Consoles are offering the Portal to hackers

Forget the NSA; it’s your shiny new console which could offer the biggest threat to cyber-security in your home. According to security firm Kaspersky Labs, hacking attempts against consoles have rocketed since this year’s big new releases.

The company is estimating around 34,000 attacks per day, and is aware of around 4.6 million pieces of gamer-focused malware.

Spain currently gets the most unwanted attention; with 138,786 attacks so far this year. Poland was in second with 127,509, followed by Italy on 75,080.

So what are these hackers hoping to gain? Credit card info? It’s more likely just your username and password…

Hacker forums are full of people buying and selling these details; it’s a lucrative business. You may remember the PlayStation Network security breach which leaked 77 million accounts and caused Sony to take down their service for 24 days.

David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, says: “We’ve just seen two of the biggest console launches ever, with the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One,

That means there will be more gamers for criminals to target, especially as the Sony and Microsoft machines increasingly use the Internet for a fuller gaming experience. And don’t forget the PC, still the most popular gaming platform and cyber crooks’ favourite target.”

Whilst Kaspersky haven’t mentioned any cases of such attempts, as of yet, it’s also worth remembering Microsoft ship their Kinect peripheral with every console — and Sony also has a new PlayStation camera on the market.

On the PC, webcams are hijacked to spy on users without their consent. Manufacturers implement “on” lights when in-use to help indicate and prevent being caught unaware. The NSA, however, have proven these can be activated without the warning lights… maybe you shouldn’t “forget” them.

Games on the PC are also highly targeted; the most prime targets are titles including Minecraft and GTA V…

Earlier in 2013, hackers created a fake Minecraft tool built with Java that promised to give the player special powers, such as banning other users. But it did nothing more than steal the victims’ usernames and passwords.

Hacker sites offered fake downloads of “GTA V” to access the new game for free. Yet when users tried to get the game, all they got was malware…

Play safe out there…

What do you think about your console possibly jeopardising your privacy?

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