Security Issues, Hacks

Valve patches serious security hole in Steam

July 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve has finally fixed an odd (and rather serious) bug that allowed hackers to easily take control of a Steam account using only a Steam username. The bug is detailed at length in this video, but the long and short of it is that the hijacking exploit took advantage of a security hole in Steam's password recovery system.

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Multiple Epic Games forums suffer security breach

July 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

If you have a forum account for any Epic Games titles, you may want to change your password as soon as possible. Epic Games has informed the community via email that forums for several of its games and game development tools have been compromised by unknown hackers. It is advising community members to change their passwords - particularly if those passwords and usernames are used for other services on the Internet.

According to Epic, forums for UDK (Unreal Development Kit), Infinity Blade, Gears of War, Bulletstorm, and multiple Unreal Tournament games have been compromised.

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Report: Canadian Security Intelligence Service website taken down by hacker(s)

July 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

SC Magazine reports that unknown hackers managed to temporarily shut down the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) website on Monday night using a DDoS attack. This is the second time in the last couple of weeks that hackers have managed to take the site offline. The attack(s) are being attributed to a lone hackers who were formerly associated with hacktivist group Anonymous, working on their own.

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The 'USA Patriot Act' expires, 'USA Freedom Act' fails to pass

June 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Patriot Act has officially expired this morning after the Senate failed to pass reauthorization of the bill on Sunday night. Along with it, many of the NSA's most controversial programs under Section 215 of the law (detailed over the last several years thanks to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden) have also expired, though it is likely that it will be extended within the week.

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PSA: Mojang releases 'Minecraft' PC security update 1.8.5

May 22, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Mojang has released a new update to the PC version of its popular open-world building game Minecraft that fixes some "security issues" and some other minor problems. What "security issues" it fixes, we do not know...

We do know that update 1.8.5 offers "better server validation for movement packets," "invalid beacon packets no longer getting validated," a fix for the exploit related to signs and command blocks, and a whole lot more.

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The 'USA Patriot Act' passes the House

May 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The USA Patriot Act has passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin, putting the legislation to curtail the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone meta-data in the hands of the Senate. If the bill manages to make its way through the Senate (either by reconciliation with a Senate version of the bill or an adoption of the original), it would make it so that the government's phone surveillance database would be housed at individual phone carriers for a certain amount of time.

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Malwarebytes: look out for PUPS masquerading as the GOG Galaxy client

May 7, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Less than 30 hours after GOG.com launched its Galaxy beta client, scammers were lining up to trick gamers into infecting their computers with malware, according to a new blog post from security research firm and anti-virus software maker Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes security analyst Jovi Umawing details how some users are getting tricked in a new blog post today.

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Press sues for disclosure of recommendations for leniency in David Petraeus plea deal

April 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Associated Press, Washington Post, and other media outlets have filed a lawsuit demanding that recommendations made during the sentencing phase of former CIA head David Petraeus be made public. Sealed court docs call him "among the finest military leaders of his generation."

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Numerous 'Rockstar Games Social Club' accounts get hijacked

April 21, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A Reddit thread warns Grand Theft Auto V players that their Rockstar Games Social Club membership may be compromised if they are using the same username and password they use somewhere else. The same thread also takes a shot at retailers and Rockstar support, who thread participants claim, are being less than helpful on compromised accounts. The thread also points to another thread that has leaked a ton of usernames and associated passwords to Rockstar Games Social Club accounts.

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Valve puts limits on customers who haven't spent $5 on Steam to fight spamming and phishing schemes

April 20, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

If you haven't spent at least $5 on Steam for something then you will lose access to a number of services on Valve's digital distribution platform. According to this support page the new requirement is part of a new initiative to combat spam and phishing schemes - because accounts that engage in these sorts of activities typically are throw-away accounts that don't spend money on anything, according to Valve.

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Malwarebytes: scammers using Steam's artwork gallery to trick users

April 17, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Security research firm and antivirus software maker Malwarebytes has identified a new scam tied to Steam's artwork service.

These con artists upload publicly viewable images via Steam's artwork service and give them descriptions and external links that lead to fake online video streaming services like OfficialStreamTV or to a second launch pad on one of the several free blogging platforms.

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Programmer reveals serious 'Minecraft' server software flaw

April 16, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Pakistan-based developer Ammar Askar has revealed a very serious security flaw in the Minecraft server software that makes it very easy for anyone to crash a server hosting the game.

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Rights groups back effort to curtail the power of The Patriot Act

April 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A new website backed by dozens of rights groups and other organizations wants the powers given to the NSA and other government surveillance agencies under section 215 of The Patriot Act to end. The coalition of rights groups under the banner of Fight215.org includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Free Press, DownsizeDC, TechFreedom, Fight for the Future, R Street Institute, Human Rights Watch, the Sunlight Foundation Media Alliance, Student Net Alliance, MLFA, and many others.

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Rights groups take UK surveillance fight to Europe's highest court

April 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Rights groups Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International, and others have announced that it will take its fight against security agencies such as GCHQ in the United Kingdom conducting mass surveillance and data collection on British citizens to Europe's highest court.

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Lawmakers reintroduce the 'Surveillance State Repeal Act'

March 26, 2015 - James Fudge

The reintroduction of an old bill takes a run at repealing the Patriot Act and rolling back all the authority the NSA has in conducting mass surveillance.

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Global Government Surveillance Reform group urges lawmakers to revise Patriot Act

March 25, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Google, AOL, Apple, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook - as members of the Global Government Surveillance Reform - (you can read the coalition's mission statement here) have sent an open letter pushing for real reform of government surveillance practices and to make sure that these reforms are constitutional.

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'Teslacrypt' Ransomware Targets Gamers

March 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this BBC report, gamers are being inordinately targeted by ransomware. According to the report, the ransomware seeks out important files from games (like saves) and encrypts them so that they will no longer run. Then the program demands that they pay at least $500 (£340) in Bitcoins. Around 40 different games are being targeted on infected machines. Games being targeted include Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Minecraft and World of Tanks.

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ESA Downplays Its Level of Cooperation With The Administration On Cybersecurity Efforts

February 18, 2015 - James Fudge

Update: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) issued the following statement in response to our story below:

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President To Sign 'Advisory' Executive Order on Cybersecurity Today

February 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Washington Post reports that President Obama is expected to sign an executive order on cybersecurity during the Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University later today.

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Proposed California Bill Requires Warrant to Access Digital Data

February 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A California State lawmaker is making a bold move to fight against law enforcement and federal agencies who want to secure private data without obtaining a warrant from a court first. State lawmaker Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced a new bill called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA).

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Raptr Suffers Security Breach

February 4, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

In an email sent to Raptr subscribers today from Raptr CEO Dennis Fong, the social gaming platform revealed that it had suffered a security breech and urged users to take necessary precautions to avoid any potential danger.

In the letter, Fong said that, while the threat to users is minor, some personal data may have been compromised including "user names, email addresses, password hashes, and some first and last names."

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Sony Offers Free Games To Settle 2011 PSN Attack

January 23, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony is still dealing with the fallout from the April 2011 attack on PlayStation Network that saw the online service and other related services such as Qriocity and Sony Online Entertainment go offline for months. Around 70 million accounts were also compromised during that security breach.

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PSA: PlayStation Network Down For Maintenance January 15

January 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony has announced that its online gaming service for PS4, PS Vita, and PS3 will be down in Europe and North America on January 15. The maintenance period will run from 5pm - 9pm GMT tomorrow, and 9am - 1pm Pacific Time in North America.

During those times multiple services will not be available including PlayStation Store on all devices, PlayStation Network Account Management, PlayStation Network Account Registration, and various Sony Entertainment services.

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President Unveils 'Personal Data Notification and Protection Act'

January 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

President Barak Obama has proposed that companies that become the victim of a security breach should have to disclose it to the public. President Obama announced two proposal on Monday that are aimed at providing more protection to consumers from the massive data breaches and to protect student from companies farming and sharing their data.

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PSA: Valve Adds 'Captcha' To Steam Card Trading System

January 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve has decided to add an extra layer of protection to those human-to-human Steam Trading Card transactions this week with a simple Captcha rolled into the mix to keep the robots away. The goal is to also stop Malware from making trades (should a person get infected) on someone's behalf. If you don't know, Captcha is used to make sure the people on the other end of the screen are real live human beings and not automated computer programs.

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Sony Uses CES Keynote to Condemn Hackers

January 6, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

During his keynote address this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony boss Kazuo Hirai condemned the hackers who breached the firm's internal network and stole data. The Guardians of Peace hacker group attacked Sony in a bid to stop the release of the movie, The Interview, which made fun of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un. The FBI claims that the group is directly tied to the North Korean government, though some security experts believe it was an inside job perpetrated with the help of a disgruntled Sony employee.

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Researcher Uses Data from Airport X-Ray Simulation To Improve Security and Cancer Screening

January 2, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Stephen Mitroff, an associate professor and researcher at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, has teamed up with Washington-based game developer Kedlin to improve baggage screeners' ability to spot suspicious and potentially deadly items. This is being done with data collected from play sessions of "Airport Scanner," which uses vision and attention to improve skills on spotting things that are out of place in luggage.

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Sony Offers Five Free Days of PlayStation Plus for PSN Christmas Outages

January 2, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Recently Sony said it was sorry for the Christmas outages of the PlayStation Network (which hacker group Lizard Squad claimed credit for) and offered a gift to PlayStation Network users: five free days of PlayStation Plus and 10 percent discount off a total cart purchase in the PlayStation Store. To say the response to this gift was tepid and even hostile in some circles is an understatement.

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NSA Does Document Dump on Christmas Eve

December 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Boing Boing points out that the National Security Agency quietly dumped a cache of documents on its web site on Christmas Eve. Perhaps the agency was hoping that holiday revelers would miss the document dump. The release of these heavily redacted documents - quarterly and annual reports to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board from Q4/2001 to Q1/2013 - were in response to the ACLU's ongoing Freedom of Information Act requests - which the group went to court for multiple times in 2014.

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Security Researcher Says FBI 'Probably Wrong' About Sony Pictures Hackers

December 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A security researcher says that the FBI's December 19 proclamation that agents from or related to North Korea hacked Sony Pictures is probably not true. Marc Rogers, the director of security operations for DEF CON and a security researcher for a mobile security company says that the hack is more likely the work of a disgruntled former or currently employee.

Here's some of what he wrote in The Daily Beast:

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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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