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[PSA] Steam Chat Virus + Ways to avoid it
The main purpose of this guide is to raise awareness of this virus. (It will be short and simple)
According to post found on Reddit and other forums, there's a virus currently spreading through Steam Chat.
What does this virus do?
Basically, it infects your Steam account and turn it into spam bots. Then the spam bot proceed to send your friends virus link and the vicious cycle continues if your friend did clicked on the link and opened the virus file.
Here is screenshot of infected account.
If you clicked on that link, your PC will download something like this.
If you open that file, your Steam account will most likely be toasted.
Why you should be careful
1) All your progress will be lost You will lose things that you've done such as achievement, badges and many other stuff.
The virus itself won't delete these things but losing access to your account makes everything you achieved became in vain.
2) You will lose your money Similar to first reason, if your account is infected by virus, you will also lost every game you own and this include the money you own in infected account.
Virus also won't delete any game you bought. Similar to first reason, if you cannot access your account, all your money you spent on that account will also became in vain.
3) Your friend could be at risk If you accidentally infected by the virus, there is chance that virus can be spread to your other friends through the infected accounts. As a result, your friend could became victim.
Avoid Virus: NEVER accept random links
One of the biggest reason why this virus can infected a lot of users because of one reason:
Most of the people click on random link send by random strangers or their friend.
To prevent getting infected by virus, do NOT accept suspicious link from anyone, this includes your friends.
If your friend suddenly send weird link to you, it is better to ask your friend why they send weird link to you. Usually, bots are programmed to send you link to virus and it cannot reply any message you send to it.
If you asked your friend but he didn't reply, there is a chance that your friend were infected by virus.
Avoid Virus: Get Mobile Authentication Enabled
Sometimes it is better safe than sorry.
To make sure your account is safe, it is better enable Steam Mobile Authentication. It serve as a double protection barrier for your Steam account.
Basically, if you have Mobile Authentication enabled, it makes virus harder to infect your account and buy you sometime to remove the virus before it cause any havoc.
If the virus managed to infect your account, Mobile Authentication should be able to detect suspicious activity and temporary froze your account which will help preventing virus spreading to your other friends.
Infected: Tell your friends immediately
If your account were infected by virus, you should go inform your friend immediately.
Your friends may not aware that your account were affected by virus and open the link send by infected accounts. This will put your friend at risk which is not something that you would want it to happen.
Inform your friends not to accept anything send by your account and explain to them that your account is affected by virus. It is also better to tell your friend how this virus spread and ask your friend to inform their friends. The more people know about this virus, the harder the virus able to spread through community.
Infected: Run a full Anti-Virus Scan
If you opened that file and your Steam account were infected, you should run full PC anti-virus scan immediately.
Even though it doesn't help fix infected account but at least it helps remove virus from PC.
Infected: Don't open the file
Let's say that you accidentally downloaded the file but didn't open it. If this scenario occur, you should do is NOT to open the file.
You should go delete the file and run anti-virus scan immediately.
Q: Uhhh I thought your original email account, Steam Support and Mobile Authentication already protect your account from virus?
A: I admit all of these do grant your account strong security. However, we shouldn't jump to conclusion by saying that your account will be immune to virus. The virus file itself MAY contain other type of virus such as keylogger that track everything you have typed.
Q: This is old, I heard this from few years ago already!
A: Yup, this is one of the oldest virus that exist on Steam. However, if you have noticed that phishing waves from a very long time ago also do spread through Steam Chat. Although phishing link is different than a virus file, but both have same similarity: 1) They send you link through chat 2) You will lose your account if you fall into their trap
Also, you cannot totally 'get rid of' these kind of bots from Steam. If you banished the old bot, new one emerged.
Q: What is the best way to protect yourself?
A: Don't click on random links.
In conclusion, do NOT accept random links if you want to keep your account safe.
I hope this guide do help raise awareness about this terrifying virus and helps to make community became a little bit safer.
If I made any mistake in this guide, I apologize for it.
Check out my other guide
Unlike my other guide which I would spend few day to write, this guide only takes about an hour to make since this is an issue that could affect a lot of users.