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Nowadays, it’s dangerous to be a careless gamer. Research from the people above at Akamai all but confirm it. Attacks from cybercrime against player accounts and game companies is on the rise. From May 2021 to April 2022, web application attacks increased by a staggering 167%.
Web application attacks, to circumvent it, are what you usually think of when someone talks about being hacked, such as phishing emails. But they can be more complex than that, such as SQL injection attacks. Those things are like poking around in the website database over and over to force it to respond.
The top three web application attacks this year are LFI . attacks (38%), SQLi . attacks (34%) and XSS . attacks (24%). DDOS attacks are also up 5% this year. There have been 821,648,208 web application attacks this year, in the games industry alone.
The question is why such an increase? Answer? That’s money. It is always about money.
Cybercriminals use these types of attacks to compromise game systems and accounts, possibly giving them access to player logins, passwords, account details, and more. Gaining access to a back-end database could allow them to create cheats in the game, then go back and sell them. They can silently manipulate in-game economies for their own ends, often in pursuit of real-world money.
It’s not just quiet manipulation, either. Once hackers have a stockpile of player credentials, they can use those accounts as disposable advertising. I’m sure we’ve all seen accounts selling gold in MMOs. It’s all part of a scam.
The future looks troubled
Akamai’s research shows that the industry’s push towards cloud gaming could cause problems in the future. Cloud services provide a larger attack field; Instead of a single game, hackers could attack all the games on the service.
So what can gamers do? Honestly, that’s a lot of the same tips and tricks we’re using. Don’t click on suspicious email links. Do not visit unsafe websites. Turn on two-factor authentication.
Namely app-based two-factor authentication. It doesn’t matter if you get an email code and your email is breached. Keep your fingers crossed that the games and services you use are protecting themselves.
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