Roblox malware is the basis of 9.6% of all gaming-related cyberthreats based on the number of related malicious or unwanted files, according to a report from cyberthreat security firm Kaspersky’s SecureList that examined the sandbox game platform and several other sources. The platform trails only Minecraft and FIFA, responsible for 25.2% and 11.7% of such threats, respectively.
Kaspersky is a leading cybersecurity firm that uses AI-driven technology to protect against hackers and viruses. The company developed the gaming-related cyberthreats report to warn players of the latest cyberthreats and offer information about the most widespread and dangerous malware they might encounter.
The study analysed threats and statistics involving cryptocurrency miner attacks, threats masquerading as game cheats, and data stealers. Kaspersky then composed a list of the top 28 most popular game series that were available or about to be available on Steam and Origin, along with platform-independent tiles, to determine which posed the most significant threats. Along with Roblox, the list includes Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, Need for Speed, Call of Duty, FIFA, CS:GO, and PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG).
The security firm found that the top five PC games used as bait for cybersecurity threats between July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, were Minecraft, Roblox, Need for Speed, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty. The top mobile games used in the same period were Minecraft, Roblox, Grand Theft Auto, PUBG and FIFA.
The organisation reviewed 91,984 files during that period that included malware and potentially unwanted applications that were distributed using the listed popular game titles as a lure, impacting 384,224 users. It ranked Roblox as the third most common carrier of threats by the number of related malicious or unwanted files (8,903) and the second based on the number of affected users (38,838), behind only Minecraft (131,005).
Kaspersky’s analysis notes that multiplayer gaming platforms may pose an even greater threat than other games, specifically pointing to Minecraft and Roblox as examples.
“Worryingly, the primary target audience for these games is children and teenagers, who have much less knowledge of cybersecurity due to a lack of experience,” the report says. “Because of this, we assume that they could become an easy prey for cybercriminals, which means we need to pay special attention to cybersecurity hygiene training for kids.”
The company also notes that malware and unwanted software distributed as cheats posed significant threats, especially for players with a specialised interest in a popular game series.
“Most often, players get malicious software, stealing sensitive data, on their devices when trying to download a popular game from a third-grade website instead of buying it on the official one,” the report continues.
These often include “cracked” software versions of popular games, which are games people attempt to illegally download and play for free instead of paying the retail price. However, people also often mistakenly download malicious versions of games simply by clicking on misleading links to websites posing as legitimate content.
Kaspersky offers several suggestions for gamers to help protect themselves from malware, hacking attacks, and phishing. These include enabling two-factor authentication on all accounts, using strong and unique passwords, and double-checking download URLs to ensure they are authentic. Kaspersky also recommends avoiding cracked software and other illegal content, such as cheats.
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