Feeds

Trojans besiege online gamers

It's warcraft out there

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Online games have become a major target for fraud in recent years. A study from Kaspersky Labs, published today, dissects the techniques and targets used by hackers to make "easy money" by selling stolen login credentials of users or in-game items on the black market.

Online games and fraud: using games as bait by Sergey Golovanov, a virus analyst at Kaspersky, outlines the vulnerabilities within online games; methods used to steal confidential player data; ways of protecting this data.

According to Golovanov, three main methods are used by cybercrooks to swipe online game passwords: social engineering (phishing or bogus offers of bonus or tips in exchange for registering onto rogue systems), exploiting game server vulnerabilities, and using malicious programs to obtain passwords. The study includes statistics on the volume and provenance of Trojan programs for online games, and figures which show which online games are the most popular targets.

Virus writers at first used classic key loggers to steal passwords for online games, a tactic that can be traced back to 1997. Over time, malware attacks became more sophisticated. The first Trojan specifically designed to target online games, Lmir-a, harvested passwords to "Legend of Mir". This was the forerunner of a generation of Trojans targeting a wide range of online games.

The most recent Trojans typically incorporate a dynamic library written in Delphi. When they detect the launch of an online game, they intercept the password entered via the keyboard, send this data to the malicious user's email address, and then self-delete.

More than 90 per cent of all Trojans targeting online games are written in China, and 90 per cent of the passwords stolen by these malware agents belong to players on South Korean sites.

More than 40 per cent of all Trojans for online games target Lineage 2, with World of Warcraft (20 per cent) the second most popular target. Other online games coveted by hackers include Gamania, Tibia and Legend of Mir. Each accounts for about six per cent of password-stealing Trojans.

According to Golovanov, those making a living from other people's virtual property are "almost immune" from legal sanction. Game developers should work together with antivirus companies in tacking the problem. Users also need to apply common sense in protecting their online credentials, Golovanov adds. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.