SecurityBrief New Zealand - Technology news for CISOs & cybersecurity decision-makers
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Most attacked games revealed as dangerous gaming habits rise
Thu, 31st Aug 2023

Improper gaming habits can lead to malware and viruses, account takeover, identity theft, swatting and doxing, spyware, data breaches, DDoS attacks and more.

Researchers from Norton have uncovered some real-world examples of how gamers get hacked on their quest for glory along with a list of the most attacked games. 
Fake Premium Accounts

Premium accounts often offer increased gameplay. The below screenshot shows a service that claims to grant a premium account and asks for the gamer's username and password. The service closely mimics the games brand style and identity, fooling users into entering their information. Once their username and passwords are shared, threat actors can not only hack their games but likely utilise their passwords to crack into other digital accounts if passwords are reused.

Tip: Whenever you are using a premium service, make sure its offered directly by the game provider from their direct URL. Additionally, practice good password hygiene use unique, complex passwords and consider a password manager to help you keep track of them.

Cheat Code Malware

Just a slight advantage over the opponent can help gamers, which is why cheat codes have become a lucrative online business. Unfortunately, a user is much more likely to be offered malware rather than an authentic cheat code when they do a search online. The below example shows a search for cheat codes for popular multi-player survival game Day Z the search results download a RedLine Stealer malware.

Tip: Typically, you will enjoy the game more when you play it as intended and without cheating. This approach will also help ensure your device wont be infected by malware.

Threat Example: Lure YouTube Videos

Another example of malicious link sharing occurs in lure YouTube videos which show tips and tricks. When clicking the link, the user is prompted to download malware.

Tip: Whenever you are asked to disable or uninstall your security software beware! Any time you disable your digital security, you are automatically setting yourself up for a potential threat.

Most-Abused Games

Based on data from 2022, the below games have been most-used by threat actors to lure gamers into committing dangerous actions that ultimately result in online scams. 

This list comes as no surprise perhaps, as its dominated by some of the most popular (and profitable) titles in gaming, precisely what makes the games such attractive targets for scammers.

  • Minecraft 
  • Dota 2
  • DayZ 
  • Grand Theft Auto 
  • PUBG 
  • Pokemon franchise 
  • Call of Duty franchise 
  • Counter Strike franchise 
  • Fortnite 
  • World of Tanks