Gaming community targeted by hackers - DDoS attacks and thefts are already a daily occurrence
Security in the network is one of the most important topics in our industry. We regularly hear about databases being stolen by hackers. Many players, however, do not realize that the easier target for fraudsters are not large corporations, but individuals. We decided to bring you closer to this topic and help in securing your gaming achievements.
Equipment on Steam is the number one target
Take a look at your Steam accounts in your spare time. Go through the list of games, items in your inventory and check the value of some skins that you forgot about years ago. Many of you probably boast a 5-year badge, have hundreds of titles in your library, and despite your daily use of the platform, don't often think about how valuable such accounts can be to hackers.
Among Counter Strike veterans, there are those who, in addition to an extensive game library, can also boast hundreds of skins. Back in the days when I used skins to bet on matches, I had two weeks' worth of vacation gear in warm countries. However, I know people who for a few Factory New skins could start building a house.
In December 2015, as a warning against scammers and to encourage the use of two-step verification, Steam released a short article about security and item trading. At the time, over 77,000 accounts were taken over by hackers each month. Most of them were instantly wiped clean of any items in their inventory, and some users may not have even been able to access their game library back.
Although four years have passed since then, even typing "Steam account theft" into Google makes it clear that the problem still exists. Most importantly, hackers are getting smarter, and even the most experienced gamers can fall for their techniques. Just last September, in the middle of a Major in Berlin, Stewie2k realized he had been hacked. He lost skins worth several thousand dollars, access to his account, and only Valve's intervention helped.
Fortnite grows in the eyes of hackers
Hunting for Steam gear is just the tip of the iceberg. Although on Valve's platform any attempt at theft is more lucrative due to item trading, any account, whether on Steam, Epic or Origin, taken over by fraudsters entails huge problems for the owner. I recently encountered this type of situation myself on my Uplay. Someone took control of my account, changed my nickname and blocked all my friends. I had to restore everything to its previous state, re-secure the account and make sure that no one will manage to get into my library of Ubisoft games a second time. If a similar situation had happened on Steam, I would be in a much tougher situation right now.
One platform that has become a very tempting target for hackers over the past few years is Epic Games. On the black market, some Fortnite accounts can be worth thousands of gold. Many of you are probably wondering why. Most skins cost exactly the same, we pay $10 for Battle Pass and if someone will play long enough, he will unlock everything he needs.
Unlike Counter Strike, where skins are buried in boxes and each player can theoretically get most of them, Fortnite allows you to buy only a few specific skins at a time. Items in the shop rotate and disappear after a while. In the beginning, there was no problem with this. You would enter the Item Shop, browse the offer and buy what caught your eye. After a day or two, the offer was refreshed and new items were offered to players.
When, after years of similar practices, there are hundreds of skins and some do not come back for a long time, players look for alternative ways to get them. In this way, a few months ago, accounts with the Recon Expert skin, which appeared in the shop only once and did not return for three years, gained in value.
The problem, which unfortunately Epic has no influence on, is also the Battle Pass system. Fortnite is growing in popularity every year, attracting new players who have missed more than 10 seasons. Each new Battle Pass offers exclusive skins impossible to get later within the Item Shop offer. Accounts with skins like Black Knight can cost up to $1000 as a result.
Over the past years, the range of possibilities that hackers have in their hands has unfortunately expanded significantly. Next to various strange websites, suspicious links sent in emails or impersonating banks, DDoS attacks have appeared.
In a nutshell, a DDoS attack consists of loading all the free resources of your target with multiple computers. At one point in time, from all the machines under his control, the hacker sends out false signals wanting to use the victim's services. Every signal has to be handled properly and when there are too many of them, servers can't keep up.
The attacks are of course associated with huge financial losses for the target. They are therefore often used by hackers as a means of blackmail. Gamers in turn associate this type of practice with the debuts of many high profile multiplayer games. DDoS attacks in combination with a large load on the day of the release from real players and their accounts, often results in a complete lack of access to the new title.
Few people realize that the target of this type of attacks can also become a single player. It is enough, for example, to set up your own Minecraft server, how popular entertainment among larger groups of friends lately. If you do not protect yourself against malicious attacks, you can easily fall victim to one of the hackers. Although no one is likely to blackmail you, with one program they can ruin your weekend plans and completely disable access to the server.
Once you've decided to set up your dedicated server and spend at least £350 per month to keep it running, it's worth choosing the right provider. It is with a view to placing your servers in responsible hands that OVH Game was created. With servers based on the AMD Ryzen platform, users will not have to worry about any disruptions. OVHcloud also supports its servers with a constantly optimised DDoS protection system, which will effectively discourage hackers and allow you to enjoy your game without any worries.
If your Minecraft server is not attacked, it might as well be Electronic Arts. The end result is unfortunately the same in this situation - you will have to find other plans for the weekend. A few months ago there was a series of DDoS attacks on EA, which immediately after Easter prevented most players from logging into their favorite games. Taking into account the vast library of Electronic Arts, the affected could be even millions. Put in a very uncomfortable situation, when after paying 250 PLN for one title, they are unable to play it.
The famous Two-Factor Authentication is one of the most popular recent ways to secure your account. After entering your username and password, a short code is sent to your email or phone, which you have to enter in the appropriate box when logging in. If the series of digits proves correct, you gain access to your account.
When two-step verification was just gaining popularity, many players did not take the issue of securing their account seriously. It wasn't until after a few emails like "Were you the one who just tried to log into your Uplaya from Indonesia?" the issue became a little more serious. Activating additional verification should be the first step you take after creating a new account.
While Two-Factor Authentication works flawlessly and does its job, it's just one way to protect your gaming heritage.