‘Minecraft’ is among the worst offenders for malware attacks, according to Norton.
One of the biggest names in consumer cyber safety has uncovered the most dangerous games for malware attacks, alongside a wider global study into the cyber risks faced by those in the gaming community.
Ahead of the release of its 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release–Gaming & Cybercrime, conducted by The Harris Poll, NortonLifeLock revealed the top ten PC games that were linked to malware attacks. While a lot of esports titles dominate the rankings, the world’s most profitable entertainment product of all time leads the list.
In its wider survey of over 5,000 gamers worldwide, Norton’s research found that over two in five gamers (46%) have experienced an attack on their gaming account, including malicious software on their device (20%); the theft of in-game digital currency, characters, or other items (12%); or seeing unauthorized access to their gaming account (12%).
This gets even worse for high-profile, hardcore gamers–two in three (66%) have reported being under fire from ne’er-do-wells trying to steal their wares. Norton also found that three in four American gamers (76%) have lost money due to hacks–and the average amount stolen by criminals is a ridiculous $744.
Doxing, too, is a huge problem. This method of online harassment, which targets a specific person or group to find their personal information and publish it, has happened to 16% of hardcore U.S.-based gamers, as well as 7% of casual players.
Many online safety problems appear to come as a result of poor security. Nearly half (47%) of U.S. gamers admit to using the same password for more than one gaming account or device; 39% share personal information such as names and birthdays when playing online; around one in three (29%) download add-ons from unofficial websites.
That said, gamers aren’t just the victims of hacking. According to Norton’s survey of 702 U.S.-based adults, two in five admitted they would be likely to hack the gaming account of a friend, family member, or even a romantic partner for a competitive advantage.
Armin Buescher, technical director at NortonLifeLock, said: “Scammers know that–for both experienced and casual gamers–cheats, skins, and limited-edition items are highly sought after.
“Offering these competitive boosts is a perfect opportunity to share malicious links or trick gamers into downloading malware that, if successful, can rob players of their gaming profile, personal information, or more.”