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Cybercriminals War on Online Gamers

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DateWednesday, August 31, 2011
AuthorUrban Schrott

Cybercriminals' War on Online Gamers

Virus and Threat Protection Company ESET Give Safe Gaming Tips as Incidents of Phishing & Malware Rise



ESET_World_of_Warcraft.pngBesides web-browsing and communication, online games are among the most popular Internet activities. Take your pick: easy card games, car racing or glorious adventures, gaming has also become a big business with many of the most popular online games, like the World of Warcraft, requiring paid subscription.



But beware, because ESET Ireland say with large sums of money at stake, cyber-criminals are using every opportunity to get their hands on it.



So what are the biggest threats cyber-gamers are facing?


Phishing: Fake gaming sites are a flourishing online crime environment. Some of them use very similar URLs to the real ones. There, an unsuspecting gamer can not only get infected with various forms of malware, but can fall into a trap that harvests their personal data, which can be a real financial headache.


Social networks: As in real life, the rule of thumb is trust only real friends. Many fake and criminal Facebook accounts out there are proclaiming to be legitimate producers of games. You should not make your data accessible to them.


Infected games and cheating software: You can get infected using cracked or fake computer games. They abuse your gaming passion and are distributed through internet for download. Be extra cautious with e-mail attachments, and of course removable media like USB flash drives.


Malware: Presently, one of the most widespread malware is Win32/PSW.OnLineGames. This is a family of trojans used in phishing attacks aimed specifically at game-players: this type of malware comes with keylogging and (sometimes) rootkit capabilities which gather information relating to online games and user credentials. Characteristically, the information is sent to a remote intruder's PC. That is why it is also important that participants in MMORPGs (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games) like Lineage and World of Warcraft, as well as "metaverses" like Second Life, continue to be aware of the range of other threats like griefing ranged against them.




5 Tips on how a gaming enthusiast can stay protected?


1. Use updated AV and a security solution with Antispyware and Firewall.


2. Always use different passwords for different accounts and use strong passwords rather than simple ones.


3. Type the URL of your online game yourself into the browser or use bookmarks in your browser - you will avoid accidentally clicking on a poisoned link in the search engine.


4. Password-protect personal data on your computer or in the cloud if it is not required directly for the gaming experience.


5. Never use cracked software, it can be malicious.






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