Gamers advised to avoid downloading hacks

Stay Smart Online, part of the Australian government’s Department of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy has just released the following information about the danger of gamers downloading hacks:

Antivirus vendor AVG has issued a warning to gamers following research which suggests that more than 90 per cent of ‘hacks’ available online contain some form of malware or malicious code.

Hacks and cheats are commonly incorporated into games; however, the sheer popularity of online multiplayer games has made gamers prime targets for cybercriminals.

The research suggests more than 90 per cent of hacks, cracks, patches, cheats, key generators, trainers and other downloadable game tools contain malware or executable code.

These hacks are commonly delivered via unregulated torrents and file sharing sites, an easy vector for malware. 

Malware inadvertently downloaded with hacks can give attackers easy access to your online gaming account as well as other sensitive information such as online backing details, personal data and passwords for other online services. 

What should you do?

The best advice is to not download any unofficial hacks, patches, cracks or other gaming software (or any unofficial software whatsoever). 

Only download patches from the game’s official site.

Always be suspicious of any files downloaded from torrents and file sharing websites. 

Ensure you always have uptodate security software installed on your computer. 

Use unique account logon and password information for each of your online gaming accounts (and every other online service you use). 

If you think you’re affected

If you think you might have been infected by a downloaded hack: 

Change your password immediately for the game and any associated or similar online accounts.

Contact the game provider to confirm access to your account. 

Run a scan of your computer using up-to-date security software. Most security software should identify and remove common malware. 

You might also consider seeking additional local technical support.

Please share this information with the gamers in your life.

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