Online gaming heightens the risk of cyberattacks on players: Venkat Krishnapur

    Here is everything you need to know about Gaming Cyberattack


    The market for online gaming is getting bigger by the day. Most of us now play online battle-royale games in our leisure times, and some users play e-sports professionally.

    Online gaming heightens the risk of cyberattacks on players


    In the era of internet, nothing is safe, and we had a chance to ask some queries regarding the gaming cyberattack and why one should use paid antivirus to protect their online identity and computers from DDoS and MitD to Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India. Here is some of the information on various cyberattacks, how to diagnose a cyberattack and how to protect yourself from such an attack, especially a gaming cyberattack.

    Online gaming heightens the risk of cyberattacks on players

    Here are some of the answers related to cyberattack and gaming related cyberattack.

    1. Who are the "Cyber Criminals"? Why do they attack individual computers?

    The term "Cyber Criminals" can be used to define individuals or teams of people who leverage technology or other means to commit malicious activities on digital systems or networks with the objective of stealing sensitive information, personal data and for monetary gain.

    The primary motive driving cybercriminals is usually financial gain-they care about making money. By attacking individual computers, they want to access our personal, financial or health data and monetize it on the dark net/ underground black markets or misuse it for financial fraud. These markets are dispersed, diverse and segmented-rapidly growing, constantly changing and innovating to keep pace with consumer trends and prevent law enforcement and security vendors from understanding them.

    The dark markets may cater to either individual products or may offer a range of goods and services for a full life cycle of an attack - from the tools needed to exploit a system, all the way through to the cyber-laundering of the stolen goods. Behind anonymous and peer-to-peer networks such as Tor, Open Bazaar, cybercriminals operate anonymously using encryption technologies and digital currencies such as Bitcoin to conceal their communications and transactions.

    On a larger scale there are typically three main motives behind cyberthreats. The first is cyberespionage or cyber-spying, which involves attacks being committed to acquire illicit access to secret information stored in digital formats or on computers and IT networks. Secondly, there is cyberwarfare that is motivated politically and involves nation-states penetrating other nations' networks to cause damage and thirdly, cyberterrorism which involves the disruptive use of information technology to further the ideological or political agenda of terrorist groups.

    How to diagnose if my computer is under attack?

    All viruses or cyberattacks target different parts or configurations of your personal computer. For example, one of the most common malwares, ransomware, takes the computer or data as its hostage and destroys important files saved on the computer to extort money from the victims. Some of the hacking attacks are carried out using drive-by downloads which help install malware when the victim clicks on a malicious link. Another type of virus that directly affects the computer's hard drive and sometimes results in a crashed system are Trojans. Similarly, Spyware is used to spy on a user's activities like logging into your bank account, then collecting this data and sending it to the hacker.

    One must look out for the telltale signs to identify if their computer has been compromised. Possible indications of an infection include high CPU usage on unrecognized processes, increased bandwidth usage, change in the home page of browsers without permission or inaccessible files. Other signs that can be considered include addition of unexpected keys, crashing applications and inability to access network resources such as a shared drive.

    How do you recover computers from cyberattacks?

    The threat landscape today is relentless and unforgiving. The cybersecurity game is changing so often that technology is no longer enough. Every person connected to the internet is at risk of falling victim to an attack with the consequences being more severe than ever-reaching far beyond the individual to impact communities, organizations, entire industries and even nations. It is important to work together and build a culture of security by taking preventive measures rather than corrective actions.

    As the threat frequency continues to be on the rise, it is imperative to invest in a robust security software for all your connected devices to ensure a rounded security against cyberattacks. If you are aware that your personal computer is under a cyberattack or has been infected by a virus, reach out to a computer expert for further steps. Being prepared and acting quickly are vital to helping your computer recover from a cyberattack as effectively as possible. Prevention is better than cure. Between common sense (Stop, Think, Click) and tools, you can minimize the impact of becoming a victim to a cyber-attack.

    What is the role of McAfee in preventing a cyberattack?

    McAfee provides cybersecurity solutions for both consumers and businesses. These solutions help organizations orchestrate cyber environments that are truly integrated, where protection, detection, and correction of security threats happen simultaneously and collaboratively. Backed by McAfee Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee solutions help companies enhance visibility into their security postures, allowing them to embrace virtualization, cloud services, and mobile devices, while protecting critical assets and sensitive data, and improving incident response. The McAfee Security Innovation Alliance-one of the industry's largest ecosystems with more than 130 partners-provides customers with integrated security solutions that allow them to resolve more threats faster with fewer resources.

    For consumers, McAfee secures devices that covers protection from adware, spyware, phishing scams, malicious websites and identity thefts across all connected devices ranging from PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets.

    What are gaming-centric cyberattacks?

    With increasing popularity of online gaming among kids and adults alike, there is a heightened risk of cyberattacks on players. Recently, we witnessed popular games such as Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto V being affected by high impact cyberattacks. Vulnerability in "Grand Theft Auto V" allowed malicious trolls to take over users' games in the single-player mode. The Fortnite application was found to be vulnerable to man-in-the-disk (MitD) attacks, which allows the attacker to view an app's external storage space and tamper with the data that is stored. Further, fake download links to the game were being circulated on popular video streaming websites claiming to be Android versions of the game in a bid to earn money off fake downloads.

    Online gaming industry thrives on powerful game servers, attracting many customers. Many players face distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and game servers are apparently knocked offline daily to push gamers to migrate to the competition. Players of popular games such as Minecraft and Call of Duty have come under DDoS attacks by their competitors. Another trend in the gaming world is live streaming their games to get maximum views and interact with their viewers over a chatroom. Cybercriminals use these to befriend other gamers to extract their personal information; children are most vulnerable to identity thefts online.

    As most online games require you to collect a certain number of rewards to reach to the next level, often gamers look for methods to download these rewards or cheat codes free of cost to bypass the level. Taking advantage of this, attackers scam gamers into downloading malware or PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) as soon as they click on an unknown link or any extra add-ons for the game.

    Is there a McAfee software that is fine-tuned to prevent a gaming cyberattack, if yes tell me more about it?

    McAfee announced McAfee Gamer Security, designed from the ground up to enhance in-game performance, while helping keep gamers safe. Developed for gamers' unique needs, McAfee Gamer Security boosts in-game performance using new technology derived from McAfee's deep and proprietary expertise in PC systems performance.

    McAfee Gamer Security product's key features include Game Mode, a gamer-centric interface, and minimal security resource consumption. These features help optimize gamers' computing resources, provide system status updates, and equip users with lightweight security protection.

    Should a user get a paid anti-virus to protect the devices from a cyberattack?

    In this ever-evolving cyber threat landscape, it is imperative to invest in a fully featured anti-virus solution which is not feasible to provide free of cost. One of the major reasons to do so are the regular software updates provided by the paid software that have updated threat detection database that can detect new and emerging threats. Paid software products tend to possess a stronger system-behavior monitor as compared to free anti-virus software. It is recommended to buy an anti-virus software from a renowned provider as free programs do not offer technical support. Therefore, investment in a high-quality and holistic security solution is always a good idea.

    What is the difference between Windows Defender (freeware) and McAfee security software?

    While Windows defender provides basic security, McAfee Security software provides advanced additional features and security. According to the latest AV test results, McAfee products offer far better detection efficacy for threats, therefore protecting users better than Defender. McAfee also scores better in performance of the security software on end points than defender.


    According to Venkat Krishnapur, Vice-President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee India, it is pretty evident that the online gaming amongst kids and adults alike, there is a heightened risk of cyberattacks on players. Though a free antivirus does the job of protecting your computer under a normal attack, the free software might not be able to save your device from bigger attacks in DDoS and MitD. If you are an avid online gamer, then investing a bit on a paid gaming anti-virus like the McAfee Gamer Security might prevent your computer from undergoing a cyber attack.

    Read More About: mcafee antivirus gaming news

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