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As a gamer myself, I thought that last year was a pretty good one. After all, not only did I get to play both GTA V and Call of Duty: Ghosts (indeed, I'm still playing it and working my may through the prestige levels) but if I had enough spare cash and will I could have bought an Xbox One or PlayStation 4. As it happens, I did buy a Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P which can manage a pretty respectable average of 40fps in Crysis on the high quality settings at native resolution. However, according to research figures from Kaspersky Lab, 2013 was pretty dire for gamers in one regard: they were the target of malware abuse, and then some.

The Kaspersky Lab researchers reckon that there are currently at least 4.6 million pieces of gaming focused malware, with the total number of attacks facing gamers hitting 11.7 million globally. In fact, it says, that on average there were some 34,000 attacks related to gaming malware every single day of last year.

Looking at the European numbers, as I am based in the UK, it appears that Spanish gamers were the main focus with 138,786 attacks against them, closely followed by Poland on 127,509 attacks across the year. Then there's quite a drop in attack rates, with third placed Italy on 75,080 and the figures tumble once again to 47,065 for France in fourth spot. Germany (29,049) is just above the UK (27,049) in fifth and six places respectively, followed by the Ukraine (22,220), Greece (17,203), Romania (13,778) and Portugal (7,458).

But these attack numbers pale into insignificance when you look at them in terms of worldwide attacks on gamers. Apparently, Russian gamers were worse hit of all with an astonishing 8,813,050 attempts followed by Vietnam on 503,947. Perhaps surprisingly, given the bad press the country gets over malware and security issues, China was third with 'only' 376,058.

The full global 'top ten' gamer attacks chart looks like this:

Russian Federation: 8,813,050
Vietnam: 503,947
China: 376,058
India: 207,245
Spain: 139,078
Poland: 127,583
Turkey: 121,164
Taiwan: 97,843
Thailand: 92,914
Italy: 75,155

It's not that surprising to discover gamers are a target though, browsing through the dark markets of the web you will find plenty of gaming account logins for sale. Steam is particularly popular as far as stolen account sales go, although the consoles don;t escape either. Earlier this year, Kaspersky Lab detected a major espionage campaign on a range of massively multi player online games makers, with source code and other valuable data stolen.
Malware types target specific games, such as the hugely popular Minecraft. A fake Minecraft tool built with Java promised to give the powers like banning other users, but was actually stealing usernames and passwords in the background.

“We’ve just seen two of the biggest console launches ever, with the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. That means there will be more gamers for criminals to target, especially as the Sony and Microsoft machines increasingly use the Internet for a fuller gaming experience. And don’t forget the PC, still the most popular gaming platform and cyber crooks’ favourite target,” says David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. "As computer games continue to become an increasingly prominent and important part of our lives, and our culture, expect malicious actors to up the sophistication and the volume of their attacks on gamers."

Edited by happygeek: unstuck

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by DarkSealer
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just a little tip if you're going for a console:
Microsoft has been increasing in their rate of stupid decisions.

Now, I'm not saying Sony is all gold either, but at least they don't kick you off the network for cussing.

the Kinect is a joke, and IS fully being used to spy on you on the latest console.
(I'm not sure if Sony is doing the same thing)

alot of my info has been provided to me by Richard Weigle (Loggeren/Ricky the Voice) who is very much into this sort of gaming knowledge.

I'm just here to warn, so watch out

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Well, they do and if you will ask them why, they will tell you something like... "To make our products better for our clients" or things like that. I don't know why they love to spy on us and I don't really care. Why? Well... I get my games from the internet like almost everyone and I just play them. If they don't like it, then they should stop making good games... I don't know.

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