When you’re playing a soccer or a basketball game, there’s an inherent risk of injury. You can
trip, fall, and damage your body.
When you’re gaming, there’s an inherent risk of getting hacked. You can download and infect a malicious
There are millions of games in the world. From chess and checkers all the way to entire worlds
like Elden Ring, Diablo, Dota 2, and the like. But which ones will put you at the most risk? Here
are some of the most malware-infected games and how to protect yourself.
Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon. An open-world experience where you can build anything
you want, craft items, and rule over cities.
Players bundle together and join servers to create a unique experience. You can learn how to
make a private Minecraft server or join one that already exists. During the pandemic, there
was a massive spike in players. And, of course, that brings in cybercriminals. Three million
devices got compromised between 2020 and 2021.
Hackers posted unregulated and malicious mods and created scams to promote them. Since
mods are user-generated, the official game doesn’t regulate them. That’s how hackers steal
your data, money, and privacy.
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
PUBG was built around a simple concept. A hundred people with stylish names are in a plane and parachuted into a
map. You start the game with your fists and no armor. You find weapons, helmets, and vests on
the ground; the goal is to be the last person standing. It’s like hide and seek but with
It became a massive hit and started the battle royale trend. When something becomes a global
craze, hackers take notice.
They installed ransomware in free versions of the game and infected devices. More than 25000
people got their data locked. To unlock the data, gamers had to do what the hacker wanted.
Usually, it includes a ransom. You pay money, and the hacker decrypts your device.
Well, in this case, the hackers had a fun demand. Victims had to play more PUBG as ransom!
This is an isolated case, and ransomware attacks are usually much more severe.
Fortnite falls into the same genre as PUBG, but it’s more popular. Instead of playing as a soldier,
you can play as Spiderman, Naruto, or Ariana Grande!
The Fortnite hack played on the cheating card. They disguised a virus as a cheating tool.
People who downloaded the cheat got their data stolen.
How To Protect Yourself?
Don’t download games from pirated websites. Don’t use unofficial mods. And don’t download
These three things have destroyed more gaming devices than all other cybersecurity attacks
targeting the niche.
There’s a reason why Steam and Epic Gamers are so popular. They are tried and tested
legitimate sources. If you don’t want to be spending money on a game, think of how much you
regularly spend for entertainment. Gaming definitely costs less.
As for the cheating part, that’s just ruining the experience of others and yourself. Spend more
time improving your skills, or watch streamers better than you.
In all of these cases, you’re downloading executables, which are ripe with malware.
Use an antivirus
There’s a reason why antivirus logos used to have magnifying glasses. They look through every
file and check whether there’s any malicious code. If something seems off, you’ll get a warning
immediately. If you downloaded something from a shady website and your antivirus detects it,
you’re better off deleting it.
If you’re downloading games all the time, a good antivirus is a must. But you need to be careful
because the antivirus can use up too much of your device’s resources. You don’t want to get
FPS and ping drop in the heat of the moment.
Use strong passwords and 2FA
Having the same Steam account for many years comes with a lot of perks. You can go back to
the games from your childhood and continue from where you left off. Plus, you get
achievements and have the option to sell skins on the marketplace.
But chances are, you’ve probably used the same password without changing it. If someone
knows your login, they will be able to brute force their way in.
Make sure to change your password from time to time and add multi-factor authentication on top
of it. Your account will be more secure because you’ll need to confirm the one-time code from
your phone. Even if someone guesses your password, they won’t be able to log in because
they’d need to steal your phone too.