Ron Bowes

Senior Applied Security Researcher

Ron Bowes Senior Applied Security Researcher,

Ron has worked in information security for more years than he can count, and has performed roles across the board. He currently works at Counter Hack, where he develops SANS Netwars, Holiday Hack Challenge, and other security games.


Talk: Video game hacks, cheats, and glitches

Ron built his security career in a unique way: writing cheats for video games. In highschool, while others were having fun, he was trying to find new and creative ways to confuse Starcraft.

In this presentation, he will look at some of the major hacks, cheats, and glitches in video games, from famous ones (like arbitrary code execution in Super Mario World) to obscure ones (like stacking buildings in Starcraft).

But more importantly, he will tie these into modern vulnerabilities: the Legend of Zelda "bottle glitch" is a type-confusion vulnerability, for example: similar vulnerabilities in normal software could lead to remote code execution.

This talk will bridge video game cheating with real-world security vulnerabilities, and explore the history of both!