The only thing better than a good game is a good free game, but those are something of a rarity.

Of course, one could just grab a game illegally but that might present more risk than you’re looking for according to research from Kaspersky.

Between June 2018 and June 2019, Kaspersky took a look at some infected game files and discovered some alarming figures.

A copy of a game parading as Minecraft but actually containing malware accounted for 30 percent of attacks using this vector. Kaspersky says that as many as 310 000 users were hit.

Malware parading as GTA V and Sims 4, hit 122 000 users and 105 000 users respectively during the year long analysis.

But cybercriminals aren’t just using existing games to lure gamers into downloading malware, unreleased games are also being used.

FIFA 20, Borderlands 3 and Elder Scrolls 6 were all used to tempt folks into downloading malware. Kaspersky did not mention how many users were affected by these instances of malware.

“For months now we see that criminals are exploiting entertainment to catch users by surprise – be it series of popular TV shows, premieres of top movies or popular video games. This is easy to explain – people can be less vigilant when they just want to relax and have fun. If they’re not expecting to find malware in something fun, they’ve used for years, it won’t take an advanced threat like infection vector to succeed,” explains security researcher at Kaspersky, Maria Fedorova.

The firm also offered up some advice for gamers:

  • Use only legitimate services with a proven reputation.
  • Pay extra attention to the websites’ authenticity. Do not visit websites allowing downloading video games until you are sure that they are legitimate and start with ‘https’. Confirm that the website is genuine by double-checking the format of the URL or the spelling of the company name, before starting downloads.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links, such as those promising a chance to play a pre-release game.
  • Use reliable security solution for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats.
[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]