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Helping online gamers fight cybercrime
Gamers are used to dodging terrifying villains or having to overcome challenging obstacles of some sort in order to make it to the next level. These days, however, gamers are getting more than they are bargaining for as they are increasingly being targeted by malicious villains.
These scoundrels are imposters that don’t form any part of the game’s plot. They are cyber criminals acting with the intent to cause real harm to the players.
Online gaming is not just fun and games anymore. Worldwide, it has exploded into a seriously lucrative industry, with billions of dollars at stake. In its latest global games investment review, Digi-Capital – the
A different report, compiled and released by Transparency Market Research and called Gaming Market – Global Industry Analysis – Size, Growth, Share and Forecast 2011 – 2015 places the estimate much higher
“Cybercriminals tend to follow the money makers, so it isn’t surprising that they are now honing in on the online gaming industry,” says Lutz Blaeser, MD of Intact Security, South African distributor of various IT
“These perpetrators are using sophisticated methods to lure unwitting gamers into traps with fake offers for rare pieces of equipment and virtual money for digital game characters.”
Ralf Benzmüller, head of G Data’s Security Labs, says they also resort to more traditional means.
“Stealing and trading in user accounts for online games is a very lucrative business for cyber criminals. To do this, the perpetrators develop special computer malware that targets the user accounts of online gamers, or
Research reveals that gamers were being targeted by cyber criminals with an attempted 7 000 attacks recorded daily last year, with an average of ten e-mails containing malicious links and attachments reportedly
G Data has recently highlighted the three most common ways in which online gamers are being targeted.
“Apart from the fake offers I’ve already mentioned, in which the scammers place ads offering rare equipment, virtual currency or high-level game characters on online vending platforms and then steal the buyer’s money
“Some malware programs that are used to attack gamers are so-called keyloggers that are used to spy on keyboard input like usernames and passwords. Then there is also the notorious Trojan horse
“Data theft via phishing, which is the second method of attack favoured by hackers, mostly takes place via e-mails in which the fraudsters pretend that there is some problem with the gamer’s user account and then
There are ways in which gamers can protect themselves.
“Gamers should use a powerful security solution that remains active during gaming, install all available software updates and only trust official game patches from the manufacturer,” advises Benzmüller.
Blaeser offers up additional tips from G Data’s guidelines. “You must secure all your accounts with different, strong passwords. To ensure that they are as difficult as possible to crack, each should ideally consist of a
“And lastly, don’t reveal too much about yourself online. Rather choose a nickname to use for your gaming accounts and avatars. And make sure your online purchase gaming accessories, virtual cash and other