MANILA – Security software firm Kaspersky Lab shared some tips for gamers as it released data about the number of gaming-related attacks globally.
In a statement, Kaspersky Lab said it recorded a total of 11.7 million attacks on gamers in 2013, with users hit by 34,000 gaming malware every day on average.
Russian gamers were most at risk with more than 8 million attempts on them by hackers, followed by Vietnam (503,947), China (376,058), India (207,245), Spain (139,078), Poland (127,583), Turkey (121,164), Taiwan (97,843), Thailand (92,914) and Italy (75,155).
The Philippines was not included in the list.
As many people are expected to receive games as presents this Christmas, Kaspersky Lab urged users to take the right precautions.
The security software firm noted several types of attacks, such as a fake Minecraft tool that promises to let users ban other players; a fake Grand Theft Auto V download that claims to let users access the game for free; and the traditional phishing, which lures users into handing over data or money with the promise of discounts or cheap gaming goods.
“Gaming has an ever increasing fanbase, which means that the number of potential victims for cyber criminals is rising as well,” said Christian Funk, a senior virus analyst from Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team.
“Cybercriminals are putting a lot of effort into their attacks and we can see a surge in their sophistication. During Christmas when a lot of new games are being released, gamers need to be even more attentive to stay secure,” Funk added.
Here are Kaspersky Lab’s five tips for gamers:
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 comes through and looks legitimate, ensure the sender is trusted before hitting a link or handing over any details. If in doubt, contact the 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, stealing one set could be a cybercriminal’s key to open all your different accounts using that same password. Consider investing in a password manager as it will give you simple, smart protection.
3. Get a good quality antivirus. With rafts of gaming malware out there and the increasing sophistication of malicious software, you’ll need some level of protection. You’ll need an antivirus that goes beyond signature-based detection to look at file reputation if you want to stop the smartest malware from getting on your system.
4. Be careful whom you befriend. It’s easy to make friends in virtual worlds today, but not all are doing 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 also risk getting malware on your machine as crooks often disguise malicious software as game files.