With poor online security, hackers and attackers could make the game a real nightmare: here are Panda Security’s tips for gamers.
The importance of online safety for gamers
The rule for IT devices is this: If it is connected to the Internet, sooner or later a cybercriminal will attack it. Ed i online games e i video games they are no exception. Often, however, players are not aware of the risks they run when playing for example Fornite or when downloading a game on Steam. For this reason, on the occasion of the Milano Games Week 2021, Panda Security has thought of the players who will gather during the 3 days of Milanese events to raise awareness of all users, discover and learn about cybersecurity threats and solutions suitable for online gaming, so you can play and get together safely.
The main security risk for those who play multiplayer video games online is the account theft. In the case of open world online video games, to which thousands of users from all over the world connect, sometimes it is enough to hack the account of a high-level player to cause serious damage (in the case of eSports) or to steal in-game items and tokens of great value. For example, skins in games like Fortnite can be very expensive and not only for their functionality, but above all for the collectability that is created around cult games.
It should not be underestimated that hacking a game account can often be only the first part of a more complex cyberattack. In these cases the criminal points to other accounts of the victim. After all, many people use the same password for multiple accounts. Cybercriminals take advantage of this to attack less protected ones and thus try to access more interesting accounts, such as the online bank account (credential stuffing).
The four methods used to hack a profile
There are 4 main ways an online gaming account can be hacked:
- Easy to guess passwords: Many people use weak passwords or have never updated them since the account was created.
- Data breach: Even the large multinationals of hi-tech and online gaming suffer theft of personal data in the order of millions of credentials.
- Credential stuffing. As mentioned above, many people reuse their password, username, or both credentials for multiple accounts. Online gaming accounts are often one of the starting points for access data, but they can also be the final target of the attack.
- Cross site scripting. Some poorly protected websites can be vulnerable to this type of attack, with which the hacker forces the web server by inserting a malicious script, a few lines of computer code that allow him to make the server perform illegitimate actions, such as returning personal data and others information saved in users’ cookies.
Enhanced online security protects gamers from numerous other dangers
In addition to account theft, gamers must beware of various other dangers. Professional players for example could be victims of DDoS attacks by crackers and other unfair gamblers. In the case of gaming, a DDoS attack is launched against the player’s router or the server to which it connects. The aim is to overload them and prevent users from connecting and playing. To the uninitiated it may seem like a small thing, but top-tier esports teams train regularly online. A connection malfunction may compromise the fruits of weeks of preparation.
Then there are two classic threats: malware e phishing. In the first case, the hackers often take advantage of download pirated copies of video games or pre-releases from other countries by circulating infected files on the network, especially in P2P networks. Also due to desire and / or convenience, many players end up victims of phishing attacks, with which cybercriminals entice them, with rewards or promises of savings, to click on deceptive links and enter their personal data on fraudulent web pages. .
Tips to protect yourself better
There are some simple precautions every gamer should take to protect their accounts and play without worrying about hackers. Here are Panda Security’s security tips for gamers:
- Enable 2-factor authentication (if available). For example, to protect the Fortnite account, you can add authentication via app or code sent via email.
- Create strong passwords and NEVER use the same credentials for multiple accounts. To facilitate this process it is recommended to use a password manager.
- Download an antivirus and set up automatic updates. It is very important that the antivirus is always up to date because the most recent vulnerabilities are often the most exploited and most risky ones.
- Choose a VPN to connect anonymously, protect yourself from DDoS attacks, and escape the prying eyes of online hackers and criminals.
In conclusion, we always remember that the first line of defense is represented by the user and his prudence. In addition, fortunately, the cybersecurity industry offers many useful and effective tools.