Security Issues, Hacks

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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CISA Supporters Use Sony Pictures Security Breach To Push Bill

December 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

We knew it wouldn't be long before some politicians and bureaucrats took the opportunity to use Sony Pictures' recent security breach as a way to push questionable cybersecurity legislation. The White House declared the Sony security breach a "national security issue" yesterday and today the FBI claimed that North Korea was directly involved in the hack.

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UK Spy Agency Releases 'Fun and Free' Cryptography App for Kids

December 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK agency dedicated to surveillance and other hush hush top-secret stuff has released its own Android app to teach secondary school students about cryptography. The app is "free and fun," though it is from the same agency known for cooperating the National Security Agency in a number of surveillance and spying programs around the world.

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Sony Dealing With Security Issues on Multiple Fronts

December 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Over the weekend Sony's PlayStation Network was the target of what appears to be a DDoS attack, and while the company didn't specifically say why its network was having issues, it did report sporadic connectivity problems.

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Andrew EisenI'm still trying to figure out where anyone is getting the idea violent content or lousy representation of women and minorities shouldn't exist or be promoted.06/30/2015 - 9:25am
james_fudgeWell, members of GP first, members of GG second, I always say.06/30/2015 - 9:06am
black mantaConsidering it's only you and Mattsworkname that have been carrying the banner for it here, that pretty much testifies to how little influence they have. Most everyone else here couldn't care less.06/30/2015 - 8:54am
black mantaAgain GG is more like Occupy Wall Street than the Tea Party movement. They had their moment, but they fizzled out. And now exist more as a nebulous thing spouting ideas. They haven't achieved anything meaningful.06/30/2015 - 8:52am
black mantaAs sincere as your beliefs may be, the movement is still rife with bigots and misogynists.06/30/2015 - 8:51am
black mantaI'm sure you're heart's in the right place, Goth. But it doesn't excuse the behavior of GG's members towards the people they don't like.06/30/2015 - 8:50am
MattsworknameWow goth, write a novel why dont cha. Seriously I know you have a passion for this stuff, but wow, thats kinda overkill.06/30/2015 - 8:46am
james_fudgeI hereby dub this space the Mainifesto Box (tm)06/30/2015 - 8:34am
Infophile13 shouts in total by Goth in a row. I think I'm to blame here. If I'd read the Breitbart link when he'd posted it, maybe he wouldn't have felt the need to say everything here.06/30/2015 - 8:27am
E. Zachary KnightI go away for one night and Goth writes his Gamergate manifesto in the shoutbox.06/30/2015 - 8:15am
james_fudgeI blame Andrew for this.06/30/2015 - 8:10am
Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
Goth_Skunknor suggest that the games industry and culture is rife with toxicity because of it and needs to change for the good of the medium. There is room in the market for progressive games to co-exist with games like Hatred, not replace them outright.06/30/2015 - 3:04am
Goth_SkunkAnd if the overly violent content of most AAA games or the perceived mistreatment of women in such games bothers one, by all means criticize it, but do not under any circumstances suggest that it such content shouldn't exist or be promoted,06/30/2015 - 3:02am
Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
Goth_Skunkfirst two games, a move which was ultimately corrected in the 3rd game. By extension, Dragon Age has always had the option, and good on it!06/30/2015 - 2:45am
Goth_SkunkBut it certainly is good to see developers entertain the allowance of allowing the player to develop their protagonist to be homosexual if they want. The Mass Effect series was criticized rightly for not allowing a male homosexual romance plot in the06/30/2015 - 2:44am
 

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