Why are online gamers a target?

Next story


Internet gaming attracts millions of people and millions in revenue, so it’s not difficult to see why it’s increasingly becoming a target for malware makers and scammers alike. How can you protect your gaming accounts?

Online games like League of Legends and World of Warcraft (WoW) boast player bases in the multi-millions: League of Legends claimed to have over 7.5 million players at peak times and World of Warcraft sat at 10 million actively subscribing players, both in 2014.

There have always been problems with accounts being hacked and hard earned in-game currency or items stolen in games like WoW, but as games become increasingly mainstream they are targeted more and more.

Companies like Blizzard, who make WoW, are acutely aware of this and have added multiple levels of security that players can easily apply to their account, as Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, explains.


Two Factor Authentication


“With so much money being invested into the gaming industry and more people willing to spend on their games of choice keeping those login credentials safe needs to be the gamer’s number one priority.

“The good thing is gaming companies are seeing the need to help protect their investors and more of them are now offering Two Factor Authentication (2FA) as a means to keep logins safe.

“Your username and password is the only thing keeping others from logging into your account to steal your hard earnt rewards, use the account for gold farming or sell it on to others.

“The problem with 2FA is that it may hinder your ability to do some quick gaming: having your phone or hardware token at hand whenever you need to log in may seem like a hardship but honestly losing your account or your characters items will hit you harder.”

WoW, and all other games made by Blizzard, have their own 2FA app and many other games such as Guild Wars 2 and games made by NCSoft make use of Google Authenticator.


Keep your software updated


Part of the beauty of online gaming is receiving new content and other updates over the internet in mere moments, this includes updates to security and patching potential exploits.

Mark reminds us to “remember just having 2FA is not sufficient, making sure your gaming PC is running the latest operating system fully patched and up to date with all applications on their latest versions will help.

“A good regular updating internet security program will also help to keep you safe: the days of a single point of protection are long gone, you need multi-layered protection if you want to stay safe.

“Think of it like the layers of an artichoke (everyone uses the onion analogy) the more layers you have the harder it is to get to the core.”

Have you ever lost an online game account?

Join the ESET UK LinkedIn Group and stay up to date with the blog. If you’re interested in seeing where ESET has been featured in the news then check out our ‘In the news’ section.