The Indian fantasy gaming market is at an unprecedented inflection point, especially after the proliferation of the internet and smart devices. A report by Deloitte India and the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) said that India has emerged as the fastest-growing fantasy sports market in the world, with 18 crore users. This showcases a vivid picture of the growth of the industry in such a short span of time. Apart from the rise in numbers of enthusiastic gamers, these virtual worlds also attracted some unwanted participants who were eying the sensitive data of the users.
Gaming industry attacks surface
Cybersecurity companies have reported a significant surge in gaming-related cybercrimes. According to the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, from the period from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, there were 4,076,530 attempts to download 30,684 unique files masked as popular games. These attempts impacted 192,456 gamers worldwide. As a result, gaming companies are losing an extensive amount of data and facing temporary game shutdowns. Moreover, gamers are at a huge risk of losing money, progress, and financial information. Now, let us delve into the techniques these cyberattackers use to carry out their fraudulent activities.
Decoding cyber fraud tactics
It is well known that the gaming industry has millions of participants who use their personal login IDs and passwords. The gaming platforms, therefore, hold a mammoth amount of user and financial data, which makes them a potential target for cybercriminals. Let us decode some of the tactics used by these fraudulent agents.
Identity theft: Cybercriminals tend to collect personally identifiable data about their potential victims. By using the chatbox, they can gather this sensitive data and use it to pose as a different person, creating fake accounts.
Account takeover: Sometimes, users use the same ID password for multiple platforms. In a case where the cybercriminal gets hold of this credential, they can potentially access all the accounts and take them over.
Data breaches: Hackers also consistently try to penetrate game publishers’ systems, as by doing this they can gain a wealth of information. Once breached, the hackers have complete access to almost everything, from the source code of the game to personal information stored in users’ accounts.
Phishing emails: Fraudulent agents send either phishing emails to genuine users or share phishing links in the chatbox in a bid to lure people to install game malware on their smart devices.
Promo/referral abuse: The fraudsters create multiple fake accounts using stolen IDs, SIM cards, or credit card information in order to conduct bonus or promo abuse.
To negate these challenges, gamers need to practice cyber hygiene. Here are some of the methods they can use to safeguard their information and accounts.
Safeguarding yourself from cyberattacks
Listed below are some of the precautionary methods gamers can use:
Using strong passwords: One of the best methods for an individual to protect their account is to keep a strong password. This password usually consists of 12 characters, which are a mix of upper and lower case combined with numbers and symbols. Avoid using sequential numbers such as ‘1234’ in the passwords to keep them strong.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA): If a fantasy game offers multi-factor authentication, it is best to enable it to add another layer of security to your account. What it does is add another step to the login process, such as sending a unique code to the registered email or phone number.
Protect personal information: While registering on a fantasy gaming platform, one must always make sure that they are not using personal information in their usernames. Moreover, they must also be careful about sharing any personal details on the gaming forums or chatboxes.
Download from legitimate resources: One must always download the mobile application from authentic sources. Downloading from unofficial websites or pirated sources poses a potential risk of introducing malware or viruses onto your smart device.
Stay vigilant against phishing emails. Users must always be wary of emails that force them to click on a link or open an email attachment immediately. The golden rule here is to not respond to any email that you are unsure of.
All things considered
As the journey of the gaming industry continues, one thing is certain: fantasy gaming is poised for a bright future with a strong convergence between the virtual world and reality. However, there is also a possibility that cyberattacks and fraud will prevail. Therefore, gamers must always stay vigilant and implement proactive cybersecurity measures to protect themselves.
By applying these stringent methods, the participants can safeguard themselves from fraudulent activities such as identity theft, account takeover, phishing, and more. In the ever-evolving realm, where technological advancements are pushing boundaries, gaming companies must also keep pace with innovation while prioritising user safety. Collectively, the industry can then foster an environment where players can immerse themselves without having to worry about cyber threats.