice  (NoChinDeluxe+, Feb 2011) 
FIBS: Analysis of 10 million rolls  (Stephen Turner, Apr 1997)  [Recommended reading]
FIBS: Are the dice biased?  (Kit Woolsey, Oct 1996) 
FIBS: Entering from the bar  (Tom Keith+, Apr 1997) 
GamesGrid: Too many jokers?  (Gregg Cattanach, Sept 2001) 
GridGammon: Are the dice random?  (leobueno+, Sept 2011) 
Jellyfish: How to check the dice  (John Goodwin, May 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Jellyfish: Proof it doesn't cheat  (Gary Wong, July 1998) 
MSN Zone: Security flaw  (happyjuggler0, June 2004) 
Official complaint form  (Gary Wong, June 1998)  [Recommended reading]
Randomness testing  (Brett Meyer+, Dec 2010) 
Safe Harbor Games dice  (Michael Petch+, Aug 2011) 
Synopsis of "cheating" postings  (Ray Karmo, Feb 2002) 
Testing for bias  (Kit Woolsey, Jan 1995) 
The dice sure seem unfair!  (Michael Sullivan, Apr 2004) 
Too many repeated rolls?  (Stephen Turner, Mar 1994) 
Winning and losing streaks  (Daniel Murphy, Mar 1998) 

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