Esports and Gaming in the Cybercriminal Crosshairs

Esports and Gaming in the Cybercriminal Crosshairs

Esports is big. According to Business Insider eSports Ecosystem Report 2020, viewership is expected to increase from 454 million in 2020 to 646 million by 2023, and just like with any other fast-growing industry, cybercriminals follow the money.

The online gaming community has been a target for cybercrime for the last decade, but a report released last fall highlighted how the esports industry including players, gaming companies, sponsors, and viewers will face a higher risk of cyberattacks such as data theft, ransomware, DDoS (distributed denial of service) and hardware hacks.

The report noted that financially motivated groups have been taking advantage of security gaps to target gamers and the industry itself. Because esports is now a billion-dollar industry, it is expected to continue being a major target of cybercriminals.

Industry experts specifically predict an increase in ransomware targeting both players and sponsors, along with increases in DDoS attacks Other potential attacks include services to illegally boost gaming scores and stolen gaming accounts.

Weak passwords are top pain points for the gaming and esports community. Online gamers can take precautions to protect themselves against cybercriminals.

  • Avoid gaming over free public Wi-Fi and use a personal mobile hotspot if possible.
  • Turn off Bluetooth visibility when not in use and disable any device network auto-connect features.
  • Be willing to reach out to customer and tech support for gaming platforms or equipment with any security questions or concerns.
  • Stay aware. Maintain online security practices and protocols and keep up to date on the latest cybercrime threats and what they look like when deployed.

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