Gamers at mercy as cybercriminals lurk

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – GAMING enthusiasts in the continent are at risk as cybercriminals make the most of the popularity of the games market to wreck havoc.

Criminals, infamously known as Steam Stealers, use popular games to create fake tools and phishing websites in order to entice victims to download seemingly innocuous files.

While Russia is the most affected by the scourge, Algeria has emerged the most affected in the continent, according to Kaspersky Lab, the international software security group operating in almost 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Santiago Pontiroli, Security Researcher, Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team, said Steam Stealers are a worldwide problem since gamers using the Steam platform are located all over the world. “Anyone can be a victim,” he said.

“The most affected country at the moment is the Russian federation, with Algeria being in the second place.”

Pontiroli found it interesting Algeria and other African countries were affected by this type of malware since relative infection rates usually depended on a series of factors ranging from broadband internet coverage to how profitable cybercriminals thought a specific market would be for their campaigns.

“South Africa for example has a little over half a million Steam users, each one owning an average of 30 games (according to public statistics from SteamSpy). This ranks 50th in the gaming market for Steam, but still cybercriminals know that with little effort they can target different regions and obtain profit from a malicious campaign directed at gamers.”

The most played games in South Africa are Dota 2 and Counter Strike. Global Offensive, the latest, is the most used worldwide for distributing malware.

“It’s a numbers game and cybercriminals know that they can propagate the same malware in different regions achieving different degrees of success but each one adding a little more economic gain to their wallets. Targeting specific games which are sought by avid video gamers guarantees a higher infection rate than simply targeting geographical regions,” Pontiroli said.

The expert urged all users to implement protective measures so as to secure their accounts.

“Two-factor authentication is a must and also a numeric PIN to protect the account in case someone has gotten access to your profile,” Pontiroli  advised.

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Posted by on Apr 1 2016. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, Finance, IT Security, National, News, Regional, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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