Cybercriminals have been increasing their attention to the gaming industry as an easy way to get access to credit card information. In a process known as “credential stuffing” criminals target their attacks using pre-existing stolen identifications, giving them the ability to make lucrative profits.
The gaming industry as a whole is aware of the cybersecurity problems and have added additional security protocols. The Akamai Technologies Cloud delivery network provider put out the “2019 State of the Internet/Security Web Arracks and Gaming Abuse” report indicating the 33 billion cases of credential stuffing throughout all industries. 12 billion of the credential stuffing attacks from November 2017 through March 2019 were within the gaming industry.
Gamers Have Money and Are Very Trusting:
The reason for the attacks is simple. Akamai Security Researcher, Martin McKeay stated:
“One reason that we believe the gaming industry is an attractive target for hackers is that criminals can easily exchange in-game items for profit. Furthermore, gamers are a niche demographic known for spending money, so their financial status is also a tempting target.”
The methods used by the cybercriminals involves seeking out popular games and then using valid accounts with unique skins. They then hack the accounts and sell them. It appears that the criminals are more interested in the video games that are associated with valid credit cards or other confirmed financial bases. Once an account is breached, the criminal can buy other items including game currency and then sell this account at an increased price.
Gamers Can Easily Turn Into Cybercriminals:
One of the most alarming areas of this topic is that it appears some participants in that gaming industry, the gamers themselves, are turning to this form of crime. Research is showing that young adults and teens are turning to gaming as a method for cybercrime. Many of these young people don’t start out as criminals, but are using their skills to learn short cuts and cheats for the games. This slowly progresses to the point where they cross the line and become hackers. Many of these individuals are drawn to technology, are academically gifted, and love intellectual challenges. All of these traits are the fertile ground to transition from a gamer to cybercriminal.
This is not to say that all of the crime being witnessed in the gaming industry are from the very gamers themselves. There are sufficient numbers of cyberattack that are being done by experienced criminals. Those involved in cybercrime are well-aware that gamers are more trusting and less likely to assume that their personal identities and payment information are being stolen.
“The computer and the internet has given us a digital world that has removed some of the barriers for country, gender, age, and culture. With this freedom comes the ability of those that want to accomplish theft, even in the most innocent of environments. Da Vinci Forensics and CyberEd is committed to education so that gamers can enjoy their pursuit while being aware of the risks and taking the precautions necessary to be safe. We need to encourage and inspire our young people as they continue to pursue interests in coding and net technology industries, so that they understand the value of contributing with honour and don’t fall prey to the becoming the very criminals that they despise.”