For quite some time, gaming was considered a fun pass-time activity without much importance. Even when people spent hundreds of hours on Diablo 2 Mephisto runs, they rarely considered monetizing their activities.
Right now, the gaming industry is rapidly growing, worth $184.4 billion of dollars in 2022. Simultaneously, individual gaming accounts went up in their value. For example, League of Legends accounts can be worth hundreds, and that doesn’t count the personal value of countless hours spent building them.
Sadly, money attracts criminals, and the same happened to the gaming industry. In this article, we’ll overview the gaming cybercrime situation and provide three tips on securing your gaming experience.
Cyberattacks Against Gamers
According to cybersecurity company Akamai, cyberattacks against gamers grew by 167% from 2021 to 2022, affecting millions of gamers’ accounts. The rise of microtransactions brought significant monetary flow to gaming accounts, and selling them on online black markets became profitable.
It’s worth mentioning that Distributed Denial of Service attacks are extremely popular. These attacks can crash gaming sessions and disconnect gamers during important battles. However, we will focus on account takeovers because they can have a significant monetary impact. Even more, losing an account you have cherished over the years is emotionally devastating, so here are the dangers that put your account at risk.
Account Takeover Cybercrime
Credential Stuffing is the most popular hacking method to take over a gaming account. It’s a straightforward yet effective method that requires little know-how. That’s why it’s so dangerous.
Data leaks and breaches plague the Internet, and most gamers have their credentials leaked in one of them. Hackers gather and organize this information, then sell it on black markets. Whoever buys it can use it to target multiple other accounts. For example, if your Yahoo account credentials have leaked, and you used the same credentials for your Battle.net account, they will attempt to log in to it and, if successful, steal it.
As you can see, Credential Stuffing relies on the same reused passwords. It is often coupled with brute-force attacks when hackers attempt the most common passwords, like “qwerty,” “password123”, and alike. Here’s how to avoid falling victim to these attacks.
Use a password manager.
Gamers have dozens of different online accounts protected by a password. It’s impossible to remember each one by heart unless you’re using a simple password that is susceptible to brute-force attacks. Furthermore, it’s essential to use a different password for each account. Otherwise, it can be exploited by Credential Stuffing.
Password Manager is an essential tool to secure a gaming account. It stores all different passwords in a Cloud-based encrypted vault locked behind a master password. Instead of remembering dozens of passwords, you only have to remember one that unlocks the vault.
Cloud structure ensures cross-device compatibility, so you can unlock your gaming account on whatever device you use. Simultaneously, encryption prevents data breaches, and professional password managers have zero-knowledge architecture, guaranteeing only you can access the vault and nobody else.
Lastly, choose a password manager with a Dark Web scanner, which will alert you if your passwords have been leaked online and you need to change them immediately.
Enable multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a second layer of your account safety. It will prevent unauthorized access even if cybercriminals have obtained your credential. Most popular gaming platforms allow some kind of MFA options. You just have to look for them.
The most common method involves email verification. When the platform notices a login from a new device, it will send an email with a verification code to make sure it’s really you. If you are not the person that is trying to log in to your account, they will not be able to access the email and provide the required code.
Use an antivirus
Malware is nearly as old as the Internet itself, and you can infect your device if you download third-party gaming mods, cheat-code systems, or pirated game versions. It’s best to subscribe to a professional Antivirus service to prevent infections.
One of the more popular gaming-oriented malware is keyloggers. They log every keystroke and extract the username-password combination, which is later used to steal your account. An Antivirus regularly scans your device for such programs and neutralizes them before something bad happens.
Some gamers mistakenly think that hackers won’t target them because they’re not that important. In reality, unsecured gaming accounts are an easy grab that can generate a quick income. Our three discussed steps are easy to implement and provide robust security for your gaming account.