Cybercrime and public gaming: this is why security strategies need to be strengthened

Recent analyzes confirm the spread of cyber crimes in digital environments linked to gambling. This is why it is becoming increasingly important to invest in cyber security training

In the world of cyber security, there has recently been an increase in cyber-attacks and fraudulent activity. The number of cyber attacks is constantly growing and the turnover related to fraudulent activities is also affecting the gaming and public game platforms , recording very high statistics.

A report released by experts from security firm Akamai found that around 12 billion cyber attacks take place against online gaming sites. This phenomenon is accompanied by an increase in the profits of companies operating in the gambling sector.

The Global Games Market Report also reports that according to analysts the gambling market will exceed $ 200 billion by 2023. Gambling today is particularly widespread and made accessible thanks to the various online platforms. Mobile gaming is estimated to have generated over $ 77.2 billion in 2020 and will increase by 13.3% year on year.

Cybercrime and public gaming: attack techniques

The proceeds of the gambling giants are the result of the activity of the communities of players that revolve around the main online games. The experts in the IT sector denounce that groups of cybercriminals use automatic tools to encode the credentials coming from the online data, thus accessing the accounts of many players and emptying the monetary deposits. It seems that security passwords and identification codes are not very resilient to these attacks.

In many cases, botnets – compromised machines with malicious codes – are used to access credentials from past data breaches. This method is also known as credential stuffing and is frequently used to steal identities and compromise accounts.

The users hacked and connected to a credit card or a PayPal account set for automatic transitions and without OTP codes, have a higher value for the hackers as this way the criminal can draw on further monetary assets of the violated user.

Not surprisingly, the world of public gaming is also pervaded by phishing, understood as malicious emails and messages that try to convince players to provide their credentials to solve problems on the gaming account. In reality, through this method, the hacker manages to extract the access passwords and violate the game account.

Malware is also growing in popularity, disguised as programs that promise players to get unlimited winnings, such as self-styled roulette automatic win programs.

These apps can hide malicious codes that allow hackers to take possession of victims’ devices, and thus also access other applications, such as banking, financial and personal ones. These programs are often advertised on YouTube and Instagram and are downloadable through Torrent.

In addition to all the cyber security vulnerabilities of public gaming users, we cannot forget that the number of cybercrimes in the gambling world also includes the possibility of laundering money through the same betting activities.

By hacking accounts, criminals can use the gambling account to convert the proceeds of illegal activities, such as money from stolen credit card data, into money wagered and then repaid on various betting services.

Criminals often split large sums of money and use micro-transactions between accounts and different monetary circuits, thus making law enforcement investigations complex.

Countermeasures to protect IT infrastructures

All these recent phenomena have prompted gambling agencies to strengthen the security of their IT infrastructures. Play casino, for example, has begun to apply very strict criteria for payment and player security.

The strengthening of the security systems by the betting agencies does not seem to be sufficient, but it is also necessary that the same users follow useful practices to protect themselves from attempts of violation by hackers.

First, it is important to protect cyber security and information security.

If information security concerns all your personal data, cyber security instead concerns the malicious access of malware to your platform, which leads to data theft.

Threats to cyber security in online gaming have a very high alert profile, and for this reason, users are required to use a series of precautions to protect themselves.

First, be wary of untrusted software. Many of these are pirated, hacking the network, computer, and personal information of your gaming account. Even when using downloadable applications for online gaming, experts recommend using official platforms to download games and be wary of third-party apps. It is therefore important to avoid Torrent accounts and unclear URLs, Plugins, and tricks.

Of primary importance, then, is the protection of one’s profile. To protect it, it is recommended not to connect different accounts with each other, not to repeat the same passwords for different accounts, and not to share information regarding your identity in the community of players, as there could be hackers looking for sensitive information. For this, it is important to use non-recognizable avatars.

Then we must be careful of phishing. As we mentioned earlier, it is a type of cybercrime where the perpetrator lures the target into a scam. The user is thus forced to communicate their personal information, their sensitive data, passwords, and other information that should actually be protected and confidential. Experts report that phishing, like other IT contexts (payment systems, shopping platforms, etc.), can take the form of e-mails, YouTube comments, and private messages.

To defend yourself it is important to always use multi-factor authentication, make backups of your data often, and not click on unknown URLs. Unknown URLs can inoculate keylogging malware, such as parasitic programs that enter the system and record the keystroke while being logged in, thereby stealing passwords and private information.

Conclusions

In conclusion, in order to strengthen the safety of the users of public gaming platforms, the agencies are called upon to reinforce the solidity of their security systems. Examples of actions that can consolidate the security of its users are the strengthening of user support, the use of encrypted SSL, backend security, transaction protection and the adoption of software licenses.

In addition to this, an integrated approach to the problem also incorporates the need for greater information and training among platform users. It is also important that all digital citizens and network users are trained and informed on how to navigate safely on the various platforms, protecting themselves from any attempts to breach their data.

This is why, in the light of these analyzes, we clearly deduce how important it can be to invest even more in the promotion of all those training courses on cybersecurity and on the training of professionals responsible for the legal and cyber protection of network users.

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