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Online Games - Latest Victims of Frauds

Kaspersky Labs' September 11, 2007 report analyzes the methods and targets utilized by cyberpunks to make quick bucks by illegally marketing purloined passwords of users or in-game objects.

As per the study, about 40% of trojans are directed at Lineage 2, while 20% of these are targeted at Blizzard's World of Warcraft to draw out data from its participants.

Sergey Golovanov, virus analyst the at Kaspersky said that hackers apply three key techniques to steal Internet game login identifications: social engineering (phishing scam or false offers of incentives or information in lieu of registering onto the scammer's computer), utilizing game server weaknesses, and employing wrong methods to acquire passwords.

The earliest Trojan Lmir-a, which was the first-ever design to steal passwords, aimed at online games, extracted pass codes to "Legend of Mir" and was the precursor of trojans aiming for Internet games.

A contemporary Trojan meant to steal online games pass codes is an active library scripted in Delphi, which automatically links up to all programs opened in the system. Upon detecting the launch of an online game, this malware extracts the inserted pass code, and transmits it to the hacker's inbox and deletes itself.

The latest achievement by virus authors for Internet games is the multiform Virus.Win32.Alman.a and its descendant, Virus.Win32.Hala.a. Besides affecting executable files, they contain worm functionality (the capacity to distribute through network supports) rootkit functionality (the skill to camouflage its presence in the computer) and backdoor practicality. An affected computer thus links up to a specific server awaiting instructions from spammer. They instruct to download and start applications, and are categorized as Trojan-PSW.Win32.OnLineGames by the Kaspersky Lab.

Over 90% of the trojans aiming online games are scripted in China, and 90% of the passwords that are stolen by the malware agents belong to players of the South Korean sites.

As per Golovanov, those living on other's virtual property are more or less resistant to approbation. Game designers should team up with anti-virus firms to deal with the trouble. Golovanov further added that people should safeguard their online identification judiciously.

Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

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