According to new research by Atlas VPN, Minecraft related malware infected 44,335 devices while Kaspersky antivirus software detected 300,000 malware cases.
Malware strains have gradually become the leading cause of infection targeting millions of devices worldwide annually. A new report from Atlas VPN revealed that the PC and mobile gaming industry is the current big target of malware authors and Minecraft is their favorite game to bait gamers.
New Survey Reveals Startling Details
Atlas VPN researchers created a list of the most-targeted games both for mobile and PC. Minecraft topped the chart on both platforms. According to the researcher, nearly 184,887 players were impacted on PC as they downloaded malware hidden inside a Minecraft file.
Moreover, there were more than three million total detections of infected Minecraft files. Conversely, on mobile devices, Minecraft-related malware infected 44,335 devices while antivirus software detected 300,000 malware cases, reported Kaspersky Security Network.
It is understandable why malware developers are so keen on targeting Minecraft fans. The game is massively popular on both mobile and PC, for instance, as of 2021, Minecraft was home to over 131 million players.
Almost 303,827 Devices Affected Within a Year
In its survey, Atlas VPN concluded that between July 2020 and July 2021, around 303,827 devices got infected with malware spread via different malicious gaming software. Being the leading and most played game in the market, Minecraft attracted the highest number of malware since more than half of these 303,827 devices were affected by Minecraft-related malware.
Most Infected Games
Apart from Minecraft, many other games are on the radar of malware developers. These include:
- Sims 4
- Free Fire
- Among US.
Among US reported 9616 malware detections, whereas PUBG showed 9084, and Free Fire showed 6065 malware detections. On PC, Sims 4 and Minecraft attracted the most malware, followed by:
- Grand Theft Auto 5
- Counter-Strike GO
- League of Legends
- Rocket Leagues
- FIFA 21
- Need for Speed Heat.
How are Gamers Targeted?
Minecraft, Sims 4, and other games that require users to download modpacks or mods are the prime targets of malware developers and scammers. A major chunk of such games is accessed by downloading additional files. Downloading mods bring the game to a whole new level and enhances players’ competitiveness.
When content creators combine several mods, it is called the modpack, which drastically improves the game. But the problem is that for downloading modes, you have to access third-party services and websites, which is where cyber criminals hide the malware.
How To Stay Safe?
Since mods are a hotspot for malware you have to be careful while downloading them. There is no need to avoid downloading mods but ensure you download them from official and trusted sites only. Every game with modding features has a hub where you can search and download your desired mods, such as Minecraft has CurseForge boasting a vast catalog of modpacks and mods.
Moreover, never click on links or download files that promise cheating programs or hacks to help you gain an unfair edge over your competitors because it might be a malware payload. And whenever you feel like trying out a new game download it from the official website or store.