The increase in the number of players since the start of the pandemic is attracting the greed of hackers who are increasing their attempts to steal accounts, banking information and even certain in-game items that can be resold. Minecraft and Roblox are the most targeted games.
The video game sector has benefited enormously from the pandemic, and many people have turned to online games to pass the time during the various lockdowns. The global video game market is expected to surpass $200 billion in 2022. In a new reportthe antivirus editor Kaspersky has noted a marked increase in attacks aimed specifically at online gamers.
The firm analyzed the threat data detected by its software by looking for references in a list of 28 popular games, including Minecraft, Roblox, Need for Speed, Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty. The number of attacks targeting these games increased by 13% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
Theft of passwords, bank details, in-game items…
In particular, hackers offer free versions of games that include malware as well as mods (modifications or game extensions), cheats, or game-related tools. The main type of malware is a downloader which goes unnoticed because it only serves to download other malware.
The attacks aim in particular to steal usernames and passwords of gaming accounts as well as banking information used for payment. Some also include adware or cryptocurrency mining programs that affect in-game performance.
Kaspersky has also detected a large number of phishing cases with fake sites imitating the game site or the in-game store, which offer fake perks or items. Once the victim tries to identify himself, the hackers gain access to his account and can recover any means of payment on file and even resell in-game items which can sometimes be very valuable. To protect yourself, you must follow the usual recommendations: always check the address of a site before logging in, download games from an official catalog (Steam, Google Play, the Apple App Store, etc.) and activate two-factor authentication.