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Gamers putting themselves at risk by downloading pirate versions

PC Advisor Staff | April 26, 2013
Think you're saving money by downloading that cracked game? Think again. It probably contains malware that will steal your passwords, and maybe even your money.

Left to its own devices this malicious code decrypts the saved website passwords, stored in the machine's web browser keypass, with any sensitive information found sent back to the attacker via email. A hack could also ultimately result in the loss of a game account altogether, as attackers can profit from the theft, by trading the accounts online in exchange for cash.

The registered user account could cost hundreds of dollars and hours of gameplay to replace, while in-game purchases, such as power-ups, weapons and equipment, may be lost or sold before the user has a chance to contact the game developer and reclaim their hacked account. And, as with all malware, there is the threat of other illegitimate activity - stealing bank account details, hacking email accounts or accessing social media accounts.

So how can you make sure you're game safe? The answers are exactly what you'd expect:

1) Don't download cracks, hacks, trainers or unofficial patches.2) DO download patches only from the official game provider's website.3) DO vary your login details, make sure you use different usernames and passwords for every game account - even for game forums.

How can you fix your computer if it gets infected?

If you think you might already have malware on your machine from an infected game hack, you should immediately:

1) Change your passwords across all your online services that use the same or similar passwords.2) Contact the game provider to recover access to your account.3) Run a scan of your PC using up-to-date security software

The solutions listed above should keep you safe online, but if the lure of penny pinching remains tempting, it is always worth asking if a temporary budget gain is worth the much greater potential financial risk?


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