From Doxing To Malware – Cyber Threats For Gamers Are On The Rise

Cyber Threats For Gamers

As the global gaming population grows by almost 6% each year, space for cyber criminals to exploit players is expanding at pace.

Recent reports from security firms indicate that threats to personal data and finances are up across the board. In recent years, observers have noted steep rises in web application attacks, malicious software injections, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) incidents.

With the gaming industry expected to be valued at $334 billion this year, criminals are stepping up their attempts to take a slice of the pie.

Common cyber threats facing gamers today

Many criminals resort to tried-and-tested methods for accessing accounts or installing unwanted software. Here are some of the most common techniques to be wary of.

Phishing Scams

Phishing comes in many different forms. However, its goal is always to have a user hand over sensitive information that can be leveraged for financial gain. In gaming, this is usually done by convincing players that they can receive something desirable if they type in their password or card details.

In-game purchase phishing scams

Criminals encourage gamers to share personal information. They often promise in-game currency, inventory items, or other game-related perks. Scammers will use message boards and forums or message players directly.

Malicious Software

Malware is a catch-all phrase for unwanted software installed on your machine without your permission. It can range from programs that cause frustrating pop-up ads to viruses capable of disabling devices.

Such software usually makes its way onto your device through infected downloads and unsafe links. Gamers are caught unawares when downloading from unofficial websites, hoping to get free games.


Miners are a form of malware that uses your machine’s CPU to ‘mine’ cryptocurrency for third parties without your consent. This can significantly reduce your computer’s productivity, sometimes operating in the background for months without you realizing the issue.

One miner-based attack emerged in late 2022, in which users wishing to download MSI Afterburner software found themselves accidentally downloading installers for mining programs instead. Once again, websites masquerading as legitimate software distributors were to blame.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

DDoS attacks involve overwhelming an IP address or server with requests, clogging up bandwidth, and forcing the target offline.

Businesses and organizations are often the target of DDoS attacks, but individual gamers can fall victim to them, too. Hackers targeting people simply for the thrill, or even hostile, tech-savvy gamers, can bombard an individual using an IP address.

Malicious software can also recruit your device to be used in other DDoS attacks without your knowledge.


Recent accusations against prominent YouTuber and Twitch-streamer Sssniperwolf have once again brought the issue of doxing into the public eye. Malicious actors and bitter gamers can seek to humiliate, intimidate, or extort other users by threatening to publicly release physical addresses or personal contact details.

How to keep yourself safe while gaming

Maintain good password practices

Using different passwords for your accounts, changing passwords frequently, and setting up two-step authorization can help mitigate the risk of data leaks.

Avoid pirated software and always use official sites

Offers of ‘cracked’ software, free games, or discounted products can lead gamers to untrustworthy sources. Malware often makes its way onto people’s devices via unsafe links and downloads from unofficial sites.

Make sure you’re always purchasing games from the game developer or official trusted platforms, such as Steam. Double-check web addresses to ensure you’re not being duped.

Consider using a VPN

As well as avoiding bandwidth limitations imposed by your internet service provider, a VPN can help keep your data secure and guard against DDoS attacks.

Console gamers can also use them. By installing a VPN on your Wi-Fi router, you can get a VPN for PS5 or any other platform.

Install antivirus protection and keep it updated

Antivirus software can scan files for malicious code or unwanted programs before they take root on your device. Also, make sure that your antivirus is updated. Then it’s ready to deal with the latest cyber security threats.

Be wary of cyber strangers

Any personal information you disclose via in-game chats or forums can be used against you. Never reveal anything to a stranger online that you wouldn’t feel comfortable revealing to a stranger in the street.

Friendship requests that involve you sharing your address, phone number, or full name should be treated with the utmost caution. You should also view offers of cheat codes, free products, or cheap in-game purchases with suspicion.

Leave a Reply
Previous Post
Home Security Camera Concealment

The Hidden Eye: Exploring the Benefits, Methods, and Legalities of Indoor Home Security Camera Concealment

Next Post
Laptop Accessories

Laptop Accessories: Enhance Your Mobile Computing Experience