Mesh Design Pattern: Hash-and-Decrypt

    Date10 Apr 2007
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    Hash functions are an excellent way to tie together various parts of a protection mechanism. Our first mesh design pattern, hash-and-decrypt, uses a hash function to derive a key that is then used to decrypt the next stage. Since a cryptographic hash (e.g., SHA-1) is sensitive to a change of even a single bit of input, this pattern provides a strong way to insure the next stage (code, data, more checks) is not accessible unless all the input bits are correct.

    For example, consider a game with different levels, each encrypted with a different AES key. The key to decrypt level N+1 can be derived by hashing together data which only is present in RAM after the player has beat level N with an unmodified game (e.g., correct items in inventory, state of treasure chests, map of locations visited, etc.) If an attacker tries to cheat on level N by modifying the game state, they won

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