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Games & Security


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#1 nCharge

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:20 AM

Hi ,

 

I wonder , can playing games over LAN/Internet (such as MMO) represent a risk of infection (transmitted) ? Including the case we got a clean PC and the third-party does not ?



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#2 noknojon

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:45 PM

Hi nCharge -

The basic answer must be Yes with the following conditions ............ 

If they are sending / transmitting / linking to your system, and they are infected, this is one way to transmit infections.

 

However I must include the Rider, that if your Antivirus / Firewall / Antimalware programs are "active" at this time, you may stop many problems from entering your system.

I am aware that for some online games you need to "lower your defenses" to allow transmission over the internet, but as this is the case, I no longer play many of the games that I once would, and play more "installed games" than online games -

 

I have not been game specific, as this can depend on if the games are legal downloads or "cracked" Torrent versions -

 

Thank You -



#3 nCharge

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:22 PM

Hmm , let's suppose we are only using legal versions :

 

For example , Counter Strike can be source of malware due to required file downloading when joining a server ?

What about games like Age of Empires which is PC2PC or Guild Wars ?

 

I have to ask , I can understand the problem if it is for Counter Strike , but when connecting to a global server like with MMOs which do not require file downloading , can malware spread over PC (PC to PC) and not server related (Server to PC) you know like worms and such ?



#4 noknojon

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:58 AM

Hi -

The question you are asking is quite simple, but the answer, as always, is never simple.

I can only list a few examples of articles that are always controversial since no full defence is offered.

 

The basics on malware This must be noted with your own installed protection in mind,,,,,,,,,

 

You may have a setup thay can block the .exe of the Malware, or a very good firewall.


http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Botnet-Operation.png < See Diagram
A computer that has been joined to a botnet may not harm its owner directly. Instead, the infected PCs in the botnet go on the offensive, carrying out commands issued from a server controlled by a criminal.
"A bot agent can be a stand-alone malware component in the form of an executable or a dynamic link library (DLL) file or a piece of code added to the malware code. The bot agent’s main function is to establish communication with the botnet’s network component."

 

Many (most) of these articles are 3rd party quoted, so the basics must be taken back to your Antivirus / Firewall / Antimalware programs, and which ones are "active" or just installed as "clean up" tools.

 

The example above seemed a decent one to show how the network can start -

 

There must be better answers out there so you may need to look - (Google PC to PC infections)
 

Thank You -



#5 nCharge

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:08 PM

Sounds like the best to do is to have protection + patched PC !

Thanks.



#6 Animal

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 03:28 PM

Another good read about gaming sites can found in a topic by our very own quietman7:

 

How Malware Spreads - How did I get infected

 

Scroll down to section 3 then see the content under: Dangers of Gaming Sites 


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#7 nCharge

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

Thanks.I'll check that



#8 Animal

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 11:04 AM

You're quite welcome.


The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
Andrew Brown (1938-1994)


A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


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#9 nCharge

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:00 PM

Hello again ! After reading these articles I have to add something :

I think is would be necessary to have differents category (of games) with their own related threats :

 

First : Flash games : Accessed by a browser , these flash games sites can be the target of hackers who can put some kind of flash plugin exploit to infect players.

 

Second : Browser based games (such as 8Realms , I guess) : Accessed by a browser , and again there is a risk of hackers deploying javascript exploits , leading to an infection.

 

Number three : Cheating software , bots for MMOs (World of warcraft) : These don't represent a 'security' threat (except for cheaters , they can download malware)

 

Number four : Malware that targets players' credentials : Spread through hacked sites , not in-game.

 

There is multiple category of games :Online Browser games : Flash Games/Browser based games (8Realms)
                                                          CD-Solo games (we won't discuss about that one)
                                                           MMOs (real online games , Worls of warcraft)

                                                           CD-with multiplayer feature (Counter-Strike)

                                                           ...

 

What I want to talk about is MMOs and CD-with multiplayer feature :
Let me give you an example , a worm infected PC in a LAN.This PC would try to infect other PCs in the LAN.

Now take a worm infected PC , put it in World of  Warcraft if you will.Will this PC try to infect others PC(players) over the internet ?
Because this type of game architecture is like having a massive LAN , because they communicate each other.

 

Sorry to be persistant , but I didn't find my answer in your posts

:)



#10 tzimisharris

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:29 PM

Hello,

 

I totally agree for the games that are browser based. If a website hosts a (malicious flash,javascript,silverlight) objects you can be infected. It is the same danger you face when you open a malicious webpage. Of course a basic requirement for the attack to be successful is that the malicious piece of code will first exploit a vulnerability in the browser and/or a plugin (flashplayer, java) etc

 

Will this PC try to infect others PC(players) over the internet ? In general,  the question on this it depends on the malware.

 

First of all it depends on what is the spreading mechanism of the malware. For example does it try to ping all the addresses in the LAN and find the live hosts or/and check the recent connections? Otherwise will not be able to know where to spread.

 

Second how your machine connects to the other clients? For example for LAN games like counterstrike the clients are exchange packets directly but in MMOs the clients are not talking each other. There is a server between them.

 

In the first case the infected computer may try to infect the others in the same network because there is a way to reach them easily and find their IP addresses.

 

For the second case there may be no direct way to find the other client IP addresses. In this case the malware is going to infect the server or to lure the server to pass the malicious packets to the other clients. 

 

However, in both cases there must be a kind of vulnerability(ies) in the software that receive and handles the malicious data for the malware to infiltrate and infect other machines. This vulnerability may be in the game or the OS itself or any other application that listens to a port.

 

Please let me know if something is not clear.



#11 nCharge

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:13 PM

In short , direct PC2PC connection (LAN) = Risk of transmitting malware and PC-Server-PC = No risk , due to server acting like a firewall ? (Except if the server itself is infected)






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