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December 16, 2019
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Matthew Cook's Blog

 

Matthew Cook is the co-founder of Panopticon Labs, a data and risk analytics company dedicated to keeping bad guys out of virtual worlds. A rabid gamer since the days of the Commodore 64 and the Atari 2600, he attended art school in the late 80s at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While there, he met the team that developed the original Battletech tabletop strategy game, and helped FASA build and run the original Battletech Center at North Pier before starting his career in online financial services and banking cybersecurity. There, he built analytics and alerting tools used by major US and international banks, credit unions, and financial services companies. In 2012, Mr. Cook returned to gaming as the product and business development co-founder of Panopticon Labs, where he helps game publishers and operators fight back against the hackers, cheaters, and fraudsters who destroy virtual worlds. When he's not studying emerging game security threats and blogging about them on the Panopticon Labs Founder's Blog (https://www.panopticonlabs.com/founders-blog/), Matthew can currently be found in-game, helping his guildies defeat Zaitan in Guild Wars 2, hunting pirates in Elite: Dangerous, or hiding in a locker in Alien: Isolation. He lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. 

 

Member Blogs

Matt Cook shares his predictions for cybersecurity in online games for 2017, and discusses potential threats for the coming year.


Year-end review listing the (many) large and impactful fraud events that targeted online games in 2016, as well as a discussion of the trends in fraud and risk that will doubtless continue and affect players, developers, and publishers in 2017.


Manually-created rules and reports are the go-to solution for finding fraud in video games, but history shows that motivated bad actors can easily get around them. This post discusses why this is the case, and why in-game analytics solutions are better.


Loss of crucial revenue as a result of player churn has become one of online game publishers' biggest concerns. Here are 10 ways that in-game fraud costs operators money, and why a proactive approach is better - and cheaper - in the long run.


Online video games face unprecedented risk from hackers, cheaters and fraudsters who are following the money into the $100 billion video games industry - here are 5 ways publishers can help mitigate risk and protect players before bad guys strike.


The act of money laundering, the process by which proceeds of crime and corruption are transformed into ostensibly legitimate assets, lives on in online video games. This article describes how games can be used to empower laundering via gray markets.



Matthew Cook's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 01/12/2017 - 10:42]

Agree - always interesting to ...

Agree - always interesting to see the cutting-edge stuff coming down the line, particularly the stuff pointed at banking, ecommerce, etc. which always seems to get adapted to games sooner or later... usually sooner, unfortunately .

Comment In: [Blog - 01/05/2017 - 09:31]

Great advice, particularly the one ...

Great advice, particularly the one about asking outsiders who you trust, of course to review your project and provide feedback - this sort of thing is ingrained in art school grads via countless critique sessions, but not so much in the real world , unfortunately. r n r nYou missed ...

Comment In: [News - 11/11/2016 - 04:00]

Will - I couldn 't ...

Will - I couldn 't have summarized the problem better than you did - very well said. r n r nWe may have some ideas that could be of help - can you reach out to me at: matt at panopticonlabs dot com Feel free to look at some of ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/04/2016 - 01:50]

Thank you for pointing out ...

Thank you for pointing out the very real way that cheating could be empowered by this. My gut instinct is to point out that SERVER-SIDE checks, particularly ones that utilize analytics to catch the behavioral shift via player modeling is perhaps the best way to catch this, but I admit ...

Comment In: [Blog - 10/06/2016 - 10:18]

That 's an excellent question ...

That 's an excellent question that I 'd love others in the publishing/operator community to comment on - we talk to a lot of publishers and my feeling is that they would have guidelines for sure, but that they 'd vary based on a number of factors. Bottom line is ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/16/2016 - 09:45]

This was really great - ...

This was really great - thanks for taking the time to do it. r n r nQUESTION: How do you think Chinese publishers view the issue of account security, as well as virtual world integrity r n r nI ask because I founded a cybersecurity company 3 years ago to ...