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Steam Stealer Malware Becomes Extremely Sophisticated, Remains Very Cheap (securelist.com) 95

An anonymous reader writes: During the past years, malware aimed at stealing game inventory items from Steam accounts and logging Steam login credentials has become extremely sophisticated, but [has] remained at a lower-tier pricing range on underground hacking forums, rarely going above $10, never over $30. Valve says that it receives 77,000 complaints a month for hacked accounts, and Steam Stealers are responsible for most of them. [The] most targeted game is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, while Kaspersky Lab says that most of the cyber-gangs behind these malware families are of Eastern European origin, mostly Russian.
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Steam Stealer Malware Becomes Extremely Sophisticated, Remains Very Cheap

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  • by Acid-Duck ( 228035 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2016 @03:49PM (#51703185) Homepage Journal

    There was a time where people faked their accounts being hi-jacked as a way of duplicating really expensive skins. They would then turn around and sell the skin which was scammed on a site like OpSkins and then keep the duplicated skin in their main account and still play with it. Not anymore though, Steam wised up and made some changes.

    • by Pascoea ( 968200 )
      So, I'm confused. I just popped over to OpSkins, after a quick perusal, it appears that you can buy different weapons of varying conditions for wildly varying prices. Couple questions. Are those prices in real dollars? Do people actually buy shit for that price? (A knife for $1000+) Has the world gone full-on insane? Why?
      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        The knife skins are extremely rare and cost money to get (you have to open cases of skins using keys which are over â2 and it takes a lot of attempts to be lucky enough to get a knife skin, that make it rare and cost actual money to get) and you can resell your items though on Steam Valve keeps 15% of the value.

        • by Pascoea ( 968200 )
          I really wish you were joking, but I know you're not. How does someone say to someone else with a straight face: "I can't go out tonight dude, gotta save money for that bomb-ass Karambit skin."
          • by aliquis ( 678370 )

            How does someone say to someone else with a straight face: "I can't go out tonight dude, gotta save money for that bomb-ass Karambit skin."

            "I gotta save for my fiancees ring"? "I need to get a new suit"? "I need to get a haircut"? "I want bigger boobs"?

            Sports car, useless ring, Karambit skin. What's the difference really?

            How long it lasts?

            Diamonds are forever, a skin only is worth something for a decade and a sports car? .. The damn haircut is kinda wasted in two months anyway?

            Shave your hair once and get a setup of skins for your most used weapons in CS:GO instead? Maybe that feel more worth it than having specific hair-piece for two months f

            • All the things you mentioned get you sex in return for them.
              • by aliquis ( 678370 )

                All the things you mentioned get you sex in return for them.

                Yeah, I guess sex-appeal is what you're buying and CS:GO skins maybe do a poor job there. Maybe it make some people excited but ...
                Guess "I've got $5000 in CS:GO skins!" may not even impress on a girl. CS:GO-girls? .. then again all they will want to have is free skins anyway.

            • Heck, here in Sweden it's supposedly cool to order champagne just to have it poured into the sink to show that you can afford it ..

              Tell them to ship me the champagne and I'll resell it back to them. We can repeat this as often as they feel they need to dispose of money.

          • I've probably spent a couple hundred on War Thunder for planes and tanks, I don't see this as being really any different.

            As for why I spent that money on the game as opposed to...say buying another piece of gear for my music or my PC? I already have what I need to do what I want, anything above that would just equal more clutter. As for why that particular game? I had 2 relatives that fought in WWII and I consider it one of the most fascinating periods when it comes to planes and tanks. While you can progre

            • by Pascoea ( 968200 )

              I've probably spent a couple hundred on War Thunder for planes and tanks, I don't see this as being really any different.

              The big difference here, is I assume that planes and tanks in this game serve a purpose. IE, you can buy and utilize more powerful equipment to gain an advantage over your competitor. The "add ons" aid the progression of the game. And in your example, I can understand spending a couple bucks here and there. In this instance, a $1,000 dollar knife skin adds exactly zero play value.

              But, I guess if someone wants to blow a grand on something that I feel is useless, that is their prerogative. It pisses me off

              • my interpretation is that at least some of the things he purchased were downgrades. he buys them, hopefully to support the developer, and because he likes the historical aspects of the game.

                let me ask you, if they released a skin that changed the knife to a dildo, would you buy it? for 5 dollars, 10 dollars? do you know someone who would?

                • by Pascoea ( 968200 )

                  if they released a skin that changed the knife to a dildo, would you buy it? for 5 dollars, 10 dollars? do you know someone who would?

                  $5, yeah, in a heart beat. $10, probably, but I'd hesitate for a couple seconds. $20, maybe, if I was drunk. $50, not a chance in hell. I won't spend $50 on a game, much less something to make something in that game look different.

                  But I'm not talking about $5 and $10 skins, I'm talking about spending a grand. And I'm talking about deluding minors into wagering money thinking they have a chance of obtaining something of more value.

                • You are correct, planes like the Wirraway and Tuck's Gladiator, or tanks like the SD.KFZ. 140/1 and Panzer III N? Are NOT giving me a "competitive advantage" and in fact can be quite a challenge to compete with compared to the regular vehicles....but ya know what they DO have? FUN, they are fun to drive or fly, and I have fun when I whip them out and take them into battle.

                  And yes I do this to help support the game and it lets me have fun at the same time, a win/win in my book.

              • Actually? Most of them have at best equal and most of the time worse performance than what is in the regular free tech tree...I buy them because....well I like the whole "mad scientist" aspect of early WWII and like to support the developers of games that I enjoy.

                Take for example the Australian planes in game, both of which I own, the CAC Wirraway and Boomerang. The Wirraway is IRL a trainer that they slapped some guns and bombs on as an emergency fighter, the Boomerang was a Wirraway that a Jewish refugee

        • I don't really understand how a knife skin can be 'extremely rare'.. Why don't copy commands work on it?
          • For (extremely roughly) the same reasons that copy-paste commands don't work on bitcoins. Sure, you can duplicate your bitcoins as much as you want (in the case of these knife skins, you can install as many knife-skin mods as you want) but once you transfer those bitcoins to someone else, as far as everyone else is concerned, they belong to that other person. No matter how many knife-skin mods you have installed on your computer, the "digital goods" are in somebody else's safe deposit box.

            • Wow.. just wow. Seems the only smart thing to do is to stay far, far away from that. I'm ok with the government giving money value by limiting it... because they're the freaking government. I can wrap my head around physical goods having value, because only so many can be manufactured. I can even kind of understand bitcoin, though I would never use it, because it is limited by no one except for its own internal mechanism. But having a game company tell me that something virtual has value because they a
              • by aliquis ( 678370 )

                What about all the brands?
                Have you never worn any clothes from a cloth-brand which is more expensive because it's that brand rather than because the clothes are so fucking awesome in quality or cut?
                What about shining Apple logotypes?
                Maybe you feel more comfortable spending more money on a eau de toilette which wear the Armani or Boss brand than Wanker-SteveÂs (ok, I admit that would be an awesome brand to wear, "Wanker-Steve's secret pussy-magnet juice" (Then again if he had such a good product why wou

                • Honestly, I do most of my shopping at wal-mart. The clothes I have get worn until they wear out and I can't tell you what brand they are. I drive a minivan because that is what fits the practical needs of my family. If you're looking to make this case, then you are definitely talking to the wrong person. I don't attach any value to any of those things, and I'm completely fine with the way I am without them.
                  • by Kkloe ( 2751395 )
                    It can also be said about food or anything you buy, why do you buy brand a thats more expensive than brand b if the end result of both brands are the same?
              • I don't play CS:GO but I have a substantial amount of Fake Digital Stuff in my Team Fortress 2 "backpack". I've spent at least several hundred dollars on completely digital "goods" in TF2 over the years I've been playing it (since open beta, October 2007). Mostly I haven't regretted the individual "purchases" I've made, and to a large part it gives me joy. I budget it as "entertainment" money, so as long as I'm entertained to a degree I deem of sufficient value in exchange for my money, I don't mind giving

          • by aliquis ( 678370 )

            If you own it others see you running around with it.

            Knifes don't drop when you die so opposite of the ranged weapons where you drop them and someone else can pick them up and then run around with your super-cool skin being informed it's yours and in the case of StatTrak enabled how StatTrak isn't enabled because the skin/weapon knows it's not held by the correct owner .. but if it was a different weapon that's what would happen.
            The knife is yours only but as soon as people die in the game they become specta

            • The day I attach my self esteem to something that isn't real is the day I seriously start to reexamine my life. I don't really believe in fancy clothes or make-up either. I've always been able to understand that anyone can wear a suit, and a person's intelligence and skill is not attached to it. But I have to say, at least those things are real. I guess it just surprises me that people could take things to an even greater level of frivolousness than that.
              • by aliquis ( 678370 )

                The day I attach my self esteem to something that isn't real

                It is real. It's "just information" but so is your bank account balance. I assume you may care somewhat about the later at-least..

                Also I'm not convinced those people lack self-esteem otherwise. I don't care for it really but I guess I could had bought some cheap skins because I've put 300+ hours into the game and if I ran around with â5 in skins and would lose â1 if I sold them would that really mattered if I thought it was cool to run around with them / see something different / know some others

                • So you pay and you win the game or kick ass.. where is the reward in that? All you did was invest more money than anyone else. More people are likely to consider you as a bigger loser than a bigger winner. Anyway, I know I am fighting an uphill battle here. Long story short, putting money into anything is not a replacement for character.
                  • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
                    It might simply be that you and the people who pay for this are different. Perhaps you're unusual in that everything you buy has practical value. If that is true, you're the outlier. I don't buy this stuff, I find the prices crazy, but they obviously get a reward out of it. You might not be expending enough effort to see from another's perspective here.
                    • Well, some people eat shit. Literally, some people eat shit. I don't understand them either. Sometimes people do things that don't make sense and there is really no understanding it. Sometimes they happen to be part of a small minority and sometimes they are a majority. It doesn't make their behavior any more reasonable. With that said, I'm trying to understand. That is why I'm having this conversation here on Slashdot.
                    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
                      I could've been an obnoxious prick about it like you, but I'm in an alright mood today. Thanks tho ! ;)
                    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
                      People who buy expensive skins for games are just like people who eat shit. That's so true. Thanks man.
                    • Hey, I'm just saying both make about as much sense to me. Was hoping someone could explain it, but I guess not. People do what they do, let's leave it at that then.
              • The day I attach my self esteem to something that isn't real is the day I seriously start to reexamine my life.

                You should start now, then.

                I don't really believe in fancy clothes or make-up either.

                But you believe in your smugness; you parade it in this thread as if it was something to be proud off. You imply that the peoples self-esteem are attached to some frivolous thing.

                Get over yourself. You've got hobbies that cost you money and give you entertainment, I don't see anyone here pointing out how frivolous your hobbies are - how they are a waste of money. And on the off-chance that you have no hobbies, then still I have to say - Get Over Yourself - you're not somehow bett

      • A lot of geeks have expensive hobbies. Cars, guns, model trains, stereos, it can all get expensive.

        I have a suspicion that there is a lot of of illegal money make it's way into the Steam economies as well. Hacked credit cards are much more dangerous to use buying physical goods.
      • by delt0r ( 999393 )
        Well i didn't use real money. But in eve i lost 6 carriers 4 dreads and a bunch of very shiny internet space ships. All up about 2000USD worth *if i used real money*. And well many people really do. I though it was strange at first. But then well if that is their hobby, why not. You will spend more on shiny golf clubs if you play golf. I paid far more for a mill and a lathe just for my rocket hobby. And well yea those expensive golf clubs are no more useful really than an internet space ship or a internet k
      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        Also beyond what I said before about paying for keys to open cases which rarely give out knives:
        Even if you get a knife they have virtual wear of their skins so to say with more complete/full skins normally being worth more than the worn ones.
        On top of that people may decorate their skins with stickers, stickers cost money too but some are more rare and some have signatures from e-sport players at specific events and so on.
        A few of the skins also have "StatTrak" capability which mean that they have a counte

  • Money goes into steam games/DLC money doesn't come back out. Valve can just reverse all exchanges, so even if you broker the trade of one game for another, it will all get reversed after a complaint.

    The only way to make money is to convince someone to do an under-the-table trade, which most people know is pretty risky on its own.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There are sites like OPskins.com that are highly reputable and make the conversion of steam items to cash pretty easy and safe.

    • You can cash out by selling through sites like OPSkins but obv you're losing a %.

      • Ah, guess I didn't realize that. I did find a policy that indicated a 7 day waiting period if using official channels though. I just assume that most games have a "you cannot profit on it" policy.

    • Valve does not reverse exchanges as it can be difficult to do so. Scammer trades item to unsuspecting Player A, Player A trades that item and something else to Player B, Player B sells it to Player C on the market...Player B's unrelated item he got is traded to Player D... The Scammer sells his account with Player A's stuff on it for real money... and it just gets more convoluted form there. Valve has tended to just duplicate the affected items instead but this has been abused by people who fake being scamm

  • anyone else?

    • I use steam and really can't find the will to care about this. Granted I don't play any games that use steam marketplace stuff in an important way. The most I use the market for is completing holiday badges for personal amusement. There is never more than a couple dollars in my balance and the items in my inventory are hardly worth posting in the market for sale.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      It's ok to play with the standard skins and not have any special ones.

  • Steam thief: yet another phrase that meant something completely different 100 years ago.

  • information wants to be free and all and no one loses money when someone plays a game they didn't buy
    • People aren't cracking into Steam accounts to play the games on them: they're actually looking to steal their game items, often to sell for money.
      • It isn't stealing. Maybe just copyright infringement. Anyhow, those players should give away their game items. They can make their money performing live and selling tshirts at their concerts.
  • It was a PITA. Had to go through the recovery process and change all my passwords, before I could play DOTA2 again... All for what, so some Russian teen can root through my account, and see I have nothing worth stealing? This is the first time it has happened to me, but I have had about 5 or 6 recent attempts prior to that. Lame. Seems to be getting worse. If Steam wants to continue growing, they are going to have to deal with this issue.

  • [The] most targeted game is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ... cyber-gangs behind these malware families are of Eastern European origin, mostly Russian.

    Cyka blyat!

  • And this is where Valve's stance on VAC being zero tolerance, permanent, and in place regardless of if your account was hijacked or not needs to be addressed. You get a VAC ban, you're not going to be able to participate in the Steam community or any online game in any fashion without being harassed endlessly, or repurchasing all games on a new account. Seen it time and time again even if VAC is not relevant to whatever discussion is at hand. I can only hope that with all the security I've set up on my Stea

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