Summary: The number of attacks could spike as millions are expected to receive games as presents in the holiday season, especially with the launch of newer consoles like PlayStation and Xbox, says Kaspersky Lab.
Users worldwide are being hit by an average of 34,000 attacks related to gaming malware daily, according to a study by Kaspersky Lab.
The total number of attacks on gamers was 11.7 million in 2013, and the number is expected to rise with millions of users receiving games for Christmas, especially wih the launch of newer versions of popular gaming platforms like PlayStation and Xbox, warned Kaspersky experts. They identified 4.6 million pieces of gaming-focused malware.
The worst hit were Russian gamers, where hackers made over 881,000 attempts on them. This was followed by Vietnam (503,000), China (376,000) and India (207,000).
Worst Hit in 2013
- Russia 881,000
- Vietnam 503,000
- China 376,000
- India 207,000
- Spain 139,000
- Poland 127,000
- Turkey 121,000
- Taiwan 97,843
- Thailand 92,914
- Italy 75,155
“Gaming has an ever increasing fanbase, which also means that the number of potential victims for cybercriminals is rising as well. The cyber criminals are taking a lot of effort into their attacks and we can see the upsurge in sophistication,” said Kaspersky’s senior virus analyst Christian Funk.
Gamers will especially need to be attentive during Christmas when a lot of games are being released, noted Funk.
According to Kaspersky, cybercrooks sell access to people’s gaming accounts stolen from attacks to gaming companies themselves.
The analyst explained malware types targeted specific and typically popular games, such Minecraft. For example, a fake Minecraft tool built with Java promised to give the player powers such as banning other users, but was actually stealing usernames and passwords in the background. It added when Grand Theft Auto V was launched, various websites offered fake downloads with malicious code. Adapted from ZDnet