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Hackers love hiding malware in Minecraft

Patrick Devaney

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Minecraft is beloved by young and old gamers alike. It offers an expansive and open-source gaming universe for players to shape, craft, and explore. Unfortunately, however, this popularity has also attracted a fair amount of unwanted attention for the game with cybercriminals increasingly taking to the online gaming world to attempt to catch out unsuspecting gamers. In fact, Minecraft is now the most attacked game by cybercriminals. Let’s dig a little deeper.

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Security researchers at Kaspersky have released a report into malware attacks on video games and Minecraft sits at the top of the list. It is the most popular game to target for malicious actors and cybercriminals.

Hackers love hiding malware in Minecraft

According to the Kaspersky report, malicious files relating to the block-based crafting and open-world adventure game accounted for about 25% of game-specific targeted malware. Second in this unfortunate league table was FIFA, which saw about 11% of all game-specific attacks with Roblox, Far Cry, and Call of Duty not far behind on 9.5%, 9.4%, and 9% respectively.

Kaspersky outlined the types of threats included in these type of attack that target gamers as such:

“Downloaders (88.56%) top the list of malicious and unwanted software being spread using the names of popular games: this type of unsolicited software might not be dangerous in and of itself, but it can be used for loading other threats onto devices. Adware (4.19%) comes second: this type of software displays unwanted (and sometimes irritating) pop-up ads which can appear on a user’s computer or mobile device.”

Trojans represent the third most common form of malware showing up in these game-specific attacks.

These games are targeted for their massive user bases that often run into the hundreds of millions of active players a month. With these games having active stores, these massive user bases represent huge potential pools of cash for the scammers to try and dip into.

This story just goes to show that you need to be vigilant even when you think you are in comfortable surroundings when online, such as while playing your favorite game. To help keep yourself safe when online, we recommend you check out our anti-phishing visual guide.

Image via: Flickr

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