Social engineering

7 Common Online Gaming Cybersecurity Risks


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When it comes to online gaming, cybersecurity risks abound. This can be attributed to the fact that online gaming gained global recognition, generating vast sums of money and attracting the attention of hackers. Cybercrime has become so widespread that it is expensive for both the players and companies in the gaming industry. In this article, we’ll outline common online gaming security risks.

1.     Phishing

When it comes to social engineering attacks, phishing is the most common form. Criminals build a replica of a popular online game website, then send emails and messages to gamers urging them to either validate their accounts or change their passwords. They use lies and psychological tricks to manipulate their target to divulge confidential information or perform specific actions.

Once the gamer falls for this, the scammers steal their login credentials and get complete access to their account.  The phisher can also get access to some vital information from the player’s information in their account and use it for extortion or fraudulent activities.

2.     Data theft

Online gaming platforms accumulate tons of personal data from their subscribers; hence hackers target the players’ accounts. Gamers’ accounts will have confidential information about their location, media involvement, and payment details for the subscriptions.

Weak security systems of gaming platforms may lead to data security breaches, and in turn, extensive exposure of confidential clients’ information. Hackers use this personal information to infiltrate the player’s financial assets and privacy.

3.     Weak validation process

Multiplayer online games will require a unique password to function, and gamers struggle with password mismanagement. This sees gamers forcibly recall and manage many passwords, which can compromise older games since they can be without updates for years.

Since some games reveal the player’s username and scores, data thieves can use this to choose who to target and use the username details to hack into their accounts. The frail validation process makes it easy for hackers to gain access.

4.     Ransomware

Hackers have been targeting online games providers of all sizes with Ransomware attacks. They usually use purpose-built malware on the target website, lock their network, and encrypt their data. After that, the Ransomware displays a message on the website demanding payment from the gaming provider to restore access. The downside with this is that ransom payment does not always guarantee access restoration.

5.     Spyware

Spyware is a common cyber security issue. Hackers use spyware schemes, especially on those untrustworthy online gaming platforms, without the players’ knowledge. The spyware monitors and records the actions and movements of the players on the internet, and then sells this information to third parties. This is the ultimate breach of privacy.

6.     Trojan malware and computer viruses

Computer viruses are a prevalent form of cybercrime. Players suffer this when they play from unprotected websites, download rogue attachments, or respond to in-game communications. The Trojan viruses are engineered to look like the real software and deceive the player into downloading them or clicking on links. Trojans analyze the player’s password and other information, then send the data back to the hacker to complete the hack.

7.     Trolling and bullying

Most online games have a text or voice-based feature that players use to communicate with each other. Unfortunately, some players can lose it as they battle online and use the chat feature to troll and bully online competitors. These indecent chats can be uncomfortably personal, especially the one dedicated to the virtual life of an online character.


Online gaming is all fun until you experience cybercrime. Be on the lookout for these common cybersecurity risks, so you can get to enjoy your favorite online games without giving the hackers an avenue to ruin your moment.


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