Video games have become an integral part of our lives, thanks to evolving technology but the gaming industry has also become a lucrative target for cybercriminals. Let’s dig deeper into the constantly increasing number of treats targeting video games and discover how to avoid them.
Cyber Threats Increasingly Target Video Games
Among the growing sectors present on the internet today, online gaming is certainly in excellent health. While the companies involved have nothing to complain about, the growing number of players is increasingly exposed to online scams.
The increase in the number of gamers, the wide range of monetization attacks and the large sums of money in the industry are just a few of the many reasons why gamers are attractive targets for malicious hackers.
The Growth of Online Gaming and Its Risks
During the recent lockdown period, isolation and anxiety have often been dominant emotions. This was the reason for the rise of new online communities, the increase in instantaneous communication popularity, as well as other methods of alternative social interaction. These have been major factors in the emergence of thousands of new game accounts.
One in Three People in the World Play Video Games
According to Statista, today, a large number of people of all ages play video games, about 2.5 billion of the 7.5 billion people in the world. This is partly due to the technological development of video games and partly due to the new opportunities opened up by online games. The Internet has brought an interactive and social element to the world of games that did not exist before.
With China, South Korea, and Japan in the lead, Statista calculates that there will be one billion online players worldwide and predicts that they will increase to 1.3 billion by 2025.
Meanwhile, more and more attention is focused on security issues related to game software. Researchers often find vulnerabilities in video game platforms, while cybercriminals are increasingly exploiting security holes in software and hardware. This means that various games can be a promising field for them.
There’s a registered increase in attacks by cybercriminals, especially towards those companies that deal with collecting the data of millions of gamers.
- There have been many cases when numerous video game players fell victim to scammers disseminating malicious links, malware and ransomware.
- Attackers are also exploiting vulnerabilities in the social components of video game platforms to conduct phishing attacks aimed at the unauthorized acquisition of user accounts and financial information.
- Another type of attack, cryptocurrency mining malware, targets PC gamers. They are the ones who use particularly powerful computers to run the latest games. This makes them perfect targets for cybercriminals looking for high-powered machines for cryptocurrency mining that they can use for their own purposes without the owner noticing their activities.
Be aware of these risks and make sure to tell others about them. For example, if you have a gaming channel on YouTube, you can add subtitles to videos online to raise cyber threat awareness.
However, be on the lookout even with subtitles as hackers (believe it or not) have already found ways to hijack your system through subtitles.
Relying only on your own attention and caution is not enough. This is why we strongly recommend choosing the best antivirus software most compatible with your needs. The main reason for this is that cyberattacks often target data relating to the user’s identity. In other cases, the aim is to steal and then sell virtual assets in exchange for real money or steal gaming accounts.
Following the fundamental rules for online data security becomes the basis for protecting yourself as a video game player.
Here’s what you might want to do:
- Use two-factor authentication: it’s a type of multifactor authentication, which is based on the confirmation of the user’s identity using two independent factors;
- Beware of phishing: it’s a type of scam aimed at obtaining personal information, financial data, or access codes. Never click on random links shared with you in chats and/or instant messengers;
- Strong password: Choose strong passwords unique for each gaming account and change them periodically.
Playing responsibly has the dual purpose of protecting your identity online and ensuring interaction that aims at having fun with minimal risk margins. Finally, staying aware of current threats is another key step in protecting against malicious activity online.