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Online gaming – don’t make yourself a target.

August 22, 2010

Online games offer the perfect environment for a cybercriminal’s scams
to flourish, despite the close-knit community of users.
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Online Gaming - Don't make yourself a target.
Online games offer the perfect environment for a cybercriminal’s scams to flourish, despite the close-knit community of users. There is both anonymity and trust, which can lead people to engage in risky behavior. Similar to the mentality behind the phishing attacks that work so well on Twitter and Facebook, gamers are more likely to click on links to external sites that steal personal information if these links are sent by a fellow participant.

In the most common forms of exploitation, cybercriminals do the following:

Seed pirated copies of popular games with malware. Most recently, cybercrooks abused public interest in StarCraft II, targeting gamers downloading from a BitTorrent site. Several .exe files were malicious, and contained the ability to inject code, log keystrokes, and capture passwords.
Attempt to gain access to a gamer’s personal information (usernames, passwords, even credit card information) by pretending to share a common interest. Take advantage of known vulnerabilities in software or operating systems to spread various forms of malware (viruses, worms, trojans, and the like). Once one computer has been infiltrated, an entire network could be next.
Gamers are exposed to more online threats than most simply due to the amount of time they spend online: greater connectivity equals a greater chance of becoming a victim. In addition to following standard online security practices, like investing in top-notch antivirus and antispyware software, gamers should constantly backup their personal data. PC Tools Simple Backup offers the perfect solution, dynamically adjusting the amount of space used for backups as you add or remove files, ensuring that you always have a complete backup of your system. PC Tools Simple Backup is easy, continuous, and complete, backing up files moments after they are created, modified or deleted, and even saving versions of files along the way.

PC Tools’ Gaming Tips So You Don’t Lose

1. Don’t get zapped: Get both signature-based and behavior-based anti-malware protection. Signature-based antivirus software proactively screens incoming and outgoing emails, Internet downloads, zip files and hard drives. Behavioral-based protection provides efficient and proactive protection against Internet threats such as viruses, keyloggers, rootkits and trojans, as well as new and unknown threats.
2. Turn on your shield: A firewall will prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network and will also make sure that unauthorized programs don’t take up your bandwidth while you play.
3. Play smart: Don’t supply other players with your personal details or click on any links they offer you, limit the amount of personal information you supply the game’s administrator server, and don’t share your game password or your account credentials with other gamers –- fellow gamers and hackers can cheat!
4. Do your homework before you play: Research the game’s hacking history on the Internet before you subscribe to an online game to identify the security risk.


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Top Threats
Below are some of the latest threats identified by PC Tools Malware Research Center:
High Risk
High Risk
High Risk
High Risk
The above infections can be detected and cleaned using PC Tools Internet Security or Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus.

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