online gaming malware, viruses

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by maple55, May 10, 2011.

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  1. maple55

    maple55 Registered Member

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    is online gaming dangerous like downloading p2p? i never really thought about this but is playing say fifa soccer 11 for pc online or even playing a web browser game like chess make your computer vulnerable to malware, viruses?

    your connecting your computer with another computer that could be infected, even have a illegal malware, virus infected copy of the game so it made me wonder
     
  2. mistycat

    mistycat Registered Member

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    Perhaps I've been lucky but I never found any of the above to be very dangerous. Over 2000 movies and over twice that in audio files from dozens of sites over years and only ever got one easy to get rid of trojan. Not a big gamer, played online Travian for a few months and now browser games pretty regularly and nothing. I image and restore on a weekly basis though, sometimes restores a few times a week if I'm suspicious but I used no image program for years either. I'd have to say that even downloading is not harmful and its bad rep is only a scare tactic. Don't quote me though, only my personal experience.
     
  3. maple55

    maple55 Registered Member

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    thats what i thought but your also connecting your computer with another computer that could be infected and their game could be infected if they downloaded a illegal copy. Im not much of a gamer either so if online gaming is dangerous i would not do it anymore
     
  4. mistycat

    mistycat Registered Member

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    Never downloaded a game but wouldn't 98% be considered illegal to download p2p and I consider that to be far removed from online gaming. Keep to files that have been downloaded numerous times and read the comments. An infected file is flagged pretty quickly and don't download and run installers, exes, etc; that said, with torrents, try and register on private sites (never seen an infected file there), don't download password protected stuff (usually a scam to make you buy something) and run a good AV (even free like Avira, Avast are good, better than a lot of paid actually) and there are plenty of online scanners you can run every so often. And get a second HDD and imaging program with a Boot CD.
     
  5. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Downloading via p2p by itself is not dangerous, but the downloaded content could be. You should download from trusted sources like forums, confirmed by comments.
     
  6. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    only download copyrighted content from authorised sources.
     
  7. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    And watch out for rookit-like DRM.
     
  8. maple55

    maple55 Registered Member

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    i think you guys are missing what im saying. I know the basics of protection and not to download just anything and have good layered security. Everything i download is either bought or freeware. But i dont understand how online gaming works and what im asking is that if your computer is connected to another computer. which has to happen during online gaming is there are way you computers security can become endangered.
     
  9. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    During normal online gaming, your computer is connected to a gaming server.

    I have only heard of two kinds of vulnerabilities. First is that some games like now-patched Stalker (I think the first one, or it is only the last one which has the online mode?) have had a exploit in the game console which have enabled server admins to load code to the target computer and execute it. However, the executing part failed somewhat as it was a game without any more internet connectivity that what was needed to play online.

    The second is that many games have a default option of downloading new 3rd party content from the server which the user connects to. It is for files like new maps, sound files and others like that. There could be a potential problem as files like .mp3 can be infected, but the game itself in my understanding can't open files it doesn't support, so the user should only be infected by connecting to a malicious server, downloading the infected file and searching and running it from the game download folder. As I never haven't run across a malicious server myself (games like the ones on Steam have pretty good and secure servers), I don't see this as a big vulnerability. And you can, atleast through console or startup commands, disable the download feature.

    All in all, I don't think that online games are a easy way to get infected. The attack needs to be a very targeted one to succeed. I think that what get's gamers infected more are sites that offer cracks to illegal copies, sites that offer "better layouts" for games like WoW and normal trojans that proceed to steal your game license information. The trojans are sometimes installed through social engineering on game-related forums, so beware.

    Edit: The information above is based on "true" game titles. The ones which are run in the web browser are more vulnerable to all kinds of malware, as they are based on Flash or Java. You should be careful with games like that.
     
  10. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

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    ^^ Make sure you disable the ability download 3rd party mods for maps if you're using PC online gaming. These settings will be in multiplayer options. You will be downloading directly from the server of whomever owns it, you're exposed to whatever they have on the server.

    One time I did download a gaming clans map mod and luckily it was legit. But I did think about it afterwards and there could have been anything in all the files. A lot of gamers desire having low resources and they turn anti virus off, but definitely have an anti virus running ... just incase.
     
  11. maple55

    maple55 Registered Member

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    thats actually what got me thinking about the dangers. I was playing online fifa soccer and it said i need to download the latest rosters from the ea server to play it
     
  12. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    What you need to keep in mind that downloading from the authorized distribution server like EA's updating server is different than downloading something from the normal servers used in the gaming itself, which can upload 3rd party content to your computer. It's kinda like comparing Windows updates and browser downloads - other one is pretty much guaranteed to be free of malware, other one is what you need to look out for.

    If you're worried, use a default-deny approach. Only allow it to download the updates or similar from the EA, deny other content. This of course can be a bit problematic with some games, EA is more of a console company and that means less custom options for PC users.
     
  13. maple55

    maple55 Registered Member

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    im not really worried i was just thinking about it because when i went to play online i downloaded a monthly roster update and then after playing a few matches it asked me to download the latest roster update and i felt it was strange for a new update so quickly and it led me to ask the question here because i dont know much about online gaming security
     
  14. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I will never use p2p or torrents unless it's a client that can provide serious anonymous addons/ features. I use direct downloads and that's it.
     
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