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The 10 cyber hazards of online video games, according to the player’s age

20 May 2020
3 Minutes of reading
  • Due to the great growth of online games and eSports sector in 2019, S2 Grupo has made a report on the state of cybersecurity in this area.
  • Webcam access and real time location is one of the main cyber risks in all age groups.
  • The future of this industry will be the creation of online video game ecosystems that will have a subscription plan, will know the player perfectly and will work with artificial intelligence.
  • Experts from the company reminded us that where there is money online, there are cybercriminals. And the online games sector moves more than 1.5 million euros a year in Spain.

Valencia, May 20, 2020.- In the last year, the growth of online games and eSports has been rapid. For this reason, the S2 Grupo has made a report to analyze the state of cybersecurity in this industry and has determined the 10 most current cyber hazards, according to each age group. “The online video games sector has become the first choice of entertainment worldwide and nationally and this is reflected in the income it generates. And we have to be aware that where there is money online, there are cybercriminals”, said José Rosell, managing partner of S2 Grupo. Along with this he explained that: “We find ourselves with a new digital world, with a new way of playing and a new form of cybercrime that is difficult to pursue. eSports has become a crazy, a social phenomenon, and that has made championships of this type a new target for cybercriminals.” "The eSports audience is more than 5 million viewers, it is a sector that moves more than 1.5 million euros in Spain alone, there are more and more young people who are part of eSports schools, they play with people from all over the world and this requires parental control, in the case of the yougest ones, and knowing how to access them securely”, stated Miguel A. Juan, managing-partner of S2 Grupo. The 10 cyber hazards of online video games, according to the player’s age

  1. Theft of names and addresses: it is the least common in children and very frequent in adolescents and adults.
  2. Credit card theft: it is the least common in children and very frequent in adolescents and adults. This is because young people are the ones who buy the most videogames online but usually do so it with their parents' cards.
  3. Theft of biometric data: frequent in children and, above all, in young people and adults. This refers to measuring heart rate, perspiration, skin temperature, brain waves, visual tracking, facial expressions, body movements, etc. Although the collection of so much biometric data in online games is not common at present, it will be very soon and this information will be very useful for cybercriminals.
  4. Webcam access and location in real time: very frequent in all age groups.
  5. Cyberbullying: very frequent in children and adolescents and little in adults.
  6. Grooming (sexual harassment): very frequent in children and adolescents and little in adults. This is one of the practices that is expanding the most through online video games
  7. Sexting and sextorsion: not common in children, but very frequent in adolescents and adults.
  8. Cyberbullying: is rare in children and very common in adolescents and adults.
  9. Access to inappropriate content: very frequent in children and adolescents and little in adults.
  10. Malware infection: very common in all ages.

Future of online gaming and cybersecurity Regarding the future of this industry, experts from S2 Grupo have pointed out that the future of video games will be the creation of powerful online video game ecosystems that will operate under a monthly or annual subscription plan and, through which, players will have streaming access to different new video games every month and will be able play them whenever they want from the device of their choice, something that will be further promoted with the arrival of 5G. These ecosystems will adapt to the personality and taste of the online player, recommending video games that are consistent with their activity, based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In addition, each brand associated with an ecosystem will try to integrate IoT devices that will increase the gaming experience while differentiating it from other competing ecosystems. Among these Internet-connected gadgets, the popularity of augmented reality accessories, virtual reality glasses, wristbands, smart suits, or speakers like Amazon Eco or Google Home will continue to increase. Many of them will not even be mere accessories but will become main gaming devices within ecosystems, just like the mobile, tablet, computer or console. In this way, ecosystems will generate an extensive history of online player activity based on a single account that may be personal or family and in which personal data of players, bank cards, video game purchase history, invoices will be collected of subscriptions, likes and preferences, IoT devices connected or associated with those accounts, information generated by those devices, most used video games, hours spent on each of them, photos, videos, chat history, video game communities to which we belong, etc. Therefore, S2 Grupo has highlighted that the cybersecurity of online games requires, to face the action of cybercriminals, an alliance between the 5 links of the sector: the manufacturers of the devices in which we play (mobile phones, tablets, computers, desktop consoles as well as other IoT accessories), the brands of the ecosystems to which we will belong (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Steam...), operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows), countries as well as online players. It is essential that manufacturers provide maximum security from the design of the device in which it is played; that operating systems create new layers of security (for example, they must isolate applications so that a harmful app cannot access data from another app); that ecosystem servers provide a layer of comprehensive security to the entire ecosystem; that each country develops appropriate regulation of online activities such as video games and eSports; and player awareness since their actions or omissions are the main cause of an effective cyber-attack.   More information: prensa@s2grupo.es

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