Digital entertainment company DreamHack recently announced a new partnership with the cloud delivery network provider Akamai Technologies to jointly share data security insights along with analysis on the global gaming and eSports industry. Based in Sweden, DreamHack is a production company specialized in eSports tournaments and other gaming conventions.
As the popular cloud delivery platform, Akamai provides its customers with the best and most secure digital experiences on any device, anytime, and anywhere. Akamai intends to serve a larger base of carrier and enterprise customers with more comprehensive security products. These products will be designed to more effectively identify, block, and mitigate cybersecurity threats such as malware, ransomware, phishing, and data exfiltration.
Speaking on the new alliance Marcus Lindmark, the DreamHack Co-CEO, said “DreamHack is a major influencer in the video game industry through our 15 global events that will welcome approximately 400,000 visitors in 2019. But we also have tens of millions of viewers and gamers tuning in online or try to qualify in our online tournaments. Together, with Akamai, we want to lift these questions around online data security and instead help secure the continued growth and success of esports and gaming in a market where threats are increasing, and attackers are getting smarter every day. Akamai is a trusted partner in the space and an ideal partner for DreamHack.”
Recently, Akamai Technologies published a research report, “2019 State of the Internet/Security Web Attacks and Gaming Abuse”, which stated the gaming industry has become an attractive target for cybercriminals with 12 billion credential stuffing attacks reported in the past 17 months (November 2017-March 2019).
The report highlighted that nearly 67% of credential stuffing attacks target organizations based in the United States. It stated that Russia is the second largest source of application attacks and China is ranked as the fourth highest source country. On the other hand, the United Kingdom ranked as the second highest targeted country with Japan, Canada, Australia, and Italy are all also among the countries most targeted.
“One reason we believe the gaming industry is an attractive target for hackers is because criminals can easily exchange in-game items for profit,” said Martin McKeay, a security researcher at Akamai. “Furthermore, gamers are a niche demographic known for spending money, so their financial status is also a tempting target.”
The attackers look for valid accounts and unique skins in popular games to hack them and sell. Akamai said that hackers focus on more valued video game accounts that are connected to a valid credit card or other financial resources. After compromising the account, the criminal can purchase additional items, such as currency used within the game, and then sell the hacked account at a higher price.
According to a survey, young gamers are increasingly turning into hackers to commit cybercrime. The research found that 82% of teens and young adults recruited by online criminals had developed their cybercrime skills through video gaming.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) held a forum and published a special report about the problem. The agency report looks at ways to identify those at risk of hacking, how to intervene before they go too far, and then inspire them to pursue a career in IT security.