May 19, 2022
Alerts & Bugs

Emerging gaming security trends in 2022 – ET CISO


By- Subho Halder

Due to the pandemic, a vast population around the world have mastered the art of virtual life from work to leisure. Not too surprisingly, mobile gaming has received a tremendous boost as it works as a stress reliever for many. Mobile gaming is one of the world’s fastest expanding industries – with nearly a third of the global population as its user base and revenues expected to cross $272 billion by 2030. After a sudden boom during the pandemic and despite the momentary return to normalcy, mobile gaming is still likely to have a bright future.

As fun and profitable mobile games are for users and businesses, they involve unimaginable security risks. The daily number of blocked attempts to drive users to malicious sites that exploited the gaming theme surged by 54% in the early days of the pandemic alone. If not prioritized, security risks in mobile gaming can sabotage gamers and gaming businesses by exposing sensitive personal data causing severe financial and reputational harm. Cybercriminals seek to gain access to games and gaming services by launching attacks on mobile games and gamers via lists and tools containing username and password combinations obtained from the Dark Web. It’s critical to check the key cyber security precautionary method for 2022 to control and protect ourselves from privacy intrusions.

The major cybersecurity trends of 2022 which will have a great impact on the mobile gaming industry.

Increase in Piracy and Unauthorized Installations: In 2022, unauthorized downloads of intellectual materials, notably mobile games, are expected to absorb 24 percent of global internet bandwidth. And it’s largely due to third-party app stores .The prospect of greater money is usually enough to attract app authors to join these app stores. These shady app marketplaces are also where you may find pirated or cloned copies of the software (especially games). These phoney programmes not only spread virus, but they also steal money from legitimate game developers. Piracy rates as high as 90% have been reported for some mobile game producers.

Flaws in In-App Purchases: Most mobile games rely on in-app purchases to generate revenue, many of these systems have serious security flaws that allow hackers to gain free access to add-on items and gaming features. Because there is so much money coming into mobile games, they are a tempting target for hackers looking to profit. As we get closer to 2022, mobile gaming businesses will have to keep alert to close the gaps in their in-app transactions.
Hackers could:
* Bypass in-app purchases
* Unlock apps and share them with other users
* Siphon off advertising revenue by cloning apps and replacing ads

Reverse Engineering and malwares: Reverse engineering is the process of dismantling something in order to figure out how it works. The game hacking community spends a significant amount of effort gathering information on users. Mobile games, like any other unprotected mobile software, are at risk. By exploiting the game’s unsecured code, attackers utilize reverse engineering techniques to get around licenses and in-app purchase checks, enabling others unrestricted access. This type of hack can be costly to studios, and the trend appears to be gaining traction in 2022.

Cloud Based Games on Rise: Many businesses have begun to explore the possibility of developing cloud-based gaming applications. These cloud-based games contain high-end game engines that can tap into the cloud’s capacity for amazing graphics, social media integration, and competitive play features. By cloud accessing these process foundations, they hope to construct simple processes. Despite this, the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is the most prominent and well-known threat to the cloud gaming industry. The user’s account and saved games are stored in the cloud. As a result, if the service is down, any game will be unable to play. These assaults are made directly against the game servers. They, as well as the entire game platform, could, however, become a target.

Account Takeover (ATO):ATO, or Account Takeover, is another common hacking technique that allows hackers to steal victims’ virtual stuff, weapons, and other in-game avatar accessories. In lightweight mobile games, account takeovers are widespread, and hackers achieve them through direct message phishing attacks.ATO is also prevalent in apps that allow third-party payment aggregators to be used for in-game purchases. Hackers can use the payment code to deceive players into divulging their passwords and account information, allowing them to steal financial and personal information or in-game items. The stolen information can then be used by malicious actors to move laterally into other online accounts or to commit identity theft.

Increase in Expansion Packs: An expansion pack is merely an addition to an existing mobile game. Expansion packs have always been reserved for high-profile PC and console games. At the moment, mobile app developers are warming to the idea of expansion packs, which remain one of the most effective ways to keep initial game adopters engaged and return for more. Despite the fact that it is not a completely new notion, it will become more apparent in the coming years. With the mobile gaming market booming and the price of obtaining new customers skyrocketing, it only makes sense to keep existing customers pleased.

Conclusion
Mobile applications have always been the primary targets of threat actors and the same holds true for mobile games as well. The mobile gaming market was boosted by last year’s lockdowns, with players downloading 30% more mobile games per week in Q1 2021 than in Q4 2019. Despite the indisputable charm, there is no denying the fact that the mobile gaming business sits on a gold mine of valuable data – massive amounts of personally identifiable information (PII) and credit card information from gamers all over the world. Investments done in the right measures will lead to amplification of security, which is the need of the hour.

The author is Co-founder & CISO at Appknox.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETCISO.in does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETCISO.in shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.



Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *