Increased cyber risks for video game publishers from record breaking usage

With the Covid-19 crisis escalating worldwide, the intense focus on this pandemic is affecting everyone’s attention span in unprecedented ways. Distraction by an unknown threat means people not only seek refuge in reliable information, but often pursue a sense of community and/or withdrawal online. Some of the websites that are seeing higher than normal traffic and activity are productivity tools, web applications, and entertainment sites.

With mandatory work-from-home policies, lockdowns and widespread closures of all things public taking place, videogames are being played at record levels; including in China and elsewhere. According to Verizon, U.S. video game usage during peak hours has gone up 75 percent since the quarantine first went into effect last week. Italy has seen an increase of more than 70% of internet traffic which can also be attributed to videogaming with the globally popular Fortnite: Battle Royale.

Discord, Twitch and especially Steam are seeing huge increases in the number of people turning on their consoles. On Saturday March 14th, Steam had its most popular day ever when more than 20 million concurrent users logged in to play. In short, it’s “business is better than ever” in the world of video gaming.

Larger than normal risk profile

Publishers will be keen to release new versions of their games. Sports professionals are looking for new ways to make use of their down time by keeping up their skills with video gaming and making instructional videos on Youtube. But both cheaters and cybercriminals are taking full advantage our distraction. In fact, they haven’t wasted any time.

With higher percentages of people online and immersed in games comes a higher risk profile for video game publishers. It has been widely reported that speed is of essence when attacking the corona virus. Similarly, our utmost priority is to swiftly identify and resolve our customer’s cyber security and piracy threats in a quick and efficient manner.

Some of the integral issues (that the combined forces of Irdeto and Denuvo can assist our videogaming customers) are as follows:

Account security, marketplaces and fraud intervention

Video gaming accounts have never been so valuable. 20 million or more Steam accounts. How many of them are secure?

Accounts are the keys to the kingdom of each gamer with art, money, progresses and personal data stored on them. With the increased popularity of video game streaming, the need for solid and reliable security will also rise.

Video game accounts are cracked and sold on crowded marketplaces by the tens of thousands every day. Hackers and cheaters can buy and sell stolen, cracked or leaked accounts. Our goal is to trace back supply chains to hackers and/or leakers.

Preventing micro-transaction abuse

Micro-transactions are an integral centerpiece to free-to-play or pay-to-play games. In-game purchases are now part of the gaming experience.  Hackers can steal videogaming revenue by abusively collecting currency or experience points via bots and scripts and then reselling them to the general public. Irdeto can provide intelligence and evidence to disrupt large (dubious) organizations that profit from running bot farms.

Staying informed with client-side tools and data

The goal of our Irdeto intelligence services is to keep production teams, security teams and anti-cheat providers up to date on continuously evolving threats. Our anti-cheat is all about constant monitoring and reporting rather than a “one off” exercise.

With the rapid proliferation of the corona virus, the Irdeto Cyber Services team has observed a sharp increase in activities of account sellers on both the offer and demand sides. Irdeto/Denuvo has also observed the willingness of cheat providers to increase the number of slots for their cheats, admit users without invites and private communities and provide large discounts (up to 50%) on the services. These are staggering figures that require action.


Keeping your gaming environment safe with Denuvo

With all of this volatility, it’s more important than ever to make sure your risk profile is low.

The Cyber Services team at Irdeto offers an extensive range of security services for the broadcasting and video games industries. Our global team of cyber security experts and computer forensic analysts, combined with years of law enforcement and legal experience, are well positioned to track and expose the highly complex, globally connected cybercriminal networks.

Together with our Denuvo anti-piracy and anti-cheat solutions, we are able to keep game publishers, game platforms, video publishers and many more safe. As an organization, we wish all the best to our customers, partners and employees in these trying times.

Get in touch to learn more

About Mark Mulready

Mark Mulready, Vice President of Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto

Mark leads the strategic direction, global delivery and management of Cybersecurity Services for sports rights owners, broadcasters/operators, games publishers and other verticals. In addition to managing a global team of analysts, investigators and product management experts, Mark oversees the marketing activities for the Irdeto Cybersecurity Services team.