Steam

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by merisi, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Posts:
    316
    A few years ago I started a thread about keeping your PC secure if you use Steam. I was wondering if anyone had new thoughts about what works and the solutions others use. The problem is that Steam asks for a high level of elevation and there's always the chance it can conflict with your antivirus where it asks you to make an exception. Another issue is that some security products could potentially result in a VAC ban from Steam.

    I remember using EMET once and even after it was removed it prevented me from playing a game I owned. Some HIPS/firewall type applications can also stop games from connecting to the internet. Despite all this, I've never had a problem with Steam apart from the ones I generate myself with overuse of security products. I guess I'm looking for a balance of security and usability.
     
  2. Masterblaster

    Masterblaster Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Posts:
    260
    Location:
    USA
    I use Steam daily. I have never run into another program conflicting with it. Because I am an avid gamer and performance is paramount, I use Webroot SecureAnywhere. It has the smallest footprint of any AV software. It is a complete AV/Firewall suite. They even make a gaming version. It runs fine with Steam.
    https://www.webroot.com/us/en/home/products/gamer-av
     
  3. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,126
    Keep in mind that the games you download through Steam are independent of it, they have their own executables which have nothing to do with Steams own; it only works as an interface to organise, visualise and launch the game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  4. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Posts:
    1,988
    Location:
    Brasil
    When?

    Never heard of it.

    EMET can conflict with a few old games like GTA Vice City, but it's OK, you only need to remove "DEP" protections on the game's executable.

    Just because a security program gets angry at something, doesn't mean this something is dangerous. Even in Linux and GRSecurity, you need to disable "mprotect" for a TON of programs (like the KDE stuff, for example). Does this mean they're a security risk? No.

    Correct. However, note that VALVe does make security checks on the games they sell. It's not like they want to be liable if millions of customers get screwed by a new developer.

    What I recommend for any software is to run it inside a sandbox for a while, to scan every file it copies to the HD and to analyze it's behavior. However, that's not the case with Steam since it's a very well-known software, you'll only be wasting your time trying to see what it does. And trying to run games on a sandbox won't do it either because they won't have access to the Steam API and will crash.

    So what I do in Windows is I run COMODO Internet Security and set the HIPS to "Safe Mode" and the Firewall to "Custom Ruleset". This way any changes the game wants to make, any keyboard hook or registry edit or COM interface access it wants, I can block it or allow it. However, again, this is useless because the games are already being checked by other people AND VALVe and a developer wouldn't risk their reputation by trying to screw with people's computers. The "smart" way to do it is not by putting your face out there, but by trying to get into VALVe's servers without their knowledge.

    So don't be too afraid of it.
     
  5. Masterblaster

    Masterblaster Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
    Posts:
    260
    Location:
    USA
    And install Workshop mods, communicate in-game with your mic, manage friends to play with, trade items, read news, join game forums, and other stuff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  6. Joxx

    Joxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Posts:
    1,126
    Yeap, personally I've never worried about whatever I download from Steam.
     
  7. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,854
    Don't add Steam or your Steam games to EMET. 1) It's pointless 2) You risk issues with VAC.

    Normal security software is perfectly fine to use, and you can use EMET without adding Steam.
     
  8. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Posts:
    316
    I tried Webroot and it the way that it ran on my system was amazing. Truly one of the lightest a/v I've ever used. However, I've always felt that there's been a question mark on how effective Webroot is which has always put me off. I also had a concern about the rollback system it uses but cleaerly if you've been using it for years with no problem then it'll be fine. I've always heard a few other gamers speak about how great Webroot is too.
     
  9. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Posts:
    316
    @amarildojr

    There was a previous thread about Steam that mentioned a number of things that I alluded to in my thread. It can be found here but it's quite unfortunate how it got sidetracked https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/steam-how-to-make-it-more-secure.347100/

    Thank you for sharing how what you do on your own system regards security and Steam. I think the clear message from your post and that of others is that there's not much to worry about and just to get on and enjoy the games I've got.
     
  10. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    8,041
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    If I'm correct, both Steam and Origin run just fine in Sandboxie, at least the last time I checked. But I understand what you're saying, I also don't fully trust these type of apps, so I have decided the buy all videogames on DVD-ROM.
     
  11. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Posts:
    665
    I remember this also. It happened a few years back.
     
  12. plat1098

    plat1098 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Posts:
    276
    Location:
    Da mean streets of Brooklyn
    I agree about Steam. If you have HitmanPro Alert, you can add Steam to "protected apps." I just added it so if any issues pop up later, I'll edit my post to reflect that.

    On a somewhat related note, if you want to double-check your device information and temperatures and if you don't use this already, a decent and comprehensive free software utility is HWINFO, using "sensors-only" mode.

    https://www.hwinfo.com/download.php
     
  13. plat1098

    plat1098 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Posts:
    276
    Location:
    Da mean streets of Brooklyn