Feeds

Worm snaffles online gamers' passwords

Nasty attack of reality

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Players of one fantasy role-playing game Priston Tale1 have suffered a nasty attack of reality after virus writers created a worm programmed to steal their usernames, passwords and data.

The worm - dubbed PrsKey-A - waits for users to enter either Priston Tale or the Yahoo! email system before capturing keystrokes and sending data back to hackers. It is programmed to spread via network shares but other propagation mechanisms, such as tricking fans into downloading the malware, may also be in play.

PrsKey-A hasn't spread much so far so the attack is noteworthy for what it tells us about the motives of virus writers rather than the threat it poses to the average Windows user, which is a lot less than the recent spate of Plug and Play worms, for example. That said, attacks by hackers against Priston Tale users have caused enough problems for administrators running to game to temporarily suspend trading in user accounts. Antivirus experts reckon that the malware is been used to rake in money rather than rack up high scores.

"More malware is being written that not only causes disruption, but also steals registration keys, passwords and data from players of computer games," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "In many cases the virtual weapons, cash and armour needed for such games are then sold in the real world, where there's a growing demand from online gaming fanatics. If gamers buy these virtual goods online they should be careful not to purchase them from internet criminals."

The creation of malware to steal from online games is becoming a growing trend. Other popular multi-player online games whose players have been targeted by viruses and Trojan horses in the past include Lineage, Outwar and Legend of Mir 2. Last month a group of people were arrested in South Korea over allegations that they spread password stealing programs in order to steal the resources of online gamers. ®

1Priston Tale is a 3D fantasy multi-player game which involves fighting monsters and is played online. The game has millions of subscribers across the globe, many of them based in South Korea, where the game originated. Other fans are based in Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand and various English-speaking countries.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?