Hackers found a new way to sneak malware into your computer using Minecraft updates — here’s how you can stay safe

Hackers found a new way to sneak malware into your computer using Minecraft updates — here’s how you can stay safe
  • Minecraft, FIFA, Far Cry and Call of Duty top of the list of game titles hackers use to distribute malware.
  • Malware is used to gather login credentials, credit card details and more.
  • Below, check out simple steps that can be used to stay safe.
The video game industry has become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic as millions of people picked up the habit of playing video games to escape the isolation and boredom of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Since then, the gaming industry has been expanding rapidly, and the number of video game-related cyberthreats and attacks has significantly risen in recent months, research has revealed.

A new report from Kaspersky suggests that popular games like Minecraft are used as bait by cybercriminals, from phishing scams to malware downloads. Based on stats collected by the security firm between July 2021 and July 2022, Minecraft- related files accounted for roughly 25% of malicious files, followed by FIFA (11%), Roblox (9.5%), Far Cry (9.4%) and Call of Duty (9%).

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Other game titles were also spotted with a notable percentage of abuse, Grand Theft Auto, Need for Speed, and The Sims.

Minecraft also topped the list of mobile malware threats, as the game was used as a lure for 40% of detected incidents, followed by FIFA (5%), Roblox (10%), PUBG (10%) and GTA (15%).


However, as per the Kaspersky report, the total number of malicious and unwanted files related to Minecraft decreased by 36% compared to the previous year (131,005 against 184,887).

Trojan-PSW — Game over

When downloading the games from untrustworthy sources, unwanted malicious files and software get downloaded automatically that can gather sensitive information like data login information or passwords. Further, in an attempt to download games for free and find mods or cheats, gamers tend to lose money or their account.

The Kaspersky report reveals hackers use Trojan-PSW (Password Stealing Ware) malware which gathers user credentials, Trojan-Banker, which steals payment data; and Trojan-Game Thief, which collects login information from gaming accounts.

From July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, the Kaspersky security solution detected that 6,491 users were affected by 3,705 unique malicious files.


Here’s how you can stay safe

With the boom in the gaming industry, we expect to see new ways of abusing, which is why it is important to stay protected. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while gaming.

  • Protect your account with two-factor authentication and use unique passwords.
  • Always download your game from official stores like Steam, PlayStation Store, and Origin.
  • Beware of phishing campaigns and avoid opening links received by email or in-game chat.
  • Double check the website address asking for your username and password, as it might be fake.
  • Keep your operating system and other software up to date.
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