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Christmas jeopardized? Kaspersky Lab discovers hackers made 207245 attempts on Indian gamers in 2013 alone

Kaspersky

Moscow, 16 December 2013: Just days after PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One were unleashed; Kaspersky Lab experts have discovered that PC gamers around the globe were hit by a massive number of attacks in the business year of 2013. Presently Kaspersky Lab knows 4.6 million pieces of gaming dedicated malware, with the total number of attacks facing gamers hitting 11.7 million worldwide. On an average, users were hit by 34,000 attacks approximately related to gaming malware daily. With Christmas being round the corner, hundreds of thousands expected to receive games as presents, Kaspersky Lab experts are recommending users take the right precautions.

Amidst all these alarming developments, Russian gamers were the worst hit of them all, with hackers making 8813050 attempts on the fraternity from 1st January to December 2013. Here, Vietnam was in second place with 503947, followed by China on 376058. In this regard, the global top-10 ranking, reads as, viz:-

  • Russian Federation: 8813050
  • Vietnam: 503947
  • China: 376058
  • India: 207245
  • Spain: 139078
  • Poland: 127583
  • Turkey: 121164
  • Taiwan: 97843
  • Thailand: 92914
  •  Italy: 75155

Gamers tend to face all kinds of diverse digital attempts on their systems. It is also worthwhile noting that Underground forums are ridden with cyber crooks selling access to people’s gaming accounts, such as the portal and marketplace Steam. The market for usernames and passwords is fuelled by attacks on the gaming companies themselves. Earlier this year, Kaspersky Lab detected a major espionage campaign on a range of massively multiplayer online games makers, with source code and other valuable data stolen.

While, Malware types target specific games, such as the hugely popular Minecraft. Earlier this year, a fake Minecraft tool built with Java promised to give the player powers such as banning other users, but was under its guise thieving usernames and passwords in the background. When Grand Theft Auto V landed earlier this year, various sites offered fake downloads to access the record-smashing game for free. But when users tried to get the game, all they got was malware – a classic example of powerful names getting abused to lure unsuspecting victims into downloading malicious code.

Then there’s the typical scam, like phishing. Slews of emails are sent around every time a big gaming launch takes place at Christmas, attempting to lure users into handing over data or money with the promise of discounts or cheap gaming goods.

“Gaming has an ever increasing fanbase, which also drives home the fact that the number of potential victims for cyber criminals is rising as well. The cyber criminals are encashing a lot of effort into their attacks and we can see the upsurge in sophistication. Especially in times like Christmas, when a lot of new games are being released, gamers need to be attentive in order to stay secure” – asserts Christian Funk, Senior Virus Analyst, Global Research & Analysis Team.

Therefore gamers, especially anyone investing in a load of novel games this Christmas, need to take the right precautions, investing in adequate protections and wising up to the range of threats they face.

Kaspersky Lab

 Here are Kaspersky Lab’s top five tips to attain gaming security:

1.Don’t click through on any offers that look too good to be true, whether from your inbox or on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. If an offer does come through that looks legitimate, ensure the sender hails from a trusted source before hitting a link or handing over any details. If in doubt, contact the official company the sender claims to be from.

2.Use strong and varied passwords across your gaming accounts. As we’ve seen this year, gaming companies get hacked and logins are leaked. If you don’t have different credentials, getting one set stolen means all your different accounts using that same password could be compromised. Consider investing in a password manager, as it will give you simple, smart protection.

3.Lay your hands on a good quality anti-virus. With the rafts of gaming malware out there, and the increasing sophistication of the malicious software, you’ll need some level of protection against it. You’ll need AV that goes beyond signature-based detection to look at file reputation, if you want to stop the smartest malware getting unto your system.

4.Be careful whom you befriend. It’s quite easy to make friends in virtual worlds today, but not all are executing these acts of bonhomie and camaraderie so innocently. Beware of anyone who asks for your personal details, as they may want to do more than just contact you.

5.Only download titles from legitimate sellers. If you’re downloading an illegal copy of a game, you aren’t just breaking the law. You’re risking getting malware aboard your machine, as crooks often disguise game files as malicious software.

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Jawed Akhtar

A Journalist by interest and a Music Enthusiast by passion. Wedded to Mother Nature, Jawed indulges his aesthetics in travelling and reading books of varied genres. Having covered News stories for top Dailies in his formative years, that is, he is game for tryst with Technology at Techmagnifier.

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