The New York Times posted an article today about a new game that is in development called ‘Data Dealer’. The goal of the game is to buy and sell as much virtual ‘personal data’ as possible to make a profit and rule as a powerful Data Mogul.
The aim of the developers is to inform users about the reality of the consumer data market and how governments, companies and other organizations buy and sell your personal information to each other for purposes of intelligence gathering, consumer profiling or just old fashioned advertising.
I think this is a great method to teach people about personal cyber security that presents a very real truth in a form that anyone can enjoy and hopefully take away some useful security tips.
French video game developer and publisher company Ubisoft suffered a hack to one of their websites according to a statement published today. Customer data including names, emails and encrypted passwords were accessed by unauthorized third parties and should be considered part of the public domain now.
It is not clear how the breach happened as Ubisoft declined to share all the details: “Credentials were stolen and used to illegally access our online network. We can’t go into specifics for security reasons.“. However, their comment seems to suggest that a Ubisoft employee’s credentials were stolen (spear phishing attack perhaps?) and those credentials were sufficient to access sensitive data.
Back in 2003 when Valve released its now well-known game distribution software called Steam, I wasn’t immediately sold on the idea. I figured a gaming platform that imposed more restrictions on the user (like DRM technology) and a required Internet connection would never really take off.
However, my feelings made a sharp change the following year, in 2004, when the blockbuster title Half-Life 2 was released to gamers abroad. As I inserted the game’s install CD into my PC I soon realized one thing: Valve developed both the game and Steam software, and it was therefore their prerogative to require Steam to play the long-awaited Freeman-filled shooter. And thus, after a series of long and painful mouse clicks, Steam was installed: I drank the Kool-Aid. Now you’ll find me saying “Loyalty until Underverse come” when asked my opinion on Steam.
“You can now play Half-Life 2. Welcome to the Underverse.”
(Image: The Chronicles of Riddick, Universal Studios)
OK, so maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal, but Steam really did change my gaming experience forever, and I’d say it’s mostly all been positive.
Nevertheless, as with anything that becomes popular on the web, bad guys pay attention too, and look to make a profit where they can. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some things you may want to watch out for when gaming with Steam.