The number of video games, online games, are continuing to grow in the post-pandemic world with e-sport competitions, the metaverse, NFTs, VR and AR, and more. As the number of players who are ready to invest their time and money in games increases, the possibilities of potential threats are also increasing. Video gamers have to grapple with the threats by cybercriminals from across the world as they become an easy target for hackers who look to make money by hacking passwords, launching phishing and other forms of attacks.
Akamai, a cybersecurity provider and content delivery network recently gave a report that finds a trend in cyberattacks on online video gamers and video game developing companies. No matter which game they play, the risks are prevalent, including Fortnite, League of Legends, or good old Archero. So much so that, an unprecedented number of 12 billion attacks have been carried out by hackers in just the last 17 months.
The vulnerabilities in gaming platforms allow Cybercriminals and hackers to get access to the usernames and passwords on games and gaming services to sell them on the dark web for whopping amounts. According to a report by ThreatMetrix Gaming and Gambling Cybercrime, around 5% of new accounts created on online gaming sites are connected to a fraudster. Targeted malware, Distributed Denial of Service attacks and many more are being launched on vulnerable players. One of the first major attacks was carried out on League of Legends in 2012 by a black hat hacking group called Lulzsec. This group is responsible for major cyber-attacks on several online services of government organizations. After causing a mammoth amount of $95,000 with several DDoS attacks on gaming companies, websites and other services, the leader of Derp Trolling was arrested with a 27-month prison sentence in 2019.
Some hackers target video gamers in the form of fake game updates to customize or speed up the game. They can also send Malicious apps through in-game communications, attachments on forums or chat rooms, and use them for phishing. The malware from such attacks can steal gamers’ credentials, bank accounts and give the scammers an opportunity to blackmail. Criminals are building popular game look-alikes and ask gamers to either change their password or validate their account.
RubixQ has been working with several gaming clients to build and strengthen cybersecurity. Their experienced developers provide higher cybersecurity assurance to gaming companies with a defined cybersecurity strategy, best-recommended practices. Gaming companies should enable multi-factor authentication to protect their players against identity theft. Their payment portals should comply with PCI DSS and institute safe payments to protect financial information. They should ensure high-level confidentiality of databases to protect sensitive information like usernames and passwords, bank details of players from being disclosed to unauthorized parties. They should make the players aware of the possible threats and attacks through campaigns and in-game disclaimers.
Cybercrimes across the world are predicted to inflict damages of about $6 trillion USD in the year 2021. This amounts to being the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China. What’s even more alarming is that many Cybersecurity companies expect global cybercrime to grow by 15% every year over the next five years. This may reach $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015. Gaming companies are aware of this fact and investing millions in securing their platforms with the help of game development outsourcing companies like RubixQ. The industry is adopting cybersecurity throughout the lifecycle of game development and deployment, even on the platforms on which these are played.