Feeds

Trojans besiege online gamers

It's warcraft out there

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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?