Minecraft has emerged as a big malware target among other popular titles such as Roblox, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Roblox and others.
Cybersecurity researchers from Kaspersky released a report analysing the gaming-related cyber threats of the top 14 games available on different platforms. The report analyses the malware strains, malicious apps, phishing pages of various game titles, and data sourced from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).
Researchers found that 4,076,530 attempts were made to download 30,684 unique files that were distributed under the guise of popular games and mods. Most of these files were ‘Downloaders’, unwanted files that download other malicious files into the victim’s system. The Downloaders are not harmful in themselves.
Downloaders constituted 89.70% of the total malicious packages, followed by Adware and Trojan with 5.25% and 2.39%, respectively.
Of the 14 games analysed by the researchers, Minecraft stood at the podium position as the most popular game among threat actors on the desktop platform. The cybercriminals lured about 130,619 Minecraft players globally from July 1 2022, to July 1, 2023.
Other games are not so popular among cybercriminals. This can be understood from the fact that Minecraft alone generated about 70.29% threat detections, with Roblox at the second position with a mere 20.37%, translating to 30,367 victims. The third and fourth positions were acquired by CS:GO and PUBG, with 23,429 and 5,891 unique victims.
Minecraft players have also been affected by the “related-threat”, that is, when threat actors use similar-sounding names to lure the victims.
On mobile, too, Minecraft leads the race with a whopping 90.37% of attacks impacting 80,128 gamers. PUBG followed Minecraft, logging 5.0% of all alerts, mostly in Russia.
Gaming-related phishing threats
The researchers presented a few gaming-related threats to warn gamers and customers. These are:
- Malicious fake distribution pages: These are the websites that claim to offer free games to customers. Often, these websites will show a high download count to give a sense of authenticity.
- Fake gaming account giveaway: Several websites offer fake gaming account giveaway auctions. These are dangerous as the hackers will get access to your debit or credit card number and other financial and personal information.
- Fake gaming gift cards and skins: These malicious websites offer free gaming cards or skins. But you’ll have to take a survey and fill out your details.