Video games are a perfect gateway for hackers

Videospiele sind ein perfektes Einfallstor für Hacker

Dangers of Gaming and Streaming

Check Point shows the dangers

During the Corona crisis, many people resorted to video games to combat domestic boredom. However, the fun can quickly turn into a serious virtual attack, because especially children know too little about IT security and proper behavior on the net. Check Point is observing a dangerous trend among cyber criminals.

The lockdown of countries and restriction of life has led to a huge increase in the use of video games and consoles to keep children and young people happy during the months of lockdown measures. According to a report by DFC Intelligence, Europe is now the second most active gaming region with 668 million players. As a result, video players have increasingly become targets for hackers, especially since most players have connected accounts that contain bank details, personal information, emails, and so on.

Check Point highlights the main dangers that can be associated with registering on the various video game platforms and wants to raise awareness among both players and parents of the dangers they face when they sit in front of their screens for hours:

  • Downloading unofficial pages: Users of these platforms often turn to third-party sites where accounts with different games are offered at a much lower price than the official one. These sites do not guarantee that you will be able to enjoy the games safely without your personal and financial data being used for other purposes or a malicious file being attached to the download. To avoid such a risk, Check Point Software recommends that you always download the games from official websites and under no circumstances resort to websites of dubious origin for purchase.
  • Theft of Bank details: Whether on mobile devices or consoles: more people buy video games through the virtual stores of the respective platforms instead of purchasing them in stores. But when making an online purchase, you need to enter your bank details, and this is one of the easiest ways for hackers to attack. It is imperative for players and parents to ensure that the website they are entering has all the necessary security measures in place. To do this, they must check whether the letters https:// are at the beginning of the URL. These letters indicate that the page in question is protected by an SSL certificate, a type of digital security that allows encrypted communication between a website and a web browser and protects all data entered.
  • Phishing: In these cases, the hackers have the advantage that many of their victims are young children or teenagers who may not be attentive or knowledgeable enough to recognize the signs of phishing. For example, suspicious emails and text messages that warn of an alleged change in a password or query user data due to an alleged technical error on the part of a gaming platform. To protect themselves against this, players should never click on links in emails from unknown or untrustworthy senders and should not download attachments. It is best to go to the official website of the game or platform, log in to your account and check if the content of the email is real.
  • Share camera, microphone and location: These permissions are mainly required by mobile applications and video games. However, a cyber attack on the device or the gaming platform itself can have dire consequences, as the hackers can gain access to all the files and information collected by these features. Most social networks and video game platforms make it a mandatory condition that all these permissions are enabled. However, players should be careful to limit or disable these features as much as possible.

This makes it clear that hackers are now setting up their attacks very broadly and attacking any group of Internet users that is vulnerable. In the case of video games, it becomes particularly dangerous because the targets are mostly children and adolescents and set up accounts on platforms such as Steam or GoG, in which they deposit various sensitive information. Once stolen, the hackers have a collection of important data with which they can do anything: theft, extortion, profile creation and so on. Everyone should therefore think carefully about what information they disclose on these platforms so that video games continue to serve their purpose: to provide fun and entertainment.

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