The online gaming industry is being targeted by a growing number of hackers that present an alarming threat to those who enjoy online videos games, specifically the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Over the last few years, the prevalence of hacking in the online gaming community has increased substantially. The MMORPG gamers are exceptionally vulnerable as the average ‘user base’ counts in tens of millions of globalized majority players who aren’t very (IT) security aware. Since the majority of MMORPG games are based-on ‘username’ password authentication only (with only a few having two-step authentication system), these games are relatively easy to hack. The reasons for these hacker attacks cover a multi-fold of reasons. As the majority of MMORPG games usually offer some kind of online store, your gaming account can be hacked (so) as to get your credit card details. Furthermore, a hacker can get access to any virtual gaming items you may have collected in the game itself which can be sold on eBay and other similar sites for real money. User Accounts, after being hacked, can also be sold for prices ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars depending upon the types of game characters in the account, completed levels and gear collected by the game characters.
Phishing attacks are the widest type of MMORPG hacks that are used. These are targeted to get access to the gamer account information. After the hacker has access, he may exploit the hacked account for further nefarious purposes. Phishing attacks have some common elements that gamers should be careful about. In an e-mail sent for phishing purposes, the “From” field is always a spoofed address which resembles a legitimate e-mail address, however- examining the e-mail header reveals that it is not. This e-mail content generally has a request for you to verify your data and/or your access information by clicking on a given link. Alternatively, the e-mail may tell you that you have violated the conditions or rules of the game or state that some information on your gaming account has been recently changed and that you should click a link and verify your data. This is the most important element in the e-mail and redirects you to a malicious fake website. Hackers who specialize in the creation of gamer ‘false identities’ is another grave danger for online players. The majority of gamers use the same credentials, which they use on their private accounts and for their gaming accounts. If a hacker can collect information regarding you and your game profile, he can use it to create accounts in your name and access your bank account. That info would allow the hacker to take advantage of your assets, and give them the opportunity to wreck havoc on you financially. MMORPG gamers need to be vigilant about the above factors to protect themselves. Knowledge of basic IT security is essential in today’s day and age to ensure that hackers are not given the chance to ruin the MMORPG game industry.