Research Finds In-Game Usernames Correlated With Anti-Social Behaviour

According to the latest research, it turns out the names we pick in game are a good predictor of how we behave in-game. By looking at the usernames of player in League of Legends, researchers were able to correlate anti-social tendencies in game with both age and the choice of username.

Rating names based on Anti-Social Naming Tendency (ANT) and Age as derived from the username, researchers correlated this data with Riot’s in-game reporting system. Not surprisingly, players with anti-social usernames tended to have more reports and complaints. It also found that younger players tended to have a much higher amount of reports sent and received, well in excess compared tot he amounts for older players.

Players with more neutral usernames tended to receive less reports and were more willing to give out “honor” or a positive report of other players. The same held true for older players who sent out honor 6% more often and received it 2% more frequently.

While we might think of older gamers are those in their late 20 and 30s and even beyond, it turns out that going up to 22-25 years of age was enough to see positive impacts. The researchers chalk up the age differences as due to cognitive development of the young male demographic. The anti-social naming is more self-explanatory, with real world personality being the driver. Interestingly enough, those with anti-social names tended to do very slightly better on average. With more research, it will be interesting to see the interaction between our real world and in-game personalities.

MIT Ranks Worst In IT Security Assessment

The Massachusetts institute for technology (known as MIT) is known throughout the world for its technological prowess and skills. Producing proud graduates, it is known for being at the forefront of the information technology that we as a world use on an everyday basis. Once again it has scored first, this time, however, this is not good news.

Conducted by Security Scorecard, an information security assessment company, the company tested an assessment for several high-value universities and nearly gave MIT a failing grade. MIT scored low in several areas, including; hacker chatter (this measures the number of times the school was mentioned in online forums used by hackers and the amount of user details that were revealed online on these forums), patching cadence (how quickly reported patches were applied to deal with the vulnerabilities reported during the scan’s period) and IP reputation (the amount of malware communications that were coming from IP’s registered with the school).

MIT did score high in several areas, though, such as its Web Application Security, the health of its DNS records and finally the quality of its security at its endpoints. As with all things security is not something that can be considered fixed and left alone, it should always be considered and updated.

Thank you Ars Technica for the information. 

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Credentials May Become Compromised via Old Windows Vulnerability from the ’90s

Nobody wants their private information shared on the internet, but we live in an era where everything that’s connected to the internet may eventually become public. This is the case of an old Windows vulnerability from the ’90s, which still poses a security threat according to security specialists.

Brian Wallace, a security researcher from Cylance, has been reported to have found a new way to exploit a vulnerability that was previously found in 1997. He stated that the flaw can be used on any Windows OS-powered device, may it be a tablet, PC, server or laptop, and can be used to potentially exploit and compromise around 31 programs.

The vulnerability that goes by the name of Redirect to SMB is said to be exploited by intercepting communication with a Web server using the man-in-the-middle approach. This in turn redirects all traffic to the malicious SMB server, which supposedly collects sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information or other things users type in.

There are some limitations to the technique though, as Wallace pointed out. The attacker needs to be on the same network as his victims and the attack can easily be prevented by blocking outbound traffic to the 139 and 445 TCP ports. But let’s be honest, who is going to do that? I mean most people don’t even change their default router credentials, let alone go into its settings and block traffic to specific ports.

Microsoft is said to have not made an official statement regarding the matter, but Wallace’s findings have been revealed at the Computer Emergency Readiness Team at Carnegie Melon University. With all this snooping around that’s been going on lately, how secure do you feel? Or is that even a matter of concern at this point?

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of High Performance Laptops

Grand Theft Auto 5 PC Users Faced with Login Problems over the Weekend

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5 has just hit the PC platform and it already had its fair share of problems. Users with ‘unique’ usernames have been extremely disappointed when attempting to install or play the GTA 5 title over the weekend, having been greeted with the “Rockstar update service is unavailable (code 1)” message.

By ‘unique’ usernames, we mean to say that users with characters outside the alphanumeric table are facing the issue described above. Now let’s stop and think about that for a second… really? I mean how in the world did you not see this coming? Going on a simple forum or scrolling through your list of Steam/Uplay/Origin/Windows/etc usernames reveals the “0b\/|0u$”. People have been creative with their usernames for ages now.

Rockstar Support provided some information on their website, which reads as following:

“We have identified an issue where players with Windows usernames that include characters not found in the table at the bottom of this page will likely run into difficulties when attempting to download, install, or play GTAV. We are currently working on a fix for this issue.”

The company’s support has even stated to have had temporary alternative for the issue, but it involves creating a fresh account. While this gave you access to the game, you wouldn’t have had any previous achievements, friends or stats as on your regular account. Even so, who would want to play on a temporary account and lose everything when they have to switch back to their old one?

A full list of supported characters, according to Rockstar, read as following: “A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l M m N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9”

This is now in the past though, since Polygon reported that connection issues are now resolved. However, Rockstar now seems to be investigating some possible progression losses, saves, items and characters that occurred along with the connection problems. Have you had any problems playing the game? Did you lose any progress or items? Let us know!

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Yahoo! Mail Suffers Unknown Number Of Stolen Email Accounts And Passwords

Since the massive Yahoo! ad-malware problem was not enough, apparently Yahoo! Mail got hit ‘big time’ recently, leading to an unknown number of Yahoo mail user account names and passwords stolen.

Yahoo mail users seem to be the most recent victim of mass data theft. Yahoo, in a security update posted today, claims to have “identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts.” This really does not come as a surprise, but a question to Yahoo!’s credibility. First malware attacks, now this? Yahoo! might be standing in the same boat as Google with all their late ‘misfortunes’.

The company took action on behalf of its users, prompting them to reset passwords on the breached accounts. So far, Yahoo’s investigation the list of usernames and passwords uses in the attack were harvested from a third-party with access to Yahoo credentials. The company believes that “the information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts’ most recent sent emails.”

Up until now, Yahoo! has not released any comments or an estimated number of affected accounts implicated in the attack. Federal law enforcement has been notified of the attack, and Yahoo has “implemented additional measures to block attacks against Yahoo’s systems.”

Thank you Electronista for providing us with this information

4.6 Million Snapchat Phone Numbers And Usernames Leaked Due To Privacy Breach

According to Snapchat company’s CEO, over 400 million “snaps” are sent everyday using the app. While the service was certainly making its way up the ranks, it has all come to a grinding halt thanks to a massive security breach.

The phone numbers and usernames of over 4.6 million Snapchat users have been leaked online. North American users are most effected by this leak, however it also contains private data from users across the globe. What really makes matters worse for Snapchat is that only a few days ago they were told by Gibson Security about potential security holes in their system. Snapchat chose to ignore the concerns, assuring users that their information is safe. Gibson then went on to explain how in just 7 minutes, over 10,000 phone numbers could be leaked using the app’s private APIs.

Snapchat was recently offered $4 billion from Facebook to be bought, which they turned down. Google has also made similar offers, which too were turned down. Needless to say nobody is going to be making any offers for the foreseeable future. I think they should have taken one of the offers made. Now however, they have a long way ahead to rebuild and fix the flaws and also regain users’ trust in handling their private information.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information