The COVID-19 period has seen an increase in online gaming, where people on lockdown spend more time on their computers. Most online gamers are increasingly at risk of having their gaming accounts targeted by hackers, even more so when they play on private servers.
Information is an essential tool. Understanding how accounts get hacked will help you protect your accounts and avoid having your passwords “hacked” in the first place.
Malware and credentials stuffing attacks are the course of action for targeting gamers. The cybercriminal uses lists of usernames and password combinations that anyone can purchase online to log into game accounts or gaming channels like Steam.
What Is Interesting in Your Gaming Account?
Hackers will gain a lot of value from your account, whether you play a free or paid online game. Since so many players fail to take simple cybersecurity measures, hacking most gaming accounts is not difficult. They may very well be able to:
- Listen in on your gaming exchanges and read your chats until they take over your account.
- Use your login credentials to access your other accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bank account.
- Sell your identity on the deep web.
- Use your personal information to extract even more information from you in phishing attacks.
- Launder money or evade taxes, using your bank account details.
- Purchase cryptocurrencies with your payment information.
How Can Hackers Gain Access to Your Account?
Your device is comparable to The Great Wall in Game of Thrones. It is reinforced and sits in one place. However, there is a massive army of white walkers waiting just outside its gates, ready to burst through and kill everything inside. The army of the dead is not going to take a break or withdraw the attack. They will surround you the moment you crack a window open.
Right now, hackers and criminals may be in your network and using your webcams and other credentials. Let us see how they can gain access to your gaming account.
Use of Insecure or Weak Passwords
Using a weak password while building your gaming account is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. For example, a common password like 12345678 or your name is straightforward to crack.
It is time to change your passwords if you don’t want to miss your success and achievements in the games you have played for years. When executing brute force attacks, hackers can access massive databases of common passwords.
The hacker only wants your user name or email address to complete a brute force attack. They will then use a bot to try all of the passwords in their database before one of them eventually works or until they have gone through the entire list without success.
Use of Credential Stuffing
Credential stuffing attacks are possible if you reuse passwords across several accounts. Suppose your login credentials are already leaked in the attempt, or a hacker has gained access to one of your other accounts.
In that case, they will most likely attempt to use the same credentials on other platforms. You could be in serious trouble if you used the same password for your gaming account and online banking transactions.
Use of Phishing
Phishing is a form of hacking. Phishing may also be used to persuade you to click on malicious or spoof links. PUBG fans, for example, have been duped into clicking on links posted in gaming forums that promised them discounted or free virtual tokens and other products.
The links were part of a cross-site scripting attack that enabled hackers to access player’s accounts. And by gaining access to your gaming account, they can steal anything they want, such as your passwords, payment information, home address, and so on.
Use of Data Breaches
Another login goldmine for hackers is data breaches and leaks. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything you can do to protect yourself because protecting the organization that holds your data is entirely dependent on them. If you want to be safe, just make sure that all websites that you register to encrypt your passwords.
Use of DDoS Attacks
You could be a target of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack if you are serious about gaming and compete seriously or competitively.
A hacker might flood your router (if the IP is known) or the game server you’re connected to with requests using a botnet with hundreds or thousands of infected devices.
It overloads the machine, causing it to shut down. As a result, your game will be hampered, or you will be disconnected.
Use of Malware
Hackers may also use misinformation to get you to download malware. For example, if you want a game that has not been released in your country, you may want to get it from a P2P source.
Hackers are aware of familiar viral games and can use them as bait. Don’t be fooled into downloading malware disguised as a new game. Not to mention that pirating games is illegal in the first place.
How to Protect Your Gaming Account?
It would help if you took easy precautions to make it more difficult for hackers and your most ruthless opponents. Follow these tips, and you can make it work for you:
Select a Strong Password
The majority of us have a misunderstanding about passwords. We believe they must be complicated messes, such as $%^&&#. For years, the idea that passwords should be illogical and difficult to recall mainly prevailed.
However, you can make sure your passwords are solid in other ways. Read these tips on how to generate a unique and robust password to protect your gaming account from malicious hackers.
Complete the Two-Step Authentication
Another step towards protection is to allow two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA). It is something that a lot of people don’t do on their favorite websites and applications.
With all of the recent data breaches, it is simply irresponsible not to act. Once allowed, you must enter your password, and an additional authentication, such as a one-time access code sent to your mobile phone via text message.
Two-step Authentication is effective in two ways:
- An additional layer of protection now protects your account in addition to your password.
- Second, if anyone attempts to log into your account without your permission, you will be notified right away.
You can read this guide specifically for setting up Two-Step Authentication on standard websites and apps because the process is different for virtually every platform.
Use the Proper WI-FI Configuration
One of the most severe security threats is an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Anyone with basic security knowledge could hack into your wireless network and scurry through your personal data if it is not adequately secured.
Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 is the most commonly used standard (or WPA2). Visit the administrator’s page for your router settings and find out more by reading our guide to set up Wi-Fi security.
Once you are in your router’s menu, look for an encryption settings section under Wireless or Security. When you find it, you will typically be presented with several choices, one of which is WPA2.
If you see a WPA3 option, this type of wireless protection is only available on the latest routers. If this option is accessible, use it; if it isn’t, use WPA2.
Install Latest Versions
You must use the most recent Windows version. Not only do these new versions provide the most up-to-date features, but they often include security fixes and patches. Patching the system on a regular basis is also the best way to combat critical security bugs, so keep an eye out for them when they become available.