Tag Archives: Github

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.


Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Gaming | SoftwareTech ARP


Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

The BitScout Free Cyber Forensics Tool Revealed!

At the end of his Palaeontology of Cyberattack keynote, the Kaspersky APAC Director of GReAT, Vitaly Kamluk, announced the public availability of his cyber forensics tool – BitScout. This is a free and open-source tool that can be used for the remote forensic investigation or collection of data from a compromised system, without risk of contamination or loss of data.

Don’t forget to check out the other Kaspersky Palaeontology of Cybersecurity presentations!


The BitScout Cyber Forensics Tool

BitScout was “created independently of the Kaspersky Lab product line” and is “outside [the] scope of [the] company’s business operation“. Vitaly intended for the BitScout tool to be used by cybersecurity researchers, high-tech crime units of law enforcement agencies (LEA), as well as educational institutions.

Legitimate owners of compromised systems may cooperate and help security researchers find the infection vector or other details about the attackers. However, it is a longstanding concern the need for security researchers to travel long distances to collect crucial evidence (e.g. malware samples) from infected computers can result in expensive and delayed investigations.

The longer it takes for an attack to be understood, the longer it is before users are protected and perpetrators identified. However, the alternatives have either involved expensive tools and a knowledge of how to operate them, or the risk of contaminating or losing evidence by moving it between computers.

To solve the problem, security researchers can now use BitScout to remotely collect key forensic materials, acquire full disk images via the network or locally attached storage, or simply remotely assist in malware incident handling. Evidence data can be viewed and analyzed remotely or locally while the source data storage remains intact through reliable container-based isolation.


The BitScout Advantage

Kaspersky Lab experts work closely with law enforcement agencies across the world to help in the technical analysis of cyber investigations. This gives them a unique insight into the challenges LEA personnel face when fighting modern cybercrime.

The cybersecurity landscape is now so complex and sophisticated that investigators need tools that can adapt and scale to the demands of the job. BitScout is a good example of this. It can be adjusted to the particular needs of an investigator, and improved and upgraded with additional features and custom software.

Most importantly it comes free of charge, based on open-source solutions and is fully transparent: instead of relying on third party tools with proprietary code, experts can use the Bitscout open-source code to build their own swiss-army knife for digital forensics. The list of BitScout features includes:[adrotate group=”2″]

  •  Disk image acquisition even with un-trained staff
  •  Training people on the go (shared view-only terminal session)
  •  Transferring complex pieces of data to your lab for deeper inspection
  •  Remote Yara or AV scanning of offline systems (essential against rootkits)
  •  Search and view registry keys (autoruns, services, plugged USB devices)
  •  Remote file carving (recovering deleted files)
  •  Remediation of the remote system if access is authorized by the owner
  •  Remote scanning of other network nodes (useful for remote incident response)

BitScout is freely available at Vitaly Kamluk’s GitHub code repository here.

Don’t forget to check out the other Kaspersky Palaeontology of Cybersecurity presentations!

Go Back To > Articles | Home


Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!