Gaming based web attacks see a rise of 54% in April 2020; Kaspersky

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

Leading global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has revealed a 54 percent jump in the daily number of attempts to direct users to malicious sites that utilized the gaming theme in April when compared to January.

The study denotes that cybercriminals have been exploiting the increased popularity in video games during COVID-19 lockdown to launch attacks. Users are often attracted by promises such as free versions of popular games, updates and extensions, or cheats, the firm said.

However, if users click on these links, several kinds of harmful programs can be downloaded, from password-stealing malware to ransomware and crypto miners, software that secretly mines cryptocurrency from the victim’s computer.

The game most often used for the ploy by perpetrators was Minecraft, Kaspersky stated, adding that its name was used in more than 130,000 web attacks. The other most popular games used in attacks were Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and The Witcher 3, it appended.

“Many of these video game-related attacks are not particularly sophisticated; there is a large user component to their success,”
Maria Namestnikova 
Security Expert – Kaspersky

“The past few months have shown that users are highly susceptible to falling for phishing attacks or clicking on malicious links when it comes to games — whether they’re looking to find pirated versions or eager for a cheat that will help them win,” Namestnikova said.