Feeds

Trojans besiege online gamers

It's warcraft out there

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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 next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.