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United Systems has been serving the Oklahoma City area since 1984, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Alert: A New Malware to Worry About for PC Gamers Using Steam

Alert: A New Malware to Worry About for PC Gamers Using Steam

Hackers have always gone after industries that are profitable, or hold sensitive information that can be lucrative when sold under the table. As such, retailers that accumulate financial credentials are often hit by hacks. The entertainment industry is no different, and hackers continue to grow craftier in their pursuit of wealth and power. Not even Steam, the PC gamer’s most valuable software solution, is safe from the dangers of hacking attacks.


Steam is a widely-used web-based distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation that’s used for online multiplayer gaming, as well as many other video game-related situations. It’s actually relatively similar to cloud computing. Steam is one of the biggest online gaming retailers with over 140 million users. In October 2013, it was estimated that 75 percent of all games purchased online were through Steam. If nothing else, Steam is a valid online computing outlet that hackers want to take advantage of.

As anyone who has a hobby will understand, a gamer’s collection of games, virtual items, or online currency, will accrue a self-perceived value of sorts. While this might seem like a worthless asset to compromise, it’s introducing a new type of hacker to the online environment. People who want to steal games, achievements, and other in-game assets are capable of doing so with a new malware called Steam Stealer. Perhaps the most terrifying thing about Steam Stealer is the fact that it’s so easy to use. If hackers find that they can get away with stealing seemingly benign in-game items, they might find that they want to go for something with a little more practical use, like credit card numbers. This presents a unique situation which could provide amateur hackers with the skills and confidence they need to attempt more risky and detrimental hacks.

Since Steam Stealer is easy to use and afford, even the average citizen can experience the bittersweet taste of hacking. With included instructions, user manuals, APIs, and a price tag of $15, people with no knowledge of malware can easily use Steam Stealer. Compared to other Malware as a Service offerings, Steam Stealer is a small price to pay and is relatively simple to use. Once people experience the adrenaline of using malware to steal fellow gamers’ in-game objects, what’s stopping them from pursuing the rush even further?

The end result could very well be hackers who won’t be satisfied until they’ve hit the motherload; financial information and other products purchased through Steam’s online interface. Unsurprisingly, Steam experiences quite a large amount of takeovers -- around 77,000 accounts suffer from breaches each month. There’s a definite precedent for this type of hack, and criminals obviously see the potential for profits.

The best way to keep your Steam account safe from hackers is for users to practice a combination of two-factor authentication, and to always keep an eye out for potential phishing scams. Changing passwords regularly is an ideal way to keep hackers from accessing accounts, and closely monitoring URLs that are sent through chats will keep you from visiting potentially malicious sites.

These tips probably sound familiar; for good reason. They’re valuable tips that help you stay safe whether you’re working on important work, or you’re on a quest to “slay the goblin lord.” Even if Steam is an online gaming platform, there are still valuable lessons that can be learned from it. While a business owner might see their data as an immensely valuable asset, gamers view their libraries in a similar way.

If you want to know how to best protect your district's business’s data, reach out to us at (405) 523-2162

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Isla Westwood
Players of the computer games must consider all safety and security related points before installing of new games. After learning ... Read More
Sunday, 13 January 2019 23:29
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Add a PIN to Windows 10 Login to Improve Security

Businesses all over the world are taking advantage of two-factor authentication, causing the password’s value to depreciate over time. Passwords aren’t powerful enough to keep users safe from advanced threats. Hackers are finding ways to punch holes in even the most comprehensive security solution, forcing users to focus on improving security through other means.


One way to do this is by using Windows 10’s built-in PIN system. Here’s how you can set up a PIN number, including how you can change or reset it if need be.

Why Use a PIN?
Using a PIN offers a few unique benefits over the traditional password. For example, Windows 10 uses the same password as your Microsoft account, which means that if this password is stolen or compromised by a hacker, they can access other services tied to your Microsoft account. If you’re using a PIN to access your PC, the PIN is unique to your Windows 10 device, meaning that a hacker would have to locally enter the PIN, making it a much less risky gambit than using a password.

Add a PIN
First, you need to click on the search bar at the bottom of the screen and type Settings. Then, select Sign-in options in the left column. Scroll down to the PIN section in the right column, and click Add. You’ll then be prompted to verify your password. Once you’ve done so, click OK.

Next, you’ll be taken to the Set up a PIN page. All you need to do is type your desired PIN in the provided forms. The only criteria required for a PIN is that it needs to be between four and nine characters long, but you need to make sure that it’s not something that can easily be guessed. Be sure to keep these pointers in mind:

  • The longer the PIN, the better the security: You’ve heard all about how using a complex password is a best practice, and the same can be said for your PIN. Make it as long as possible-- this makes it more difficult for hackers to guess.
  • Refrain from using PINs from other accounts: Everyone has credit cards that they use a PIN for, but these numbers shouldn’t be used for every single account you have. You should have individual PINs for each of your different accounts. Otherwise, one account being compromised could lead to multiple breaches. 
  • Use as many different numbers as possible: In much the same way that a password should contain variable letters, you want to stay away from short PINs with largely the same number.

Change or Reset Your PIN
Windows 10 makes it easy to change your PIN. You need to navigate back through Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and tap Change underneath PIN. You’ll then be taken to the Change your PIN screen.

If you need to reset your PIN, click I forgot my PIN next to the Change button. This will let you reset your PIN. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use your current account password to do so.

For more great tips, be sure to subscribe to United System's blog.

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What is your Identity Worth to You?

Your identity has quite a lot of value, especially in the wrong hands. Security firm ZoneAlarm put together some numbers in 2011 concerning identity fraud, and it even shocked us. Let's talk about a few of these statistics and what it means.

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How Safe is Your Email?

 

Email is (and has been) a prime method of communication for businesses of all sizes. With email comes a whole slew of issues that are essentially synonymous with the technology; spam, information overload, phishing, and information privacy. Even Oklahoma small businesses that only do business locally are at risk of these issues. Personal email accounts are equally at risk. Employing proper precautions and practices whenever communicating via email is very important to prevent the risk of security compromises, monetary loss, and even legality issues.

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Thursday, 06 December 2018 23:32
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