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WoW – A Current Popular Target for Identity Thieves

Identity thieves on the Internet are turning to a new objective. Having satiated their desire for stealing bank account particulars, they are now also targeting online game, "World of Warcraft" (WoW) gold and other objects, says security player company Trend Micro. WoW is presently the most favorite of online gamers who trade virtual gold and gold objects over sites like eBay. This has resulted in a money making racket.

The WoW game is a place where players collect rare gold and gem-endowed artifacts, which can be upgraded in exchange of some gold. This way, players advance in the game and move their characters.

Hackers find this a profitable target. A machine that stores the account details of a WoW character, when infected, can be manipulated to steal the data. This eventually builds a real-time business with virtual stolen products.

Accounts of online game are already black-marketed, just as accounts of purloined credit cards, fake work fake passports, documents and other illegitimate items obtained through identity theft. WoW is also a popular target for identity thieves who, by using a number of Trojans, target the online game. The hackers log keystrokes and record players' security information that is passed to third party. This party steal real items from the gamers and sell for loose cash.

The malware in this game has inclined to launch in China, according to Adam Baviano, 'premium services manager' at Trend Micro. While multi-player gaming is widespread, particularly in China, Micro Trend's own 'honeypot' malware traps showed that the threat is now proliferating in the rest of the world. He said that as people are learning to secure their online banking accounts, malware creators are now attacking these soft targets.

While malware, like 'keylogger' trojans are distributed through the common route of spam mails, a recent and more successful technique is to fix trojans into certain gaming websites, said Mr. Baviano.

Identity theft now allows an entirely new opportunity for scammers to gain money. However, as the process of trading artifacts violates the games' rules and regulations, some game creators have initiated efforts to control such attacks.

Related article: W3C Picks Up Initiative on Web Surfing

» SPAMfighter News - 10/3/2006

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