Game hacks and malware

AVG’s Insight April issue focuses on game hacks.  AVG is a Czech anti virus and security solution provider.   Without surprise, it claims that 90% of game hacks are infected with malware.

Unfortunately, this assertion is not backed-up by factual data, at least AVG did not publish them. 

AVG’s researchers analyzed scores of such hacks and cracks found through metasearch services such as FilesTube and FileCrop, and discovered that more than 90% of them contained some form of malware or malicious code.

To illustrate the issue, the document describes a real example using Diablo III.  They downloaded a hack that generates items and gold.  AVG anti virus immediately spotted a virus: ILCrypt. 

Why should hackers attack gamers?  In the paper, AVG focuses on threats related to gaming: theft of account, theft of virtual items and gold.  For more details about these threats see Blizzard and the hackers or Gold farming.  But malwares could also juts try to take control of the gamer’s computer.   The threats are real.

What should we think about this publication?  In my opinion, it is merely a piece of advertisement for installing anti virus packages. There are no real published, and the publication lacks consistency and also knowledge of the gaming world.  For instance, AVG totally misses the world of mods.   Mods are part of many games today.  Some mods are fantastic add-ons to renowned games.  Nevertheless, AVG’s concerns are valid.

Let’s remind their valid suggestions:

  • Have the latest security products installed
  • Do not download cracks, hacks, trainers or unofficial patches
  • Do download patches only form the official game provider’s website
  • Do vary your login details.  Use different usernames and passwords for every game account, even for game forums.

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