G Data Security Labs experts have spent two months researching and analysing hundreds of illegal forums where stolen player data is on sale. Access data for almost any popular online game can already be obtained for less than two Euros. The price depends upon supply and demand, account quality, volume discount and the interested party’s negotiating skills.
“The perpetrators make the majority of their profit from captured Steam accounts that contain a great deal of access data for different games,” says G Data security expert Ralf Benzmüller. “Theft of the data is carried out using special malware and is completely unnoticed by the victims. Once the malware is embedded on the victim’s PC, all entries are logged and automatically forwarded to the perpetrators. Unfortunately gamers often don’t bother with effective antivirus solutions for performance reasons, so they make easy prey for online criminals.”
G Data Security Labs experts ended up looking at almost every online game. Besides WoW and Steam accounts, the following ten titles were particularly frequently involved:
• Call of Duty
• Counter-Strike: Source
• Day of Defeat
• Eve Online
• Opposing Force
• Left 4 Dead
• Team Fortress
• Unreal Tournament 3
• Warhammer 40,000 Dawn Of War II
In light of the booming trade in online games accounts, gamers should in no way be avoiding the use of firewalls and virus protection.
WoW account on offer (screenshot)