A new report from Kaspersky details that its solution detected and blocked more than 5.8 million malware and unwanted software attacks disguised as popular PC games between the third quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021 .
Madrid (Portaltic/EP). The gaming industry has seen an unprecedented growth in the last 18 months. Partly because gamers are forced to seek out alternative entertainment and cannot stay home. Cybercriminals have increased in this area.
Kaspersky has released a new report that reveals how its solution prevented over 5.8 million people from posing as PC gamers between the third quarter 2020 and the second quarter 2021. Malware and unwelcome software attacks. The most common video games that were subject to attacks during the analysis included Minecraft, The Sims 4, PUBG battlegrounds, Rocket League, and Fornite.
While the world has become more secure this year, there is still demand for games. The industry is projected to grow further and reach a peak of US$175.5billion by 2021. Kaspersky researchers reviewed a range of video game-related threats that users faced throughout the pandemic. These included possible attacks on mobile phones and PCs, as well as phishing schemes.
Kaspersky analysed some malware and unwelcome software attacks in 24 of the most popular PC games, as well as the top ten mobile game in 2021 to understand the trends.
With 2.48 Million detections globally, cyber threats related to PC gaming coincided with lock-in month in 2020. This is an increase of 66% over the first quarter. The number of attacks on 2020 and the affected users fell significantly in the second quarter 2021, with only 636,904 attacks.
Mobile games also showed a slightly different trend. The epidemic affected more people than ever, with an 185% increase in the number of victims from February 2020’s 1,138 to March 2020’s 3,253 users. In the second year, there was only a 10% decrease in the number of users affected in the first quarter 2021. Kaspersky experts stated that this shows that cybercriminals still find mobile threats attractive even after the global blockade has been lifted.
Minecraft, a popular mobile and PC game, is at the top of the list. This game is used most often to conceal unwanted software distribution and malware distribution. Minecraft’s popularity is due to its many versions and unlimited mods (additional modifications to improve and diversify the gameplay).
Mods can often be created by the user and are not official. This makes them a convenient way to hide malicious payloads, or other unwanted software. From July 2020 to June 20,21, 36.336 files disguised in Minecraft were distributed. These files affected 184.887 users and resulted in more than 3,000,000 infections attempts. This accounts for nearly half the files and attacks discovered during that period.
Although most files distributed under the guise of the game name are downloaders—programs capable of downloading other software to infected devices and adware—PC and mobile users occasionally face more serious threats, including those designed to steal Encrypted currency information, bank information, and other valuable data.
“We’ve seen the direct impact of the pandemic in the increase in threats associated with video games. More people are using them and the threats they pose as games is increasing. One of the popular forms of threat spreading It’s the “phishing” page that has generated countless users targeting different gaming platforms, many of which are difficult to distinguish from real websites, even ordinary users,” explains Kaspersky Security Researcher Anton V. Ivanov.
Cybercriminals are more attracted to the lucrative gaming industry because of the availability of in-game currency. Gaming is characterized by the greatest risk, regardless of whether they are login details or account credentials. You can also lose your game accounts. Anton said that banking and cryptocurrency applications are worse than the game accounts.
Kaspersky experts recommend downloading only official applications, such as Apple App Store and Google Play. After downloading, wait for feedback from other players to ensure safety. “You should also avoid downloading pirated software or illegal content, even though they redirect you to a legitimate website,” they said.
They cautioned you against clicking links to other sites via the chat. Also, double-check the URLs of resources that require you enter a username or password. It is important to create strong passwords for each account. This will ensure that no cybercriminals can steal any accounts. Kaspersky Password Manager is recommended to help you create strong passwords.
Experts agree that reliable security solutions can help, especially if it doesn’t slow down the computer while the user is playing games. As far as personal computers are concerned, the company has Kaspersky’s comprehensive security tools that will not cause problems when used with Steam and other game services. Kaspersky Internet Security Software for Android is available to mobile devices. .