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Xbox One and PS4 launch causes huge hacking spike

The Xbox One and PS4 launches last month caused a huge surge in hacking attempts against the next-gen console gamers.

According to cyber security firm Kaspersky, a large peak in the number of hacking attempts made against multiple game platforms coincided with the Xbox One and PS4 launches in late November.

On average, hackers launched 34,000 attacks per day during the next-generation console launch period, with the number of gaming-focused malware found by Kaspersky numbering over 4.6 million.

“We’ve just seen two of the biggest console launches ever, with the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One,” said David Emm, senior security manager at Kaspersky. “That means there will be more gamers for criminals to target, especially as the Sony and Microsoft machines increasingly use the internet for a fuller gaming experience. And don’t forget the PC, still the most popular gaming platform and cyber crooks’ favourite target.”

Kaspersky said Spain was the most targeted location in Europe with 138,786 attacks so far this year. Poland followed behind with 127,509 and then Italy with 75,080.

“As computer games continue to become an increasingly prominent and important part of our lives, and our culture, expect malicious actors to up the sophistication and the volume of their attacks on gamers.”

Gamers may be surprised that consoles are targeted by cybercriminals. However, they are basically just computers and as the next-generation consoles are using the internet more and more, they become increasingly prone to attack.

Unlike other cybercriminals, those targeting consoles aren’t looking to steal credit card or bank information, but your username and password.

There’s a huge underground market for gamer usernames and their accompanying passwords, fuelling attacks on the gaming companies themselves.

Earlier this year, Kaspersky discovered an spy campaign on a range of MMORPG developers that was targeting source code and other valuable data.

“If people want to enjoy their new toys this Christmas, they have to be careful, as it’s clear they are facing a great threat than ever.”

Console hackers also use phishing scams tempting gamers with discount gaming products as well.

Read more: Xbox One vs PS4

Via: Consumer Affairs

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