Tag Archives: Firewall

Steam Partially Blocked In China! What’s Going On?

On Christmas Day 2021, Steam was partially blocked in China!

Did China just ban Steam? Let’s take a look at what’s going on…


Steam Partially Blocked In China, What’s Going On?

On 25 December 2021, while people were celebrating Christmas across the world, the Steam store and API domains (and subdomains) suddenly became inaccessible in China.

  • Store.Steampowered.com
  • Steamcommunity.com

According to SteamDB, the global Steam Store and API subdomains appear to experience “connection resets” on some Akamai IP addresses, which is typical for domains blocked by China’s Great Firewall.

However, the Steam client and other subdomains, including partner sites, continue to be accessible in China. So the Steam ban that everyone was reporting about, is only partial and intermittent.

Gamers in China can still play their games using the Steam client, and some users say that they are still able to access the Store and purchase games.

From what we understand, only port 443 is being blocked, and the connection is reset after a period of time. So it is an intermittent interference like what happened to GitHub.

The Steam China Store is not affected, but offers a far limited selection of games and features, as it was built to comply with the Chinese government’s strict regulations on games and Internet usage.


Steam Troubles In China : Warning Or Actual Ban?

The Steam downtime does not seem to be due to a DNS poisoning attack. Rather, it seems to be some kind of action sanctioned by the Chinese government.

The intermittent and partial nature of Steam’s downtime in China suggests that this isn’t an actual ban… yet.

Gamers, for example, can still continue to play games using the Steam client, and some could even access the global store and make game purchases, at least intermittently.

Interestingly, there has been no bombastic editorial from Global Times or any of the other Chinese state media, which suggests that this is a subtle warning to Steam to “play ball” with the Chinese government.

It could be related to the CCP’s crackdown on video games and Internet usage some three months ago :

  • Strict limits on how long minors can engage in online games – up to one hour per day, and only from 8 PM to 9 PM on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
  • Real name registration of online game accounts – gamers must register using their real names.

Or it could be related to the strict approval of online games. China, for example, suspended video game approvals for 3 months in September 2021.

If so, access to the global Steam store may miraculously be restored in full once Steam has made the required “corrections” or at least committed to those “corrections”.

The global Steam store could also end up being banned for real, leaving only the minuscule Steam China Store to cater to China’s domestic consumption.

Either way, many netizens and gamers have expressed gratitude that they are living on the right side of the Great Firewall.


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SonicOS 6.2.5 For Dell SonicWALL Released

April 1, 2016Dell Security today announced the release of SonicOS 6.2.5 for Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive, NSA and TZ Series firewalls. This new firmware extends security to Dell switches, wireless access points and firewalls by consolidating the management of the converged network infrastructure.

The release also significantly advances capabilities associated with inspecting encrypted traffic, a major threat vector in today’s malware economy, and meets strict certification requirements of the US Department of Defense.


Making Network Management Simpler and More Efficient

SonicOS 6.2.5 simplifies support for Dell Security partners by providing one version of firmware to handle the majority of Dell SonicWALL products. The new SonicOS also increases connection counts on encrypted HTTPS sessions, enabling stronger encryption support and expanding government certification for high security applications.

It simplifies network management for both distributed enterprises and managed service providers by allowing management of the Dell Networking X-Series switches by SonicWALL TZ series firewalls and SonicWALL Global Management System, enabling central management of distributed converged networks. This release also improves performance, increases flexibility and makes systems more secure against today’s more sophisticated attacks.

“The life of a security officer in any sized organization is not easy, no matter what the industry. With the introduction of SonicOS 6.2.5, Dell Security has made strides to make their lives easier. The new OS has features designed to enable a converged infrastructure across switching, wireless, and security, allowing organizations to do more with less and reduce the complexity of network management,” said Han Chon, director, Security and Endpoint Systems Management, Dell Asia Pacific & Japan. “This is yet another innovative offering we deliver to help our customers navigate today’s rising threat landscape, keep their network secure and workforce productive.”

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Highlights Of SonicOS 6.2.5

  • New Dell Networking X-Series Switch Integration: Organizations now can effectively manage Dell X-Series switches as an extension of the Dell SonicWALL TZ series firewall functionality, providing single-pane-of-glass management of all network infrastructure, including SonicWALL TZ firewalls, Dell X-Series switches, SonicWALL SonicPoints and SonicWALL WAN Acceleration devices. The ability to centrally manage all of the switches, firewalls and wireless access points in an increasingly dispersed network is a significant benefit for organizations in all industries. Dell SonicWALL TZ Series integration with the Dell Networking X-Series switches delivers the necessary security and expandability without the burden of having extra management consoles that increase complexity, overhead costs, and result in the potential for misconfiguration and non-compliance issues.
  • DPI SSL Enhancements: The recently published 2016 Dell Security Annual Threat Report shows a 50 percent surge in encrypted traffic ‒ including encrypted malware ‒ affecting millions of users in 2015. Continuing Dell Security’s commitment to deep packet inspection (DPI) on encrypted traffic, multiple DPI SSL enhancements to SonicOS 6.2.5 provide more efficient inspection of DPI SSL traffic, as well as improved troubleshooting, better scalability and better certificate support. Key enhancements include:
    • CFS category-based exclusion/inclusion of encrypted connections for efficient standards compliance (PCI, HIPPA)
    • Strengthened Encryption Methods (TLS 1.2, SHA256)
    • Increased default Certificate Authority (CA) database
    • Improved troubleshooting for encrypted connection failures
    • Finer granularity for encrypted connection exclusions based on alternate domain names (excluding youtube.com vs. *.google.com)
    • Refreshed GUI for easy-to-use configuration of encrypted connection processing


Dell SonicWALL Products Approved for use by the Department of Defense

Dell Security has achieved prestigious Department of Defense certification for Dell SonicWALL next-generation firewalls. Based on stringent Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) testing, designated Dell SonicWALL firewall products now are certified for the DoD Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL), and qualified for use by Department of Defense (DoD) agencies in the United States.


SonicOS 6.2.5 Availability

  • SonicOS 6.2.5 is available on Dell SonicWALL SuperMassive 9600/9400/9200, NSA6600/5600/4600/3600/2600 and TZ600/500/500 W/400/400 W/300/300 W/SOHO W next-generation firewalls worldwide, through the channel.
  • A complete list of the new features found in SonicOS 6.2.5 is available in this datasheet.
  • The Dell SonicWALL TZ600/500/500 W/400/400 W/300/300 W next-generation firewalls with integrated Dell X-Series switches running SonicOS 6.2.5 are now generally available through the channel.

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