IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

LulzSec hacks: Time to play the game

Following some notable hacks on Sony and Nintendo, Tom Brewster asks why are gaming firms being targeted?

Hackers have gone for all kinds of businesses in the past, from Governments to security companies.

One apparent trend in recent months, however, has been to go after entertainment-focused firms.

In the past two months we've seen attacks on two of the biggest forces in the gaming world Sony and Nintendo.

In the case of Nintendo, it looks like the event will pass without much fuss, but the PlayStation owner won't see the back of its security saga for a while yet.

But why are hackers going after these companies? There must be value there, so what is it?

Fair game

The fact is online and console gamers have been in hackers' crosshairs for some time now.

By their very nature, gamers are good targets, according to Catalin Cosoi, head of BitDefender Online Threats Lab.

"Gaming is addictive which means that we will have users that purchase any upgrade to their favourite games or users that will go beyond the legal border and download pirated games," Cosoi said.

"It's not something new to say that some users will often kill their anti-virus in order to be able to play their favourite game, even if the anti-virus says that the torrent-downloaded file they try to install is packed with malware."

In these recent attacks, however, we've seen the service providers' servers hacked, rather than cyber criminals going for the gamers directly.

For David Harley, senior research fellow at ESET UK, this is just the next phase in the evolution of hackers' efforts to get hold of gamers' credentials.

"Online and console gaming has long been a favourite target for phishing for credentials, and attacking the service providers is a natural progression as a supplement to that kind of attack," Harley told IT PRO.

Hackers are using the old grey matter here. Why should they bother relying on end user desperation and foolishness, when they can go straight to the mothership, find its weaknesses, infiltrate and then steal substantial amounts of user data in one fell swoop?

They'll make plenty more money that way, so expect attacks on other games firms to appear in the news soon enough.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Anonymous hijacks Russian broadcasts with footage of Ukraine war
hacking

Anonymous hijacks Russian broadcasts with footage of Ukraine war

7 Mar 2022
Hackers could use new Wslink malware in highly targeted cyber attacks
malware

Hackers could use new Wslink malware in highly targeted cyber attacks

1 Nov 2021
FBI raids Chinese POS business following cyber attack claims
malware

FBI raids Chinese POS business following cyber attack claims

27 Oct 2021
Malware developers create malformed code signatures to avoid detection
malware

Malware developers create malformed code signatures to avoid detection

24 Sep 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Samsung proposes 11 Texas semiconductor plants worth $191 billion
Hardware

Samsung proposes 11 Texas semiconductor plants worth $191 billion

21 Jul 2022
Should you take your password manager off the internet?
Sponsored

Should you take your password manager off the internet?

28 Jul 2022