Hackers Heavily Use Minecraft Game

Cybercriminals use Minecraft to lure unsuspecting players into installing malware on their computers, as it is the most frequently abused game title by them.

Kaspersky Labs, which is known for its cybersecurity expertise, have compiled some data between July 2021 and July 2022 that shows some important statistics related to the spread of malicious files via the abuse of game brands as follows:-

  • Minecraft accounted for 25%
  • FIFA accounted for 11%
  • Roblox accounted for 9.5%
  • Far Cry accounted for 9.4%
  • Call of Duty accounted for 9%

Games as lures

As a result of the abuse of these games during this period, the following game titles have also had notable percentages:-

EHA
  • Need for Speed
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Valorant
  • The Sims
  • GS:GO

While if we compare it with the PC gaming space, Kaspersky determined that there are much smaller distribution volumes on mobile devices. However, with a 40% share of the market, Minecraft still dominates the category.

Game titles are mostly used by hackers as lures to induce people to click on their sites because they have a large target base. Due to the fact that the abused game titles captivate the attention of millions of people around the world.

Almost all modern games have an in-game economy component that is part of the gameplay. Here comes the role play, as the threat actors make fake promises to provide the following services in order to ensure easy progress for users:-

  • Hacks
  • Valuable items
  • Cheats

It remains one of the most notable trends in which threat actors lure users by offering easy in-game money to achieve their malicious goals.

There are a number of examples from Kaspersky that contain cloned originals of in-game items sold in fraudulent in-game stores. Users are scammed into paying for items that they will never receive through these fake stores.

A common way for hackers to exploit these types of situations is by offering phony beta testing launchers that masquerade as pirated versions. 

Not only that, there are a number of fake developers cum threat actors who warn their victims not to install their products until antivirus software has been disabled.

As a result, the gamers ultimately execute the malware on their system by avoiding the warnings provided by the antivirus tool.

Types of threats distributed

  • not-a-virus:Downloader
  • not-a-virus:AdWare
  • Trojan
  • DangerousObject
  • Trojan-SMS
  • Trojan-Downloader
  • not-a-virus:WebToolbar
  • not-a-virus:RiskTool
  • Exploit
  • Trojan-Spy

Recommendations

Below we have listed all the recommendations in order for you to stay safe while playing games:-

  • Whenever possible, you should use two-factor authentication to protect your accounts.
  • To ensure the security of your accounts, you need to create unique, strong passwords for each of them.
  • Make sure that you download your games from official stores only.
  • You should only purchase your desired titles from the official website if they are not available in the official store.
  • Take caution when playing games with unknown players or when encountering phishing campaigns.
  • If you are being asked to enter your username and password on any website, make sure you check the address thoroughly.
  • Make sure you don’t download cracked software from the internet.
  • You should keep your operating system up to date as well as other software.
  • You should avoid visiting websites that seem to be dubious.
  • You should use a security solution that has a high level of protection.

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Gurubaran is a Security Consultant, Security Editor & Co-Founder of Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.