Hacking into Random Number Generators. Is it possible?

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Random Number Generators (RNG) are currently the tech used to determine the fate of gamblers. If you think about the amount of money that can be won in various progressive jackpots, you will realize how these RNGs are life-defining.

Online casinos trust these machines to provide outcomes that are fair to both the house and the player. They are regularly calibrated to ensure that they are up to the set standards. But, are they impossible to hack?

Most online games use RNGs to come up with results. They include various slot machines, raffles, and table games among others. You can check out online roulette wheel for info about various roulette variants.

All these games require these generators to award players. The randomness of these machines is what makes them gambling games with 50/50 chance of winning.

However, the phrase ‘impossible to hack’ is usually used with a lot of caution in the technological world. Many reviews will use phrases such as virtually impossible or difficult to hack in order to avoid the certainty of the world impossible.

Developers try their level best to ensure that their RNGs are safe from any form of hacking. But, hackers are also tech experts, and they work tirelessly to try to hack these devices in order to get rich quickly.

The acceptance that RNGs can be hacked is a good step towards making them more secure. Even though hackers are putting efforts to hack them, developers are aware of this threat and are working to counter them. This is the reason behind the constant surveillance in land-based casinos and installation of security protocols in online casinos.

However, most of the RNGs are not truly random. They operate with a certain formula which can be figured out and used to predict the outcomes. The pseudo-randomness of some of these RNGs makes them vulnerable to attacks by hackers.

Nevertheless, it is very difficult to get absolute randomness. Most of these devices work with a certain algorithm which enables them to get the outcomes. These algorithms are, however, hard to decipher, and this makes them quite secure.

These algorithms are usually created with a lot of mathematical skills to ensure that they achieve a proper balance between randomness and the rate of awarding the wins. If they are left to be entirely random, they may award more wins than the house intends. The casino has to make a profit at the end of the day; therefore, these machines have to lean towards them. This process of achieving the balance can also be exploited by hackers hence making them vulnerable.  

To hack/crack/attack an RNG, hackers only require some critical information from the device. They only need to decipher the algorithm and find out the seed. The seed is the initial integer that is inserted to the RNG and begins the entire operation. Once a hacker knows the seed and the algorithm, the process of hacking can be successful.

Fortunately, this kind of information is difficult to find. Casinos utilize state-of-the-art security measures to ensure that it doesn’t leak. Furthermore, the casino can detect such a problem and solve it in a very simple way. Some of them use cryptographic RNGs which are extremely difficult to hack compared to other normal RNGs.

Reverse engineering the RNGs is the most commonly used method of hacking casinos. It was used by Alex, the famous Russian hacker to make money from casinos in a number of countries.

Even though the problem is easy to fix, the attackers can reap the awards from vulnerable machines before the problem is realized. However, this is not the only method. Others can also be used to attack these RNGs. Hackers put a lot of effort into their venture; hence, it is difficult to know what they have in store.

Possible Defenses against Hacking of RNG

There are various measures that can be used to curb this vice. They are widely used by casinos and other places to ensure that they are completely safe and secure from attack.

  • The first one is to mix the randomly generated numbers using a stream cipher. This works by changing the seed from time to time hence making it more difficult to predict. However, it has to be done in an appropriate manner that can be audited.
  • Secondly, the passwords to the systems should be developed by the authorized administrators. This makes them random and difficult to decipher compared to those generated by the system itself. The casinos can also use tight encryption protocols which detail how they obtain the numbers. They should also provide a way of auditing the process of number generation in order to ensure that they are working properly.
  • The developer should also have total control of the random number generating hardware. The source of the hardware should also not be very sure about its intended purpose. This can also present a breach of security.
  • Lastly, it is important to use high-quality RNGs and security systems. These ones are nearly impossible to hack. They use top-class technology that makes them tamper-proof. The cost of these quality RNGs is high, but the guarantee of safety and security is totally worth it.

 

It is possible to hack into the Random Number Generators used in casinos and other fields. But, it is a difficult venture that even the best hackers find challenging. With high-quality RNGs and security protocols, this possibility can be reduced to the minimum. Hence, developers should invest in these devices to ensure that they are secure.

Chris Price