Researchers have observed malware using the chat functionality of internet based gaming and social networking platform Steam to send malicious messages to users.
The malware incorporates a simple message such as 'WTF?????' and a link to what appears to be an image hosted on another website. However, navigating to this link will download a screensaver that will infect your computer with malware when opened.
The malware will then propagate by using the victim’s Steam account to send messages to his or her friends. The attack relies on tricking people into running the screensaver infected with malware rather than exploiting any vulnerabilities in the Steam software.
While this current attack focuses on Steam, researchers have observed similar attack patterns on many other social networks.
Staying safe with online chat
If you receive links purporting to come from your friends on Steam or other social media services, check with your friends that they did so and the link is legitimate. Do not click on unsolicited links, regardless of the apparent source.
If you attempt to view an image on a website, and a file downloads instead, do not open the file. Instead, run an antivirus product to check its legitimacy. If you are unsure of the result from your antivirus product, delete the file rather than open it.
What to do if your Steam service is infected
If the malware infects your Steam service, it will use the chat function to send malicious links to your friends. If your friends alert you that your Steam chat is sending malicious links to them, you should run an antivirus product on your computer.
If the antivirus product does not find and remove the infection, you should seek further technical advice on cleaning your computer.
Once the malware is removed, we recommend that you change your passwords, particularly for high-value sites such as online banking and email.
This report is based on information from researcher Graham Cluley.
The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.
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This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.
This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.
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