Home‎ > ‎Ethics‎ > ‎

Packet tampering

Packet Tampering:

Packet tampering consists of altering the contents of packets as they travel over the Internet or altering data on computer disks after penetrating a network. For example, an attacker might place a tap on a network line to intercept packets as they leave the computer. The attacker could eavesdrop or alter the information as it leaves the network.


Game Packet Tampering:
A very typical packet tampering example is game cheating. Game players apply packet tampering to change the user settings. Typically a player can change settings within a game to suit their skill level, play style and game system. These alterations are generally not cheating, except in extreme circumstances. For example, a player can change the keyboard layout to make it easier to use is for example usually accepted. However, they are other unaccepted issues such as applying packet tampering to change in-game player models and textures, or modify the brightness or gamma in order to make it easier for the player to gain advantage over other players, such as to see in dark areas. These are sometimes borderline cheating.

Software Packet tampering:

Some packet tampering doers completely circumvent the protection of the software by running in real-time and changing the software data while in transmission from the server to the client. Packet Interception or tampering can be passive or result in active manipulation; either methodology can be performed on the client machine itself or via an external communication proxy—some aimbots incorporate this methodology. They encrypt the network data, but this uses up computer resources that could be used to make a faster-running or better program instead.


Router Packet Tampering:

Reason: The Internet is not always a secured place. Unsecured hosts can expect to be compromised within minutes of connecting to the Internet and even well-protected hosts may be crippled with denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Indeed, through combinations of social engineering and ineffective passwords, attackers have gained control over thousands of Internet routers. Once a router has been compromised in such a fashion, an attacker may interpose on the traffic stream and manipulate it maliciously to attack others by selectively dropping, modifying, or rerouting packets, and consequently cause router packet tampering.


Router Packet Tampering is the problem that a compromised router is maliciously manipulating its stream of packets. In particular, people are concerned with a simple yet effective attack in which a router selectively drops packets destined for some victim. Unfortunately, it is quite challenging to attribute a missing packet to a malicious action because normal network congestion can produce the same effect. Modern networks routinely drop packets when the load temporarily exceeds their buffering capacities.


Previous detection protocols have tried to address router packet pampering problem with a user-defined threshold: too many dropped packets imply malicious intent. However, this heuristic is fundamentally unsound; setting this threshold is, at best, an art and will certainly create unnecessary false positives or mask highly focused attacks. Engineers have designed, developed, and implemented a compromised router detection protocol that dynamically infers, based on measured traffic rates and buffer sizes, the number of congestive packet losses that will occur. Once the ambiguity from congestion is removed, subsequent packet losses can be attributed to malicious actions. Engineers have tested effective protocol and have studied its effectiveness in differentiating attacks from legitimate network behavior.