Virtual world security inspection : a software inspection process carried out on popular virtual world environments

Patterson, Nicholas and Hobbs, Michael 2011, Virtual world security inspection : a software inspection process carried out on popular virtual world environments, in ATIS 2011 : Proceedings of the 2nd Applications and Techniques in Information Security Workshop, School of Information Systems, Deakin University, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 1-9.

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Title Virtual world security inspection : a software inspection process carried out on popular virtual world environments
Author(s) Patterson, Nicholas
Hobbs, Michael
Conference name Applications and Techniques in Information Security. Workshop (2nd : 2011 : Melbourne, Victoria)
Conference location Melbourne, Victoria
Conference dates 9 Nov. 2011
Title of proceedings ATIS 2011 : Proceedings of the 2nd Applications and Techniques in Information Security Workshop
Editor(s) Warren, Matthew
Publication date 2011
Conference series Applications and Techniques in Information Security Workshop
Start page 1
End page 9
Publisher School of Information Systems, Deakin University
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Keyword(s) virtual worlds
virtual property theft
real money trading
keylogging
vulnerability
software inspection
Summary  Virtual property theft is a serious problem that exists in virtual worlds. Legitimate users of these worlds invest considerable amounts of time, effort and real-world money into obtaining virtual property, but unfortunately, are becoming victims of theft in high numbers. It is reported that there are over 1 billion registered users of virtual worlds containing virtual property items worth an estimated US$50 billion dollars. The problem of virtual property theft is complex, involving many legal, social and technological issues. The software used to access virtual worlds is of great importance as they form the primary interface to these worlds and as such the primary interface to conduct virtual property theft. The security vulnerabilities of virtual world applications have not, to date, been examined. This study aims to use the process of software inspection to discover security vulnerabilities that may exist within virtual world software – vulnerabilities that enable virtual property theft to occur. Analyzing three well know virtual world applications World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Entropia Universe, this research utilized security analysis tools and scenario testing with focus on authentication, trading, intruder detection and virtual property recovery. It was discovered that all three examples were susceptible to keylogging, mail and direct trade methods were the most likely method for transferring stolen items, intrusion detection is of critical concern to all VWEs tested, stolen items were unable to be recovered in all cases and lastly occurrences of theft were undetectable in all cases. The results gained in this study present the key problem areas which need to be addressed to improve security and reduce the occurrence of virtual property theft.
ISBN 9780987229809
Language eng
Field of Research 100605 Performance Evaluation; Testing and Simulation of Reliability
Socio Economic Objective 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
HERDC collection year 2011
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30041515

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Information Technology
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