Kaspersky Stopped 5.8 Million Malware Attacks “Disguised As Popular PC Games” In 2020

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In short: One of the reasons we have a shortage of chips and other components is that more people want to play games than before the pandemic. However, this shift in consumer behavior has prompted cybercriminals to create malware that mimics popular PC and mobile titles in order to steal your data and download even more malware to your device.

The pandemic has had a strong influence on the way we use the internet, with many more people finding solace during lockdowns by turning to streaming and gaming activities. As a result, both industries experienced healthy growth and the hardware industry struggled to meet the demand for better consoles, processors, graphics cards, monitors, and gaming accessories.

According to a analysis Created by antivirus company Kaspersky, it also presented an opportunity for malicious actors to take advantage of less tech-savvy people who have joined the digital entertainment train. To get a sense of the scale of the problem, the company claims to have detected and blocked more than 5.8 million attacks in the past nine months originating from malware and other forms of unwanted software disguised as PC games and popular mobiles.

Researchers looked at malware masquerading as one of the top 24 PC games and top 10 mobile titles, and found that PC threat detections increased 66% between Q1 and Q2 2020 , reaching nearly 2.5 million detections worldwide. This year, as the world began to reopen and people returned to the outdoors to some extent, the number of attacks fell to just under 637,000.

The mobile situation initially mirrored that of the PC world with an 185% increase in the number of people affected by malware masquerading as games. However, as the lockdowns have been lifted, the number of people spending time on their phones has fallen by less than 10% since the start of the pandemic, so mobile threats have remained as active as before.

Game Users Detections Files
Minecraft 184 887 3,010,891 36 336
The sims 4 43,252 1,266,804 5,844
PUBG 26,724 484,528 10,360
Fortnite 14,702 267,598 6 109
Grand Theft Auto V 14,261 187 114 4 953

Interestingly, Minecraft was the most popular costume choice on PC and mobile with over three million detections, followed by The Sims 4, PUBG, Fortnite, and Grand Theft Auto V. Most files distributed because these games are in fact downloaders that drop more malware on infected PCs or Trojans that scour your mobile device for sensitive information.

Kaspersky says that while it’s easy to be fooled into thinking this is the real deal, it’s just as easy to rule them out if you do a little research every time you decide to buy or sell. download a game.

For example, just reading some reviews of a title can reveal if other people have had a bad experience with it. And while stores like Epic Games sometimes offer legitimate games for free, downloading these games from forums and torrent sites can infect your PC with cryptojacking malware, steal your data, or take control of devices like your. webcam and your microphone.

Generic credit: Victor Moussa | Shutterstock


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