Could Gamers Become Security Experts?

Matrix Hack

Remember Jurassic Park's hacking scene? The one from Hackers? The strange glowing cubes in Swordfish? Hollywood has been showing us hacking and security as some sort of video game for years, but it's always seemed ridiculous. Now though, a new development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could lead to gamers becoming virtual security guards of the future.

Instead of forcing its analysts to trawl through lists of IP addresses looking for strange activity, or unfamiliar data access requests from outside their network, the Lincoln Laboratory has converted the data into a 3D world within the Unity game engine. By doing so more information can be sent to admins, whether it's a virtual fire when there's a security threat, or a hacker that can be blocked from access, apparently it's all easier in 3D - specifically with a first person shooter setting.

Jeremy Kepner from MIT said that: "The moment I add all this context to the environment - grass, gravel, cars and buildings - it turns out that the amount of information we can push to the analysts is far greater." Network administrators can teleport around the digital world, using their impressive admin powers to strike down any intrusion attempts or to flag up strange activity for further scrutiny. Teams of admins can even team up to work together far more easily in a first person shooter than they can with a standard terminal display.

Ultimately, humans are still better at detecting hacking attempts than automated defences, and putting in a visual medium instead of a coding one could mean those admins get even more efficient.

However they aren't the people that are best suited to thriving in a virtual world, gamers are. So my question to you guys today is this. Will gamers be the virtual bouncers of the future?

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This is NOT a good idea per

This is NOT a good idea per se. Adding a 3d layer for visualization is one thing, it might actually help. Adding rules and restrictions will not, rules and restrictions are needed to turn a 3d scene into a 3d game, gravity, collision, damage, movement, etc... such things would serve no purpose other than slowing admins down. Why aim and shoot at a 3d representation of a hacker when you can select it and press delete?

The problem I see, is a good

The problem I see, is a good hacker would now aim at hacking the 3D interface they're using to hide their questionable activity. When you add more layers to a system, the system suffers from the susceptibilities of each layer, and it becomes less secure. This is a pretty good idea, and when so many people are used to seeing information presented in this manner, especially since video games have become so popular, it may make it easier and faster to solve problems. But, I could see many being afraid that the engine they use could get hacked, especially if it's one that's publicly available, like the Unity engine.

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